By Trae Jacobs,
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The Nest Mini is Google’s replacement of the Home Mini and represents Google’s second attempt at producing a smart speaker similar to Amazon’s Echo Dot. The Nest Mini is a standalone smart hub that ties together other smart home devices on your local area network. However, it is virtually useless without Wi-Fi. So what does that mean for how you stream music through your Google Nest Mini?
Although the Google Nest Mini does not work without a proper Wi-Fi connection, users can still play music on the device using a Bluetooth connection. However, the Nest Mini initially requires a Wi-Fi connection to set it up as a Bluetooth speaker.
Unfortunately, smart speakers aren’t very smart without a connection to the internet. Google’s Local Fulfillment is a new feature that allows some interconnectivity between the Nest Mini and other devices with Google Assistant, but it’s still in the early stages and will take some time to develop more commands for when the Nest Mini loses connection. So in the meantime, here are some alternative ways you can connect your device to your music if Wi-Fi isn’t an option.
Connecting the Google Nest Mini with Bluetooth
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you want to play music on the Google Nest Mini without Wi-Fi, you’ll have to pair it to a Bluetooth device—such as your smartphone—that will turn the Nest Mini into a speaker. You’ll need a Wi-Fi connection to complete the process, but you won’t need Wi-Fi after that.
- To start, you’ll need to download the Google Home app on your smartphone. It’s available for both Android and iOS devices.
- When you open the app, select the Google Nest Mini.
- When the device page opens, locate and select Settings > Paired Bluetooth Devices > Enable Pairing Mode.
- Your Google Nest Mini will show up as an available device. Select it, and it will pair to your smartphone.
Using your Nest Mini as a speaker is essentially like casting to a TV. When the two devices are paired, Whatever app is used will push the audio through the Nest Mini.
You can use whatever app you want to play music, and that includes anything with a video component. If you want to watch YouTube, Netflix, or any other streaming service on your smartphone, the audio will come through the Nest Mini.
As a smart speaker, the Nest Mini is effective and has much better audio quality than its predecessor, the Home Mini.
Using Your Phone as a Mobile Hotspot
If you no longer have internet in your home or have decided to keep the Google Nest Mini off your Wi-Fi, you can enable your phone as a hotspot and pair it to your phone, then turn the hotspot off when complete. Keep in mind, you need to be wary of any additional charges for hotspot usage on your cellular network.
Your phone, as a hotspot, converts your cellular data signal into a Wi-Fi signal to connect other devices to the internet. Since the entire point of this article is listening to music on a Nest Mini without Wi-Fi, this is only considered a method to get your devices connected for future use without Wi-Fi.
Of course, this method isn’t available for everybody. If your smartphone doesn’t support mobile hotspot usage and you don’t have Wi-Fi, you’ll have to use someone else’s Wi-Fi or Mi-Fi to get the pairing process done. Unfortunately, there’s no other method for playing music on your Google Nest Mini without Wi-Fi.
In retrospect, Google’s decision to change the Nest Mini’s power from a USB to a standard plug is a downgrade from its Home Mini predecessor. Ethernet is generally faster, more secure, and more reliable than Wi-Fi, yet Google decided to make the change anyway.
Also, since the Google Nest Mini was designed as a replacement, the Home Mini is quickly fading from the marketplace, along with its ability to connect to the ethernet. If you’re looking to have a smart home device that uses an ethernet connection only, you’ll have to upgrade to the Google Nest, Nest Hub, or Nest Hub Max.
Internet-capable devices that can perform at full capacity without a Wi-Fi connection are becoming an exception to the norm. Having a Wi-Fi network—or at least the capability of using your cellular network as a hotspot—is essential, especially with the Google Nest Mini.
The Nest Mini is great for playing music, but its primary function is to serve as a hub within a smart device LAN. Without Wi-Fi, the Nest Mini loses almost all of the features that make it a great device, including Google Assistant.