It doesn’t take long until the smart speaker niche is flooded with products from top companies. Amazon has the Echo line, while Google adds its virtual assistant to the Google Home series. This was not the only speaker with the Google Assistant. If you’re looking for an alternative, try the Mobvoi TicHome Mini.
The build quality is solid although it’s made of plastic. It’s not heavy, so you won’t have a hard time carrying it around. Meanwhile, the bottom is made of rubber, just like the Google Home. Overall, we don’t see anything groundbreaking about the design, but it’s definitely not bad. It comes in 3 colors, Black, White, and Teal. Unlike the Google speaker, this has a leather strap. It’s more than just an accessory. The strap allows you to hang the device instead of placing it on a table or another flat surface.
It also boasts a IPX6 rating, which means it’s resistant to water splashes. Water splashes are different from water immersion, so don’t try to submerge it in the water. It will need another certification to prove this ability. The round device has a range of controls on top. The volume up and down, for instance, are located around the side. There is also a button on the front which is assigned to on/off function. If you notice two pinholes nearby the controls, they’re actually the microphones.
The TicHome Mini is a smart speaker, so the features wouldn’t be as extensive as a Smartphone. It has no display, except for LED lights on top. All interactions are facilitated by the buttons. And to operate the device, you need to speak right to it. Don’t forget to say the wake word because it’s the most basic thing for every Voice Assistant. Inside there is a 2,600mAh battery. While it seems large for something that doesn’t have a display, the screen-on time isn’t that different from a Smartphone with the same battery. It can give around 2 hours of continuous use. As for connectivity, there are only Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.2 here.
In choosing a smart speaker, sound quality is an essential factor to consider. The quality of a smart speaker usually has to do with its size. Smaller ones like the Echo Dot normally deliver less impressive audio compared to the larger counterparts. It applies to the TicHome Mini as well. It’s not bad, but saying the audio fantastic is a bit of a stretch. It’s alright and still loud enough to fill a large room. The clarity is there, just not the best like larger speakers. It starts losing the balance when you turn up the volume. As it goes higher, you can easily tell that it’s not a premium speaker.
Well, some people buy smart speakers because they want to use the smart features. They don’t really buy them for listening to music. If you’re one of them, then the TicHome Mini is still good to consider. At $99, it’s quite compelling to have. But then again, the Google Home Mini sells for a similar price, so you might be confused to choose between the two. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, so take your time to compare.