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One of the most baffling decisions Google made with its otherwise excellent Google Home Mini is to not include an audio out socket. That’s meant, until now, you’ve either had to rely on its weedy speaker or connect it to a Chromecast audio device. However, this week Google made a big concession: it’s now possible to pair a Google Home Mini with a Bluetooth speaker.
Finally, you can enjoy the full benefits of Google’s superior voice controls and not have your music sound like it’s been put through a strainer, extracting all the juicy bits. You can even create a Sonos-like multiroom music setup.
Here’s how to pair a Google Home Mini with a Bluetooth speaker.
Pair a Google Home Mini with a Bluetooth speaker
The first thing to note is that you need both the latest version of the Google Home app AND for your Google Home Mini to have the latest firmware (the software that runs on the device itself). You can’t force the Google Home Mini to install the latest firmware, but rebooting the device seems to trigger the upgrade for some people.
According to this Reddit post, you need firmware version 114510. Check which version of firmware you have by opening the Google Home app, clicking on your device, choosing Settings and scrolling to the bottom of the screen.
As the good folk at Google’s Twitter support point out, the firmware is being rolled out gradually, so those of us in the UK are having to wait.
Thanks for checking that. Yes, it’s still running an older version — the feature has just started rolling out and will soon be available for all supported regions. In the meantime, just keep your Google Home Mini turned on so it will automatically get the update.
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) March 29, 2018
If you’re lucky enough to have the correct firmware, here’s how you pair the Bluetooth speaker. First, turn on the speaker and put that in pairing mode – normally by pressing the Bluetooth button on the speaker.
Now go into the Home app and choose your device, click Settings and scroll down to Default Music Speaker. Do not choose Paired Bluetooth devices.
In the Default Music Speaker menu, click Pair Bluetooth Speaker and you should be able to select your speaker.
Once it’s paired, all audio from the Google Home Mini should be routed through the speaker. Remember, you’ll still need to issue voice instructions to the Google Home Mini itself. Think of it now as a microphone for the speaker.
You can also add your Bluetooth speaker to audio groups, letting you listen to the same music or podcast as you move from room to room.