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The best way to wall-mount your Google Home or Nest Mini is... not this

Don't ever wall-mount your smart speaker this way. We've got four better solutions for you.

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Heavy-duty duct tape may hold a Google Home Mini against the wall, but it's hardly the neatest way to mount your smart speaker.

Dale Smith/CNET

Wall-mounting your Google Home Mini or Nest Mini smart speaker is a great way to improve its sound quality. And if that's not enough of a reason to investigate ways to hang it up, wall-mounting will also free up space on your kitchen countertop, end table or night stand. A mounted smart speaker might also be able to hear you better, and it probably won't collect as much dust and grime from the wall. But there are a ton of different ways to mount one, and they're not all created equal.

I should know -- I spent eight days drilling, tacking and, in one case, even duct-taping five Google Home and Nest Minis to my walls to figure out which are the easiest, sturdiest and best-looking techniques for mounting your Mini on your wall.

Read more: Here's how to set up your Google Nest device for playing music, and here are five Google Home settings you won't regret changing. Plus, here's how to adjust the bass on your Google Nest speaker.

The new Nest Mini has a built-in notch on its base, which makes Google's latest entry-level smart speaker a little simpler to hang than the previous-gen Google Home Mini. That said, there are still a bunch of other good, bad and (most definitely) ugly ways to get your Mini up off the tabletop.

CNET's Molly Price has a terrific guide to wall-mounting the Google Nest Mini that served as my starting point. From there I let imagination and good-old-fashioned DIY spirit lead the way. Read on to see how you should absolutely not try to mount your Mini to the wall, as well as what worked great for me, including some aftermarket adapters you can get for $15 or less. 

Absolutely do not mount your Google Home Mini or Nest Mini like this

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Not only does a thumbtack not feel sturdy holding a Nest Mini, it pushes the speaker away from the wall and looks MacGyvered (in a bad way).

Dale Smith/CNET

No matter which version of the Mini you've got, there are some wall-mounting methods that seem obvious and easy, but that failed when I tried them. Save yourself the grief of a falling speaker and a useless hole in the wall and don't try any of these.

Thumbtack: Yes, it'll technically work, but after an annoying afternoon of closing doors extra gently and not playing my music loudly enough to enjoy it for the fear of the Mini vibrating off the wall, I took it down. Plus the Mini just sort of dangles from the wall -- all shabby and no chic.

Nail: Same deal as with a thumbtack, only it leaves a bigger hole. If you're going to put real hardware in your wall, go with one of the methods detailed below.

Command hooks: Although Command hooks ($8 for eight hooks with 1-pound maximum capacity on Amazon) technically do the trick, they're a little clumsy and the speaker doesn't really feel secure on them. The base of the hook sticks out above the speaker, and the hook pushes the Mini so far away from the wall it doesn't even touch. 

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A Command hook with a 1-pound maximum capacity can do the trick, if you don't mind more of a utility room aesthetic.

Dale Smith/CNET

Double-sided foam tape: I actually thought this would be the best hack for wall-mounting a Mini on my kitchen's tiled backsplash, but the 3M mounting tape I used simply refused to stick to the Minis' nonslip base. I even tried covering the entire base in tape, hoping extra surface area would solve the problem, but no dice.

Duct tape: Unless you're going for a sort of post-apocalyptic survivalist aesthetic, heavy-duty black Gorilla duct tape ($8 at Amazon) simply looks hideous, no matter how you stick it. Take another look at the photo at the top of this story if you're not convinced.

Now playing: Watch this: New Nest Mini promises better sound, smarter features
2:23

The most secure and best-looking ways to mount your Google smart speaker

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Mounting this sky-blue Nest Mini behind the couch concealed most of the smart speaker's power cable.

Dale Smith/CNET

Google included a built-in notch for wall-mounting the Nest Mini, so you won't need any extra hardware if you've got Google's latest-generation smart speaker. 

The upside to this method is that you can get it done in under 5 minutes without buying additional hardware. The downside is it's difficult to hide the rather obvious power cord that protrudes from the bottom. Google's official instructions for wall-mounting your Mini break it down into three basic steps:

1. Choose a location close to a power outlet.

2. Drill a screw into the wall, using a wall anchor if necessary.

3. Hang it up.

You can avoid using a wall anchor by locating a wooden stud behind the drywall and drilling a screw directly into it. I used the CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder ($7 on Amazon) to hang my new sky-blue Nest Mini in my living room, with the back of my couch covering most of the power cord. 

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The Dot Genie Backpack adapter for Google Home Mini uses a power outlet to mount the speaker on the wall, which works particularly well in the kitchen, where there are usually outlets right above the countertop. 

Dale Smith/CNET

Buy brackets, wall mounts or other types of aftermarket accessories

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This Google Home Mini wall-mounting clip from FStop Labs costs $10 for a two-pack on Amazon and is just about the lowest-profile clip available for the Mini.

Dale Smith/CNET

There are dozens of third-party accessories you can use to wall-mount your notchless Google Home Mini (as well as the Nest Mini, if you want an alternative to the built-in notch), costing anywhere from about $5 to $15. The Google Store has just one option for $15, the Incipio Wall Mount for Google Home Mini, but Amazon is littered with choices, as is eBay. Most mounts fit into one of three categories.

Clip-on brackets: These are small plastic brackets that attach to the wall with screws and grip the Mini to hold it in place. The Incipio Wall Mount ($15 at the Google Store) is one example, but I went with a cheaper, nearly identical clip from FStop Labs ($10 for two at Amazon). Same pros and cons as mounting using the Nest Mini's notch.


Outlet adapters: My favorite outlet adapter is the Dot Genie Google Home Mini Backpack ($15 on Amazon). Unlike other similar products that wind the Mini speaker's regular power cable into an unsightly spool, the Dot Genie comes with its own adapter, allowing the speaker to sit more flush against the wall. That means no cable in view.


Wall mounts with cable management: Basically you run the power cable behind the drywall, bringing it out again beside an outlet. The Mount Genie ($17 at Amazon) is a perfect example. My lease is up soon and I'd rather not have to patch walls before I move, but if you own your home and aren't afraid of performing some minor surgery on it, this is the cleanest, most professional way to go -- especially if you don't want to use a couch or other furniture to hide the cord.

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Tap control of volume will be reversed on your wall-mounted Mini unless you toggle this setting to fix it.

Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET

Just one last step: Change this setting

Congratulations -- you've gotten your Mini speaker up on the wall where it belongs! There's just one more step to making it perfect.

After you wall-mount your Mini, the touch volume controls on the speaker itself will be the opposite of what you're used to, so you'll want to go in and change them to the more natural orientation of volume down on the left, up on the right. Here's how:

1. Open the Google Home app and tap the Mini icon.

2. Tap Settings (the cog icon) in the upper-right corner.

3. Scroll down to the Reverse device controls option and toggle it on.

Now that you know how to (and how not to) mount your speakers, you can put them in every room and create a whole-house audio system with Google Home. Or, if you're still new to the Google Home platform, learn how to get the most out of it with these 32 Google Home tips and tricks. Ready to take the next step in your personal smart home adventure? Adding a Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max smart display to your Google Home setup might be your best next move.  

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This Google Home Mini is mounted in a bathroom, far above the splash zone.

Dale Smith/CNET