Apples HomePod has been independent as the only smart speaker on the Cupertino corporate line for over two years. So, as smart speakers grow in popularity, it’s no wonder Apple has come up with a smaller, cheaper version in the form of the HomePod mini.
Revealed as part of the iPhone 12 announcement, the HomePod Mini is, of course, a smaller, cheaper version of its larger siblings. But it’s more than just a HomePod simplification, it has some unique features that really appeal to Apple fans. Read the breakdown of how the HomePod mini measures to the original HomePod.
HomePod mini and HomePod: Price and Stock Status
(Image credit: Apple)
The HomePod mini also comes with a mini price tag, at least compared to the HomePod. At $ 99, it’s one-third the price of a $ 299 HomePod. The price puts the HomePodmini in Google’s new Nest Audio and the ballpark of Amazon Echo Dot 2020 speakers with a spherical design like the HomePodmini.
What’s interesting here is that the cheaper HomePod is another entry into what seems to be an expanding range of affordable yet high-performance Apple devices. After all, this year, the iPhone SE 2020 has a small but powerful A13 Bionic and Apple Watch SE. It may not have the Apple Watch 6 feature set, but it’s still a very high-performance smartwatch. Combined, you can use a suite of Apple smart devices less than iPhone 12 Pro.
Apple HomePod is currently available. HomePod Mini will be available from November 16th.
HomePod mini and HomePod: Design
(Image credit: Apple)
The 3.3-inch high HomePod mini is less than half the size of a 6.8-inch high HomePod. And because it’s so small overall, it could be a device that fits snugly on a small desk, rather than requiring a large shelf like the HomePod.
While the original HomePod looks like a cross between Sonos One speakers and the high-end trash can of the old Mac Pro, the HomePod mini has a design that is more in tune with Google and Amazon’s smart home products.
The HomePod mini, which looks like a cloth-covered Magic 8 ball and looks like an upside-down Echo speaker, has a pretty neat and clean beauty.
The small touch screen on top of the HomePod mini and its fabric cover design and color (white or space gray) reflect some of the original HomePod’s design clues. But otherwise, the two speakers look quite different.
Beauty is in the eyes of the viewer, so which speaker tickles the glands of your interior design is a matter of personal taste.
HomePod mini vs HomePod: Sound
(Image credit: Apple)
With a single full-range driver and dual passive radiators, and just two tweeters, the HomePod mini features a custom amp and a high excursion woofer with seven tweeters, with less physical audio technology than the original HomePod. I am.
However, according to Apple, the HomePod mini is powerful enough to fill the room with sound for its size. Its design also means that it delivers 360-degree sound, giving it a slight advantage over other small smart speakers such as the Sonos One.
I’ve never heard of the HomePod mini in action, so I don’t know how it will be measured compared to the original HomePod. This can be a bit noisy in a small room, but it provides a great hi-fi sound for your smart speakers. If Apple could bring the audio strength from the HomePod to the HomePod mini, we could consider a smaller smart speaker that far exceeds its weight.
HomePod mini and HomePod: Features
(Image credit: Apple)
The HomePod has the ability to use audio beamforming technology to configure the sound output to the room, and it’s a great feature to ensure that you get the best sound, regardless of when you place it. I will.
Given its size, the HomePod mini does not have such a beamforming technology. However, because it has an Apple S5 chip, you can use computational audio to improve the balance of sound output at different volumes. You have to wait how well this actually works.
Similarly, the original HomePod has six microphone arrays for picking up commands barked in Siri. The HomePod mini has four mics, but it doesn’t seem to make a big difference in practice.
Both speakers support a variety of streaming services such as Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Prime Music. Spotify isn’t included in the mix yet, but it’s a shame. But on the software side, the HomePod and its mini-brothers need to be equivalent.
HomePod is set up for Dolby Atmos to work with Apple TV 4K. This provides bagger speakers with new home cinema features. But it can appeal to a fairly niche audience.
One of the features that the HomePod mini has compared to its previous siblings is the ability to pass music playing on the iPhone to the HomePod without relying on Bluetooth pairing. It also works in the opposite direction. This means you can hand your HomePod mini to your iPhone when you go out, and audio playback will be picked up on your Apple phone. This feature turns out to be really appealing to iPhone users.
HomePod mini and HomePod: Outlook
(Image credit: Apple)
If you can’t compare the HomePod and HomePod mini side-by-side, you can’t tell if there’s a big gap in audio quality, at least at room size. But the $ 99 HomePod mini feels like a device that iPhone users wrap up because it doesn’t require the level of investment that larger HomePods do.
Audio enthusiasts may still prefer the original HomePod. But still, the HomePod mini could be an Apple smart speaker in the second room. The handoff feature also shows that the HomePod mini seamlessly fits into an Apple-centric smart home setup.
But given its clean design, price, and what looks like a fairly solid audio technology, the HomePod mini was expected to be a huge hit over older Apple smart speakers.
Best Apple HomePod Deals Today
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