A smaller model of the original Apple HomePod, the brand new good speaker comes with a variety of cool new options, together with the power to forged voice messages to Apple units – together with AirPods – in your house.
Apple says that the brand new speaker can act because the “mind of your good house”, and has “privateness and safety” at its forefront – with upgrades to Siri permitting for voice recognition and higher integration with different Apple merchandise.
It isn’t alone, both – Google and Amazon have each introduced their very own next-gen good audio system, and the HomePod mini is ready to go face to face with the Google Nest Audio and new Amazon Echo (2020) within the run as much as the vacation procuring season.
Intrigued? Here is the whole lot we all know in regards to the Apple HomePod mini to this point:
[Replace: Pandora integration has come to the HomePod mini – it is the primary time a third-party streaming service has been obtainable on the Apple HomePod, and it may pave the way in which for future partnerships with the likes of Spotify and Tidal (although we aren’t holding our breath for Apple to play good with its greatest rivals).]
Lower to the chase
- What’s it? The most recent Apple good speaker, the HomePod mini.
- When will or not it’s launched? November 6, 2020.
- How a lot will it price? $99 / £99 / AU$149.
Apple HomePod mini launch date
Coming in white and area grey, the Apple HomePod mini will likely be that can be purchased from November 6, with delivery ranging from November 16 – simply in time for the vacation procuring season.
Apple HomePod mini worth
The HomePod mini is ready to price $99 / £99 / AU$149.
That is far cheaper than the unique Apple HomePod, which price $349 / £319 / AU$499 when it launched in 2018 – and the launch of the brand new HomePod mini means you’ll be able to anticipate some incredible Apple HomePod deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
That pricing places the HomePod mini in direct competitors with the brand new Amazon Echo (2020), which prices $99.99 / £89.99 / AU$149 – and it additionally shares a reasonably comparable design.
It isn’t like Apple to cost its merchandise on the extra reasonably priced finish of the spectrum – maybe the corporate is anticipating that individuals will purchase a couple of unit (they do include the power to stereo pair, in any case).
Apple HomePod mini design
At 8.5cm tall, the Apple HomePod mini seems like a smaller, squatter model of the unique HomePod, with a spherical design that, as we talked about, is not dissimilar to the brand new Amazon Echo (2020).
How that smaller design will influence the sound of the HomePod Mini stays to be seen – in any case, probably the greatest issues in regards to the authentic HomePod is its highly effective, room-filling sound.
Like its predecessor, it is lined in a wraparound cloth mesh grille, and comes with a small show on the highest that exhibits the Siri waveform and quantity controls – this show lights up if you work together with the voice assistant.
As talked about, it will be obtainable in white and area grey, identical to the unique HomePod.
Apple says the HomePod mini “makes use of 99% recycled uncommon earth components, with the neodymium magnet within the speaker driver using 100% recycled uncommon earth components”.
In the meantime, the mesh cloth is constructed from “greater than 90%” recycled plastic, whereas all of the packaging wooden fibers are from “responsibly managed forests or recycled sources”.
Apple HomePod mini audio efficiency
With out testing the brand new HomePod mini, we won’t say for certain the way it will sound – however we are able to check out the specs on provide right here.
In keeping with Apple, the HomePod Mini delivers “an extremely wealthy and detailed acoustic expertise, utilizing computational audio to ship peak efficiency”.
To compensate for its smaller construct in comparison with the unique HomePod, the brand new good speaker incorporates the Apple S5 chip, which Apple says can “analyze the distinctive traits of the music and apply advanced tuning fashions to optimize loudness, regulate the dynamic vary, and management the motion of the driving force and passive radiators in actual time”.
The HomePod Mini incorporates a full-range driver, which is powered by a neodymium magnet and a pair of passive radiators, which Apple says “permits deep bass and crisp excessive frequencies”.
The brand new good speaker takes some inspiration from its bigger predecessor within the audio division. This contains an acoustic waveguide to direct sound down and out in direction of the underside of the speaker, which Apple says creates “an immersive 360-degree audio expertise”.
This implies you can theoretically place the HomePod Mini wherever in your house, and the sound will stay constant.
Additionally constructed into the HomePod mini is a three-microphone array that means that you can speak to Siri, in addition to an inward-facing microphone that helps to isolate sound coming from the speaker, which permits improved voice detection if you’re enjoying music.
Assist for streaming companies comes within the type of Apple Music (naturally), iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and “within the coming months”, companies like Amazon Music – Pandora integration has simply been introduced. There was no point out of assist for Spotify or Tidal, two of Apple Music’s greatest rivals – it is unsurprising, however the lack of third-party streaming assist was one in every of our greatest bugbears with the unique HomePod, and it would not seem like Apple is attempting to rectify it.
It would not sound as if there’s any Bluetooth assist, which is barely disappointing – having the choice to shortly hook up your cellphone to your wi-fi speaker with out shopping for into the Apple ecosystem would have been a cool contact.
For those who purchase a number of HomePod Mini audio system, you’ll be able to play music or podcasts in several rooms in your home, all Apple says, in “good sync” – doubtlessly posing a menace to multiroom audio giants like Sonos. Alternatively, you can place two HomePod minis in a single room to create a stereo pair.
Apple HomePod mini good house options
The HomePod mini comes with the model’s voice assistant Siri onboard, which implies you’ll be able to ask it questions, set reminders, get visitors updates, and extra.
In keeping with Apple, Siri can determine who in your family is talking, and “tailor music and podcasts to their preferences, and reply to private requests”, like accessing messages from their linked iPhone.
Any Siri Shortcuts you create in your iPhone and iPad will likely be accessible on the HomePod Mini, so customers can “ask Siri on HomePod mini to begin a pot of espresso, management a robotic vacuum, add milk to the grocery record, and extra”.
Siri can even play ambient feels like rainfall that will help you loosen up, make it easier to discover lacking units with the Discover My function, set music alarms, and ship internet outcomes from voices searches straight to your iPhone.
With Siri in-built, you should use the HomePod mini to manage your good house units, whether or not you wish to flip off your good lights or change the temperature along with your good thermostat.
Apple’s placing an emphasis on safety and privateness with Siri, saying that data is just despatched to Apple servers when the HomePod Mini acknowledges the “hey Siri” wake phrase or the consumer prompts Siri by contact.
Apple HomePod mini connectivity
You should use the HomePod mini with a variety of Apple units, whether or not you are answering a name out of your linked cellphone, listening to music out of your MacBook, or casting the sound of your Apple TV to the speaker.
One cool function for iPhone customers is that, if you’re listening to music in your cellphone, you’ll be able to merely carry your machine near HomePod mini and, in accordance with Apple, “seamlessly hand off the music with out lacking a beat”. The corporate says visible, audible, and haptic results when sound transfers from one machine to a different are coming later this yr.
In addition to that, you may get personalised listening strategies in your iPhone when it is subsequent to your Apple HomePod mini, in addition to the power to manage the HomePod with out unlocking your cellphone.
Maybe most enjoyable of all is a brand new Intercom function, which Apple says will provide “a fast and straightforward method for relations to attach with one another at house”.
This lets you ship a message from one HomePod to a different within the house, and your voice will robotically play on the designated HomePod speaker. Not solely that, however you’ll be able to ship Intercom messages to iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, CarPlay, and even AirPods, so everybody can get the message, whether or not they’re “within the yard or on their method house”.
It is clear that Apple needs to emphasise the attain of its good house ecosystem – and the HomePod mini is yet one more cog within the machine.