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Comparison: HomePod vs HomePod mini

HomePod vs HomePod mini

Apple has updated its line of home audio with the introduction of the new HomePod mini. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than the original HomePod, but what else does it have to offer compared to its larger stablemate? Let’s take a look at the way the HomePod and HomePod mini go together and find out how it’s different.

Price

When the HomePod was first released in 2018, it was priced pretty high. Over time it has dropped to € 329, but it is still quite an expensive purchase for many and many. 

One of the main selling points of the small HomePod mini is that it can be purchased for € 99, ​​which is much more than the Google Nest Mini and Amazon Echo Dot (4th generation) models that cost € 49.99 and with which it will compete directly. . 

Design and features

The HomePod and HomePod mini share many of the same features, but there are some obvious key differences in terms of build and performance. This is what you need to know.

Size and weight

The HomePod is the larger of the two, measuring 172mm (height) x 142mm (width) and weighing 2.5kg compared to 84.3mm (height) x 97.9mm (width) and 345g for the HomePod. HomePod mini.

Speakers and audio

This extra circumference is to house the impressive speaker array, which consists of seven horn tweeters and a high-excursion woofer with a custom amplifier. Apple also includes a low frequency calibration microphone that allows HomePod to monitor and adjust low frequencies in response to the environment.

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The HomePod mini’s chassis can’t accommodate all this audio splendor, but it does offer something Apple calls “full-range driver and dual passive radiators.” We’re sure you won’t be heating up your home with a HomePod mini, but if the HomePod’s exemplary sound quality is something to consider, then the newer model should be able to add a bit of zing to the tracks it plays.

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They both use monitoring software to adjust the tuning of the output to better suit your room, but only the HomePod has dedicated bass frequency calibration, presumably due to the fact that your woofer will produce a larger amount. low.

The HomePod also has the ability to deliver Dolby Atmos audio from the Apple TV 4K, although Apple recommends using two of them for the best results. The Mini can’t match this level of performance, so if Atmos is important to you, then the HomePod is the way to go.

Microphones and Siri

Since they’re smart speakers, they need to hear your commands, even when the music is loud. Apple facilitates this quite well by including a six-microphone array on the HomePod and four on the Mini.

Siri is the preferred voice assistant (actually the only one you can use), and on either device it lets you set reminders, control music playback, read and reply to messages, or ask for and receive answers to questions.

One of the coolest features is the ability to create automated routines that control HomeKit-compatible smart devices. So, for example, if you say “Good night,” the HomePod can turn off the smart lights, turn off the heating, and even close the curtains.

Sadly, it can’t tuck you to bed yet, but Apple may be working on a fix.

Siri has the ability to distinguish between six voices, so each family member can use the HomePod or HomePod mini and have all the commands related to their individual Apple accounts.

If voice isn’t your thing, then there are also control surfaces on top of either model, so you can quickly change the volume, skip tracks, or pause playback.

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Multi-room stereo and audio pairing

If you have multiple HomePods and Minis or a combination of both, you can set up a local network through AirPlay 2, which means you can stream your music or podcasts in multiple rooms at once, so you don’t miss a thing while on the move.

There is also the option of ordering the speakers to play different things in each room, so you can enjoy AC / DC in the kitchen while the children listen to Disney songs in their bedroom.

Another reason to have multiple HomePods at home is the new Intercom capability that lets you send messages back and forth through the speakers. This can be particularly helpful in letting everyone know that dinner is ready or that you are too lazy to get off the couch and open the door. The future today.

Both devices also offer the ability to create stereo paired audio if you have two of them, although you can’t mix and match them as the feature currently only works on models of the same type.

Music streaming

As both devices use AirPlay 2, this means that neither of them can be used as standard Bluetooth speakers, which is still a huge disappointment, especially since they both have Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities.

So if you have an Android phone, you will have no luck trying to connect to the HomePod or mini. However, they are compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, so you can stream content directly from those devices.

However, you can stream to either HomePod without a WiFi network. Read: How to use HomePod without Wi-Fi.

Thanks to software updates, the HomePod or HomePod mini is compatible with a wide variety of music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, and others.

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Verdict

As you can see, most of the capabilities in terms of services and features are shared by both devices. They’ll respond to voice commands through Siri, stream music from a variety of services, and happily work with each other (unless you want to create a stereo pair).

So the main consideration is sound quality and price. If you want the best smart speaker available today, then the HomePod is the one, the audio is pristine and thanks to the low frequency calibration it always sounds great no matter what room you are in.

But, if you’re happy with decent sound quality and don’t want to spend $ 300, then the under $ 99 mini HomePod has all the right features.

The fact that you can buy two, use them as a stereo pair, and still have a lot of change from what you would spend on the larger model makes it the most sensible choice.

specs

Apple HomePod mini: Specifications

  • 84.3mm (H) x 97.9mm (W)
  • 345g
  • Full-range driver and dual passive radiators,
  • Four-microphone design for far-field Siri
  • Multi-room audio with AirPlay 2
  • Stereo Pair Capability
  • Wifi 802.11n
  • Direct Guest Access4
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Ultra-wideband chip for device proximity
  • Siri control
  • Touch control panel

Apple HomePod: Specifications

  • Audio Sources: Apple Music, iTunes Music Purchases, iCloud Music Library with Apple Music / iTunes Match Subscription, Beats 1, Podcasts, AirPlay
  • Dimensions: 172mm high, 142mm wide
  • Weight: 2,5 kg.
  • Audio formats: HE-AAC, AAC up to 320Kbps, Protected AAC, MP3 up to 320Kbps, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, FLAC
  • Wireless: 802.11ac wifi with MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.0 (cannot be used as a Bluetooth speaker)
  • Compatible: iPhone 5s or later, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later with iOS 11.2.5

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