Apple’s HomePod mini is among the hottest good audio system of 2023 — however the newly introduced HomePod goes to present it a run for its cash. Whereas the miniature HomeKit hub can management your good dwelling gear and have interaction with Siri, the HomePod 2023 can do all of that whereas additionally pumping out some spectacular audio. However does the HomePod do sufficient to warrant its $299 price ticket? Right here’s a better have a look at each the HomePod and HomePod mini that can assist you decide which is finest in your good dwelling.
Pricing and availability
One of the widespread complaints in regards to the unique HomePod (launched in 2018) was that it was one of the vital costly good audio system available on the market. That’s nonetheless true, because the HomePod 2023 clocks in at $299.
The HomePod mini, alternatively, is priced extra competitively at $99, the identical because the fourth-generation Amazon Echo.
Winner: The HomePod mini wins simply. Nonetheless, these two audio system are so completely different that it’s troublesome to check them solely on the price.
The design variations between the 2 HomePods are stark: The HomePod 2023 is designed to have a central location with its giant, cylindrical form, and the give attention to competing with previous Amazon Echo units is obvious. The material materials helps shield the inner audio system, whereas the stable 5.6-inch base wants a little bit of area. There’s a easy LED mild on the prime to function an indicator and allow considerably complicated contact controls — faucet for quantity controls, press down for Siri, double-tap to skip songs, and so on. It additionally options the S7 chip for superior room-sensing talents and may optimize its efficiency based mostly on its environment.
The HomePod mini goes for a really completely different strategy. This rounded speaker sports activities a bulbous design and is far smaller — solely 3.3 inches excessive and three.9 inches extensive. This permits it to sit down extra comfortably on slender cabinets or mattress stands, and also you don’t have to seek out as a lot area in your desk so as to add a HomePod Mini companion.
Winner: HomePod mini. The little orb seems nice and is less complicated to place in several places all through the house.
Audio system and sound
The HomePod 2023 is provided with a four-inch, high-excursion woofer and 5 tweeters, plus spatial consciousness know-how to adapt sound for the room it’s in. In different phrases, Apple has put some spectacular tech into the HomePod, and it’ll sound nice no matter the place you place it or what it’s streaming.
The HomePod mini is designed extra for accessibility than for sound. It solely has one full-range driver, plus a design that features twin passive radiators for amplification (Amazon’s newest Echo does a bit higher with a 3-inch woofer and twin 0.8-inch tweeters). In lieu of devoted spatial adaptivity, Apple pairs its S5 chip with a function known as computational audio for the HomePod mini. Whereas the speaker doesn’t precisely adapt to its listening surroundings, the computational operate helps to steadiness sound output based mostly on the place the speaker is positioned and what kind of content material it’s enjoying. By way of highs and lows, the HomePod mini does a terrific job of delivering each with out reducing off the bass, however it’s no HomePod.
The mini is designed extra for up-close, private sound for one particular person — it’s one other indication that the HomePod mini is most at dwelling in your desk whilst you work (or in the same location). Apple suggests organising HomePod minis round the home for higher sound outcomes, however this simply raises the price as much as HomePod ranges with out as many advantages for audio high quality.
Each audio system have multiroom audio choices, too. That signifies that if in case you have two HomePods of both mannequin, you’ll be able to hyperlink them collectively and play the identical music/sounds on each on the similar time. This can be a bonus for many who have already got a HomePod however are fascinated about getting a mini (and it additionally works with AirPlay 2). Apple has an Intercom mode that enables HomePods to behave as two-way audio units, too.
Lengthy story brief — HomePod is designed to churn out unimaginable sound, whereas the HomePod mini is supposed to be a bit extra accessible and is nice for smaller areas.
Siri and good options
There’s no battle between voice assistants right here, as every speaker makes use of Siri and has all the identical Siri capabilities. They’ll each act as good dwelling hubs for HomeKit dwelling automation and help AirPlay 2 units.
Likewise, each audio system provide the identical providers. Each are appropriate with Apple Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Radio.com, in addition to any Apple Podcasts.
Each good audio system additionally help Matter, permitting you to sync with different Matter-enabled units.
Apple TV compatibility
HomePod mini and HomePod each work with Apple TV. This makes it simple to reinforce your audio or acquire Siri good controls. In fact, the bigger HomePod goes to sound higher than the HomePod mini when linked to your system, however it’s nice that each merchandise provide the function.
Which do you have to purchase?
For a private good speaker sitting beside you in your desk, the inexpensive HomePod mini is the only option. For full-room sound and leisure, in addition to connections with your property theater, the HomePod is a better option.
Contemplating the prices, should you don’t have any expertise with HomePods, we advise shopping for the HomePod mini (the identical goes for giving it as a present, too). This can be a nice entry-level choose, and you’ll add the bigger HomePod in a while if you wish to construct out your Apple assortment.
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