At its iPhone 12 event, Apple debuted the HomePod mini with an all-new spherical design and impressive list of features and specs priced at $99 — $200 than the list price of its bigger brother. Read on for a detailed HomePod mini vs HomePod comparison.
We’ve talked about the value of Apple expanding the HomePod lineup with a smaller speaker at length and is something that many people have been waiting for. Now the HomePod mini is official and it comes in at an enticing $99, but how does it stack up against the full-sized HomePod?
HomePod mini vs HomePod
What’s the same?
HomePod mini packs most of HomePod’s features in a smaller spherical design that keeps the same touch-sensitive top for controls. Notably, it even includes some enhancements that HomePod doesn’t include like the U1 ultra wideband chip and Thread. The U1 chip will enable an improved handoff that “you’ll feel” as well as personalized listening suggestions on your iPhone when you’re near HomePod mini.
Apple shared an brief overview comparing the two:
It’s great that the new Intercom feature is arriving for both the new HomePod mini as well as the existing HomePod. Most of the other major features of the original HomePod are included with the mini like multiroom audio, stereo pair support, smart home hub, 360-degree audio, far-field microphones for Siri support, computational audio, and more.
The new “Home theater with Apple TV 4K” (possibly related to this) is limited to the full-size HomePod as is spatial awareness. The latter feature allows HomePod to adjust audio based on its surroundings.
The HomePod mini tech specs page doesn’t mention the inclusion of direct and ambient audio beamforming that HomePod supports and the smaller speaker has 4 far-field microphones, instead of the 6 on HomePod. But in reality, those shouldn’t be deal-breakers by any means.
The other major difference is going to be HomePod including a woofer and seven-array tweeter setup while HomePod mini uses a “full-range driver and dual passive radiators.” That means it certainly won’t match HomePod’s audio performance overall, but Apple still says it puts out amazing sound and will likely outperform similar small smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo Dot.
Here’s how Apple describes HomePod mini’s sound:
Jam-packed with innovation, HomePod mini delivers unexpectedly big sound for a speaker of its size. At just 3.3 inches tall, it takes up almost no space but fills the entire room with rich 360‑degree audio that sounds amazing from every angle.
As for processors, Apple’s S5 chip that powers the Series 5 Apple Watch is used for the HomePod mini, meanwhile HomePod uses the A8 chip.
As for size, HomePod mini comes in at 3.3 inches (84.3 mm) high, 3.9 inches (97.9 mm) wide, and weighs just 0.76 pound (345 grams).
HomePod measures in at 6.8 inches (172 mm) high by 5.6 inches (142 mm) wide and weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg).
Don’t forget you can check out the HomePod mini in your space now with AR:
HomePod mini vs HomePod wrap-up
At $99, HomePod mini looks positioned well to fit a variety of great use cases where HomePod is overkill for rooms, apartments, and other settings. It also looks like a great value proposition for those who want to stay in the Apple ecosystem without dropping $200-$300 on HomePod.
HomePod mini preorders go live on November 6 with availability from November 16. What do you think? Will you be picking up a HomePod mini? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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