Apple today introduced the new HomePod mini with a new compact spherical design and a more affordable price than the original HomePod. The HomePod mini offers many of the features found in its older brother (but not all) and adds some that are not present in the original model. Next, we are going to review their main differences. The first obvious difference is the design. While the HomePod is shaped like a cylinder 14 cm wide and 17 cm high, the HomePod mini is shaped like a flattened sphere at 9.8 cm wide and 8.4 cm high. Both devices are covered in a similar-looking fabric mesh, which is available in white and space gray. The top is tactile on both devices although, due to its smaller size, the entire top of the HomePod mini is tactile.
Comparison table on Aple’s website Regarding sound, both devices support multi-room sound, stereo pair, 360-degree sound, long-range microphones and computational audio to adjust the sound in real time. However, the HomePod offers direct and ambient sound thanks to beamforming technology that is not present in the HomePod mini. This means that the HomePod is able to analyze the characteristics of the room and its walls, and emit the sound in such a way that the sound fills the entire room. Perhaps this is why the “Home theater with Apple TV 4K” functionality is limited to the HomePod. Another big difference is that the HomePod includes a woofer and a horn-shaped seven tweeter setup, while the HomePod mini uses a full-range driver and two passive radiators to reproduce deep bass and crisp highs. That means it won’t match the HomePod’s audio performance overall, but Apple keeps saying that it puts out amazing sound and probably outperforms other similar little smart speakers. Both devices include a new intercom functionality that allows communication between two HomePods, as well as sending announcements that ring for all the HomePods at once (and for other Apple devices).
Of course, both speakers offer the Siri virtual assistant and can act as a hub for HomeKit-compatible accessories. In favor of the HomePod mini we have that it incorporates a U1 ultra-broadband chip, which is not available in the HomePod. Thanks to this chip, the HomePod mini can know where you are with your iPhone and, for example, receive personalized recommendations if you approach your speaker. Priced at € 99, the HomePod mini is a good candidate for those who want to stay in the Apple ecosystem without spending more than € 300 on a HomePod. Plus, its more compact size makes it easier to fit where a HomePod won’t fit. How about the HomePod mini? Will you get one?