Apple has decided to try smart speakers again with the introduction of the HomePod mini. And now the company has a better chance of increasing its presence in the market, because it has fixed the main thing – the price of the device.
Users are not yet accustomed to spending $ 200- $ 300 on smart speakers, because for this money you can buy ordinary good acoustics. And for smart functions, a compact speaker will do just fine. Therefore, regular HomePod, like Google Home Max or Amazon Echo Studio, are not sold in quantities like Home mini or Echo Dot.
Therefore, the $ 99 HomePod mini (for comparison, Nest Audio – $ 99, Echo 4 Gen – $ 99) will be quite competitive in the market. And if you wanted to create a complete Apple ecosystem at home, the threshold is now much more affordable.
The speaker looks like a regular HomePod, although now the shape of the device has changed. A touch panel is provided at the top of the ball for controlling some of the speaker functions. HomePod mini height – 84.3 mm, width – 97.9 mm, weight – 345 grams.
Apple does not specify the characteristics of the speakers (one main speaker and two passive radiators), only notes that they provide steep 360-degree sound reproduction. The S5 chip and a “computational audio” system that analyzes and adjusts the sound to the room is also responsible for high-quality sound. If you buy two HomePod minis, they can create a stereo pair.
The U1 chip is installed inside the smart speaker, which allows you to seamlessly continue listening to music or podcasts on your iPhone. All you have to do is bring your iPhone (which must also be equipped with a U1) to the HomePod mini to “stream” the audio. Another new feature is the Intercom system, which allows you to transfer small audio messages from one device to another. Works with speakers, CarPlay, iPhone, Apple Watch.
There are four microphones for communicating with Siri. The assistant is able to recognize the voices of different users, and accordingly gives relevant answers to their queries. Of course, Siri can be used to control other smart home devices. Music services include Apple Music / Podcasts, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Radio.com. More sources are coming soon, such as Amazon Music and Pandora.
Apple HomePod mini comes in two colors: White and Space Gray. It will be possible to pre-order the smart speaker starting November 6, with the first deliveries starting November 16.