Although considerably afterwards to the clever speaker segment than Google and Amazon, Apple launched the HomePod in 2018. The speaker last but not least created it to India above two several years immediately after its global launch, priced at Rs. 19,900. Like lots of Apple goods, the HomePod is crafted to do the job effectively in just the Apple ecosystem, many thanks to specialised connectivity and voice assistant assistance by means of Apple’s own technologies such as AirPlay and Siri. If the dimension or price of the HomePod are important components in your purchasing selection, Apple’s hottest launch has built it a bit much easier to individual just one of its intelligent speakers.
Enter the Apple HomePod mini, a scaled-down and much more inexpensive smart speaker priced at Rs. 9,900. Released along with the Iphone 12 series, the HomePod mini is Apple’s attempt at creating its good speaker selection extra accessible, although maintaining the very same abilities as the larger HomePod. How good is the HomePod mini? Locate out in our evaluation.
Apple HomePod mini design and technical specs
The ‘mini’ nomenclature on the HomePod collection is as precise as with the Iphone 12 and Apple iphone 12 mini the HomePod mini has a scaled-down kind aspect, but with the exact same set of options as the bigger HomePod. Nonetheless, Apple has transformed the form a good bit, with the lesser device sporting a spherical body instead than the cylindrical kind of the bigger HomePod.
The condition suits the dimensions fairly nicely, and the HomePod mini is very easily the nicest searching compact sensible speaker you can get right now. The outer facet of the speaker has a delicate, mesh-like fabric cover which adds to the eye-catching design and style. The bottom has a grippy texture, and which is aso the place you’ll discover the only Apple logo on the product strangely wholly hidden away from perspective in typical operation. The HomePod mini is obtainable in two colours – white and place grey – and while my white evaluation unit does search superior, the grey does seem nicer, in my viewpoint, and will also be significantly less inclined to discolouration from residence dust and grime.
The leading of the speaker is touch-sensitive for controlling quantity and playback, and invoking Siri. There are no bodily buttons or ports anywhere on the unit. Compared with other clever speakers, the electric power cable is fixed, with a USB Form-C plug on the other conclude that connects into the incorporated electrical power adapter. This implies the HomePod mini is generally on when plugged in, and as soon as established up, it is really usually connected to your Wi-Fi.
The controls are rather simple – the contact zones for volume are marked with symbols, whilst the centre is a multi-operate zone that controls the two playback and Siri. Of training course, the microphone is often on and listening, so you can command quantity and playback with the ‘Hey Siri’ wake command as effectively. Though other smart speakers have physical switches to mute the microphone, you can only deactivate Siri on the HomePod mini from the Property app on iOS.
Environment up and controlling the HomePod mini needs an iOS unit, and I made use of my iPad mini (2019) to full the system by way of the Residence application. Despite the fact that it took a whilst to get via, the method is effortless and trustworthy, with the HomePod performing fantastic for me right after that. Apple sent me two HomePod mini units, so I was also ready to established up and take a look at the stereo pairing mode. You can also use many units for standard multi-space connectivity, if you opt for.
The Property application provides you access to most settings relevant to the HomePod mini, and also allows you perform songs immediately on the speaker even though applying your iOS unit as a controller. There is also the capability to regulate ‘Intercom’, a new attribute that makes it possible for customers to mail messages straight to specific Apple units, as properly as broadcast messages to all equipment in your residence. You can also set up and voice command any HomeKit suitable IoT extras in your household utilizing the HomePod mini.
I did have some connectivity issues with stereo pairing, with the speakers not reliably holding the link all the time. I often had seem coming from just just one, and once in a while experienced the relationship from one of them drop off for a couple of seconds prior to resuming. With only a solitary HomePod mini operational, I did not have any important connectivity concerns with iOS or macOS.
Moreover, I found that stereo pairing is not supported by the macOS method on my MacBook Air, even soon after the update to Significant Sur. When on-line, both speakers are detected independently, and I could opt for either a single for procedure audio but could not use them jointly as a stereo setup. Applying an Apple app these as Apple Songs or Apple Tv set on my laptop computer did enable me to use the speakers as a stereo pair, but this was definitely not the perfect circumstance for use with my pc.
Like with the much larger HomePod, the HomePod mini only right performs with the Siri voice assistant and Apple New music to stream new music through voice instructions. This implies that you can expect to want an energetic Apple Tunes membership on the account connected to the sensible speaker in buy to engage in music on demand. The unit does also aid iTunes New music purchases, Apple Audio Radio (for cost-free streaming), Apple Podcasts, and information briefings. You can use AirPlay to stream from some other companies this kind of as Spotify with compatible equipment, which I was ready to do utilizing my iPad mini.
The HomePod mini has a one entire-selection driver and two passive radiators for audio, AirPlay 2 for audio streaming above Wi-Fi, and a 4-microphone process for finding up the ‘Hey Siri’ wake term and subsequent voice commands. The Homepod mini does have Bluetooth 5, but this won’t be able to be utilised to stream music like on other speakers it’s only used for the preliminary set up procedure and communicating with smart products. There is also the Apple U1 chip, which allows Apple’s Extremely Wideband connectivity to detect other U1-enabled products in the rapid vicinity. It can be employed to hand off audio from an Iphone just by keeping it near the speaker, with much more personalisation capabilities coming with future software package updates. .
Apple HomePod mini effectiveness
As with the relaxation of Apple’s audio products, the HomePod mini will make up for all of its Apple-distinct limits with sound top quality. This is the most effective-sounding compact speaker you can get, and its tightly managed ecosystem of expert services and options can help manage the excellent of the sound and general performance. Although not as loud as other speakers its value, it is adequately loud for desktop use, and utilizing a 2nd HomePod mini in a stereo-paired set up does give the process more than enough oomph.
As pointed out, the HomePod mini is designed to operate with only the constrained protocols and expert services that are fully tied in with Apple. This means that there is no previous-fashioned Bluetooth audio playback, and you can expect to have to use AirPlay for connectivity with resource gadgets. If you have a Mac computer, Iphone, or iPad, you have all you want to place the HomePod mini to superior use. I mainly played audio on the speaker using Apple Music on either my laptop computer or pill, but I also attempted Spotify on my iPad, as properly as standard AirPlay to stream program audio from my notebook to the speaker.
The Apple HomePod mini stands out for its audio high quality, and it truly is especially outstanding how loud and refined this speaker sounds for its measurement. I really liked listening to Fact by Kamasi Washington on the HomePod mini, with the speaker featuring a terrific mix of element, a cleanse sonic signature, and a great deal of refinement throughout the frequency array. The speaker held its own via the track’s gradual, calculated buildup and eventual orchestral degrees of engagement, with the jazz drums in specific sounding punchy and psychological.
Despite the fact that the sound was immersive and engaging throughout sources and genres with even just 1 HomePod mini, Apple’s help for stereo pairing brings out a total great deal extra if you are able to choose up two to use alongside one another. With some wise positioning, I was ready to get a healthful and amazing soundstage with right stereo separation from the paired HomePod minis.
Kamasi Washington’s Truth sounded even a lot more gorgeous and in depth with the stereo set up, with the speakers offering up a good deal of element. This is the form of seem I would count on from a high-end multi-speaker process. Although this particular genre and keep track of benefited a large amount from the stereo set up, it did support songs throughout genres, with even the energetic and cheerful Alfonso Muskedunder by Todd Terje sounding a lot more lively.
The Apple HomePod mini has a 4-microphone process for voice instructions. This labored nicely from even distances up to all around 3m, but not any farther than that. Siri has enhanced significantly in its potential to recognize the Indian accent, and I frequently had no difficulty with fundamental tasks such as actively playing certain tracks, setting timers, and getting very simple inquiries answered. HomeKit’s ecosystem of IoT equipment is even now really limited as as opposed to Google Assistant and Alexa, so there wasn’t substantially I could do with the HomePod mini in phrases of good performance.
The HomePod mini is an interesting product or service that provides exactly where it matters. The machine back links efficiently with any other Apple solutions you could have, operates very well as a compact clever speaker, and appears rather excellent for anything this tiny. I utilised it as a practical wireless speaker for my notebook and tablet to good result, and the sensible performance was rather handy as well.
Getting a 2nd HomePod mini will allow you set up a right stereo sensible speaker system at close to the identical rate as that of the greater Apple HomePod, and I quite appreciated how the speakers sounded in this configuration, albeit with some connectivity issues. A solitary HomePod mini works just wonderful on its individual, as well.
All of this stated, the HomePod mini is a products intended for a incredibly certain audience, and needs you to be closely invested in the Apple ecosystem to make total use of it, which includes possessing an active Apple Audio membership and at the very least just one iOS machine. If you might be an Apple admirer, the HomePod mini is the most effective clever speaker you can obtain for the price, but do also look at the greater HomePod if you have the funds for it.
Are Iphone 12 mini, HomePod mini the Best Apple Products for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technologies podcast, which you can subscribe to through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, obtain the episode, or just hit the participate in button down below.