When Apple announced the HomePod Mini I have to be honest I was shocked. The original HomePod was a beast – epic sound quality with added Siri Smarts. Now two and a half years later here we are with our Apple HomePod Mini Review.
Deep down I always knew Apple would release a smaller HomePod – if they want Siri to be the centre of the smart voice universe then he (or she) needs to be accessible at all times in all places.
Google and Amazon almost went in the complete opposite direction. Small, Simple, frankly low quality smart speakers for the masses, adding larger more powerful and excellent quality speakers as the years roll on.
HomePod Mini isn’t just a speaker to make Siri access cheaper, HomePod Mini is made to complement a standard HomePod in every home that owns on.
Add a HomePod Mini to the kitchen, the bedrooms, upstairs in the hall – all while your HomePod or HomePods are pumping out sound in the lounge room.
Or – HomePod Mini might be your first smart speaker.
At $149 – it’s utterly appealing as both.
HomePod Mini Sound Quality
Music is crisp and clear, there’s no heavy bass overtones, or really any “signature” sound here, I honestly can’t fault it.
My only mention that comes close to criticism is that they don’t go to 11. I have been left wanting a bit more volume, but to be clear, that’s when I’m trying to drown out the world, not in regular use.
The HomePod Mini sounds great when sitting on the other side of a large lounge room.
There’s none of the positioning smarts of the HomePod – instead this is a downward firing speaker which has it’s sound pushed out in a genuine 360 degree pattern. There is no sweetspot.
Handing off music from your phone with a tap
Heading out? Got something playing on the HomePod mini? Easy. Take your iPhone – hold it close to the top, your music will transfer and play from your phone.
If you’re heading out for a walk, that means your headphones fill with sound. Perfect.
This also works for searching the web. Ask “Hey Siri, show me photos of the Eifel Tower – and Siri will say “I’ll send them to Trevor’s iPhone” – and this works for whoever asked.
Yes, Siri knows who’s talking to it.
I’ve not tested that in detail, we need to get some Siri enabled devices happening for the kids, but it looks to be a real winner as a feature.
“Dinner’s Ready” announced via HomePod Mini Intercom
Perhaps the best feature, as both a party trick and a useful addition is the Intercom.
Use your phone to tell all the kids via their Bedroom HomePod Mini devices that Dinner is ready.
Intercom from room to room – this is like a flashback to the 80’s when home intercoms were a thing.
But it’s so much more.
Hear the intercom messages on your phone, watch Airpods, even CarPlay.
If a message is sent “to Everyone” that’s who will get it.
Remarkable really. A HomePod Mini will show a green light pattern on the top panel when playing an intercom message.
Rooms might not be in sync, but a stereo pair of HomePod Mini’s will play in perfect sync.
I also see no clear limit on the length of messages. I’m sure there is, but I ran out of patience waiting for the Phone to tell me to stop talking.
I do worry this will be abused in a family home – but, let’s give the kids the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Stereo Sound with Two HomePod Mini’s
Got two? One Room for them? Pair them. As soon as you place two speakers in the same “Room” on the Apple “Home” App, you will be asked if you want to pair them.
This allows you to set a genuine Left and Right – sounds amazing.
What is the price of the HomePod Mini?
Apple’s HomePod Mini is $149, and goes on Sale next week on November 18.