Ever since the original HomePod was launched a few years ago, Apple fans have been hoping for another HomePod-branded speaker to make an appearance. One with a smaller footprint, along with a lower price, and we finally have it with the HomePod Mini.
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Kicking off today’s iPhone 12 event, the HomePod Mini was introduced, along with all of its features being showcased. Apple will not be replacing the standard HomePod, but instead, there is hope that HomePod owners will put one of these in every room of the home.
Robust sound in a small footprint
The HomePod Mini still features the same mesh-fabric design that we got with the standard HomePod. And while the top features touch-sensitive controls, the wave of colors is a bit more vibrant than the older HomePod. As for the speaker itself, Apple packed a primary driver, complete with two passive radiators, all working together with an “acoustic waveguide” on the bottom. This waveguide is designed to help direct the sound out of the bottom of the speaker to create an “immersive 360-degree audio experience.”
Of course, Siri integration is onboard, and Apple has included a three-microphone array that is listening for your “Hey Siri” commands. But there’s an additional microphone that faces inwards. This is designed to help isolate the sound of your voice whenever there is music or a podcast playing for improved voice detection.
Apple’s new Intercom System paired with Smart Home Controls
It’s no secret that the HomePod is a fantastic device for controlling your smart home accessories. And the HomePod Mini brings all of the same functionality as the standard version, in a smaller form factor. Just ask Siri to turn on the lights or turn on the heat and forget needing to reach for your phone.
But the biggest new feature coming to the HomePod Mini is the all-new Intercom System. This offers a quick and easy way for you to send voice messages to family members hanging around in different rooms of the house. Create an Intercom message, designate what device or zone to send the message to, and fire it off. Intercom also works with other Apple devices, including the following:
- Apple Watch
With easy integration, this allows you to take advantage of Intercom from wherever you are at, even if you just wanted to ask for some help with the groceries on the way home. It feels like this is what Apple was hoping for back when Walkie Talkie was introduced, but instead of being limited to your Watch, it now works on the HomePod Mini and other devices.
What can the HomePod Mini do?
We’ve already covered much of what the HomePod Mini is capable of, but there’s so much more. From Intercom to being the compact smart home controller we’ve been wanting, the HomePod Mini is practically perfect. The fun doesn’t stop there though, as the new S5 processor combines with the speakers with Computation Audio for a robust sound experience in a small form factor.
Pair all of the HomePods in your house and enjoy multiroom audio, with your favorite songs or podcasts filling every square-inch of your home. Ask Siri for your daily schedule, complete with the top news headlines, calendar events, and the ETA of how long it’s going to take you to get to work. And the best part is that this works for everyone in the home now that the HomePod Mini and Siri can recognize multiple voices.
Are you trying to create a budget-friendly audio system for your living room? Grab two HomePod Mini’s and go to town with Stereo Pairs. This will work the same way as your traditional HomePods, but won’t break the bank.
When is the HomePod Mini coming?
The HomePod Mini is the latest exciting product to come out of Cupertino, so when can you get your hands on one? Pre-orders for the HomePod Mini start November 6th. Pricing for either the Black or White model comes in at just $99, one-third of the price of a regular HomePod. The HomePod Mini will be available everywhere starting on November 16th, just in time for Black Friday and the 2020 Holiday Season.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.