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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,698
16,884


Apple's new $99 HomePod mini officially launched yesterday, with the first pre-order purchases arriving to customers and Apple beginning in-store sales. We picked up a new HomePod mini and thought we'd test it out for MacRumors readers who are curious how Apple's smaller HomePod measures up to the original model.


The HomePod mini measures in at just 3.3 inches tall and 3.9 inches wide, so it's a good deal smaller than the standard HomePod. Despite the size, we were impressed at the sound that this little device was able to put out.

homepod-mini-on-shelf.jpg

It sounds great, and compared to other speakers in this size and at this price point, the HomePod mini really stands out from the competition. For such a small speaker, the sound quality is a little bit mind blowing. At max volume, there's no distortion and the sound is crisp and clear, which is also quite impressive.

homepod-mini-regular-homepod-comparison.jpg

In terms of size, the HomePod mini is probably smaller than you're imagining. It can fit in the palm of a hand, and it's lightweight, which means it can go just about anywhere. Unfortunately it does need to be plugged in to operate, and it comes with a USB-C cable and a 20W Apple power adapter that it connects to. At the top, there are some touch gestures, but it's easiest to control HomePod mini with Siri commands.

homepod-mini-apple-tv.jpg

Apple designed an Intercom feature to go along with the HomePod mini, envisioning a HomePod mini in every room of the house for home-wide communication. As the feature suggests, it serves as an intercom for family members to communicate with one another without having to shout. You have to have a HomePod to use Intercom, but you can send messages with an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or through CarPlay.

homepod-mini-next-to-iphone.jpg

HomePod mini also supports almost all of the same features as the HomePod, such as Handoff for transferring music from a phone to the speaker and vice versa, but we had a bit of trouble getting this working all the time. That should improve later this year when Apple adds an update that will introduce new U1-powered haptic feedback features for transferring songs between the iPhone and the HomePod.

homepod-mini-on-a-book.jpg

The HomePod mini works with HomeKit devices, can play Apple Music, supports AirPlay 2, can be used for phone calls, works in a stereo pair, and serves as a Home hub, so there's a lot going on here.

homepod-mini-handoff-demonstration.jpg

The best part about the HomePod mini is the price tag. It's offering solid sound at a low price, and it's a lot easier to shell out $99 for a little home speaker than it is to pay the full $299 price for the regular HomePod. If you've been holding out on getting a HomePod because of the high price, the HomePod mini is worth checking out for the wealth of functionality that it offers to those in the Apple ecosystem.

Do you have a HomePod mini? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Article Link: Hands-On With the New HomePod Mini
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 603
Dec 7, 2014
6,118
7,772
Can someone comment on whether the audio will blow the JBL Link Music out of the water?
 

jicon

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2004
597
370
Toronto, ON
"thought we'd test it out for MacRumors readers who are curious how Apple's smaller HomePod measures up to the original model."

Then proceed not to really tell us anything telling on differences in sound compared with the HomePod...

Other post indicated very noticeable lack of bass from other reviewers. Does that comment have any merit?
 

jcshas

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2003
790
910
I posted this in another thread but I’ve had a HomePod Mini for almost 24 hours now. The mini is replacing its older sibling (HomePod) as a nightstand speaker, which I moved to a larger room. I’m not an audiophile so take it with a grain of salt, but to my ear the HomePod Mini is a great little speaker when the volume is cranked up, but the SQ is only slightly better than my 3rd gen Echo Dot which was a fraction of the cost. I think the iOS/Apple integration is where HomePod mini truly shines, but on SQ alone I think there are better options out there.
 

Master Atrus

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2003
128
95
So I do have a question for those that have one of these ... does it require WiFi to play music or can you stream off your phone via a Wi-Fi direct or Bluetooth? (or could you hotspot off your phone to give it internet?). Here is what I'm thinking. 20w isn't a lot, so if I hooked it up to a battery, could I go outside with it?
 
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Melmanoh

macrumors member
Oct 17, 2020
81
41
doesn't have the clarity or bass of a Sonos one but man it's really small. I have it in my bathroom. Hopefully they will come out with a big version for like 150$ that would be the sweet spot and deliver better sound for me.
 
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jcshas

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2003
790
910
So I do have a question for those that have one of these ... does it require WiFi to play music or can you stream off your phone via a Wi-Fi direct or Bluetooth? (or could you hotspot off your phone to give it internet?). Here is what I'm thinking. 20w isn't a lot, so if I hooked it up to a battery, could I go outside with it?
Per Apple, You can't set up the HomePod without having access to the internet and Wi-Fi. If you configure it once, then you can AirPlay from your Apple device to HomePod over a connection that does not need an extra Wi-Fi access location.
 

acompt

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2020
1
0
Does anybody know if you can use it as default audio output on the Apple TV
 

jbro1999

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2009
152
9
I picked up 3 today.. To go along with my 3 regular HomePod. Really impressed! They are super small but sound great. There is pretty good bass. Picking up one more and giving to the kids for Christmas for their rooms. The other 2 are going next to our home work desks. The regular HomePods are for the tv and the other is an extra I bring all over the house. Right now its in the basement since I am finishing it. Love the minis!
 

Return Zero

macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2013
977
2,661
Kentucky
Man it's really tiny. Maybe I should put one in the bathroom :) That way I could enjoy music while sitting on the throne or use the intercom.
That's where I put mine. Fits right in the corner of my new vanity like it was made to be there. It's actually an amazing bathroom speaker. While in the shower, I only have to raise my voice the slightest bit and Siri picks up commands just fine, faster than the original HP actually. This is over top of blaring music, loud fan (older house, original squeaky vent fans), and the running shower (good pressure through a loud aerating shower head). Sound quality is just OK compared to original HP... no felt bass or twinkly highs. In the bathroom though, between running water and fans and sonic toothbrushes and electric razors, sound quality isn't my number one concern anyhow.
 
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TheSuperE

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2014
126
153
Portland, OR


Apple's new $99 HomePod mini officially launched yesterday, with the first pre-order purchases arriving to customers and Apple beginning in-store sales. We picked up a new HomePod mini and thought we'd test it out for MacRumors readers who are curious how Apple's smaller HomePod measures up to the original model.


The HomePod mini measures in at just 3.3 inches tall and 3.9 inches wide, so it's a good deal smaller than the standard HomePod. Despite the size, we were impressed at the sound that this little device was able to put out.

homepod-mini-on-shelf.jpg

It sounds great, and compared to other speakers in this size and at this price point, the HomePod mini really stands out from the competition. For such a small speaker, the sound quality is a little bit mind blowing. At max volume, there's no distortion and the sound is crisp and clear, which is also quite impressive.

homepod-mini-regular-homepod-comparison.jpg

In terms of size, the HomePod mini is probably smaller than you're imagining. It can fit in the palm of a hand, and it's lightweight, which means it can go just about anywhere. Unfortunately it does need to be plugged in to operate, and it comes with a USB-C cable and a 20W Apple power adapter that it connects to. At the top, there are some touch gestures, but it's easiest to control HomePod mini with Siri commands.

homepod-mini-apple-tv.jpg

Apple designed an Intercom feature to go along with the HomePod mini, envisioning a HomePod mini in every room of the house for home-wide communication. As the feature suggests, it serves as an intercom for family members to communicate with one another without having to shout. You have to have a HomePod to use Intercom, but you can send messages with an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or through CarPlay.

homepod-mini-next-to-iphone.jpg

HomePod mini also supports almost all of the same features as the HomePod, such as Handoff for transferring music from a phone to the speaker and vice versa, but we had a bit of trouble getting this working all the time. That should improve later this year when Apple adds an update that will introduce new U1-powered haptic feedback features for transferring songs between the iPhone and the HomePod.

homepod-mini-on-a-book.jpg

The HomePod mini works with HomeKit devices, can play Apple Music, supports AirPlay 2, can be used for phone calls, works in a stereo pair, and serves as a Home hub, so there's a lot going on here.

homepod-mini-handoff-demonstration.jpg

The best part about the HomePod mini is the price tag. It's offering solid sound at a low price, and it's a lot easier to shell out $99 for a little home speaker than it is to pay the full $299 price for the regular HomePod. If you've been holding out on getting a HomePod because of the high price, the HomePod mini is worth checking out for the wealth of functionality that it offers to those in the Apple ecosystem.

Do you have a HomePod mini? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Article Link: Hands-On With the New HomePod Mini
Yep. Having one and will be adding 2-4 more and the full HomePod now, what an amazing cheap system for whole home audio.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
4,327
1,589
NJ
I was underwhelmed by the audio quality on first impression, but I’ve grown to like the sound coming out of HomePod Mini once I adjusted my expectations that it’s a $99 smart speaker. What it lacks in deep sub-bass it makes up for with a loud, room-filling sound that can sound surprisingly rich on the right track.

I found it to sound more powerful and encompassing in a bedroom compared to a larger space like a kitchen. The computational audio also works particularly well on female vocals to make them stand out in a mix.
 

Zance

macrumors member
May 27, 2016
71
81
Anyone know yet if these can be run off a USB Battery pack? I want to set it up at home, but then take it with me when I go skating at the park. Really curious if I can make that work or not
 
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