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ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 28, 2008
3,369
5,363
Beverly, Massachusetts
Quick note: I’m not sure where iFixit is with their teardown. They’ve been late with a lot of things this year. I’m still waiting for the iPad Air Teardown and Apple silicon Macs. I had to drive to another Apple Store to get my pair since I missed the preorder time and the local one didn't offer in store pickup. Just like with the first HomePod, I had to tear this one apart. I’ve only had my pair for 5 hours. The sound is great for it’s size just like with the original HomePod. It sounds bigger than it is, but as they say, "there’s no replacement for displacement". Same principle applies here. Just a small woofer and two passive radiators. No tweeters, etc. Also, the power cord is NOT replaceable DO NOT pull as it won’t come out (unlike the original HomePod) I was hoping to find a female lightning connector to help explain the leaked braided lightning to USB-C cable we saw over the summer. My 2 HomePod Mini units were Assembled in Vietnam. I'm not sure if that means these were manufactured by GoerTek (they make AirPods in Vietnam), Foxconn or Luxshare Precision.

Let’s get to the fun part. The disassembly procedure is a bit different, and you need to be careful since the mesh doesn’t have long draw strings. You still open the HomePod Mini from the top, but you have to get in to the mesh first from the bottom. Do not try to remove the top plastic touch surface like in the original HomePod. Removing this is a great way to break it and isn't necessary for disassembly. Begin by removing the rubber circle, and then 3 T6 screws to remove a plastic disc plate. Then remove the bottom base T10 screw. Open up the mesh (there are tiny draw strings to be mindful of.. I will have to rethread mine) and pop the plastic grommet from around the power cord inlet.

Remove the 4 rubber screw covers on the top side, remove the 4 T6 screws. Carefully separate the top from the HomePod Mini. Some moderate strength adhesive is used. Flip up the retaining tab and disconnect the digitizer ribbon cable. Flip up the retaining lever and remove the microphone ribbon cable. Pull off the LED diffuser, and remove 4 screws securing the logic board (two secure the logic board to the speaker ring terminals) Using a black stick, pry the logic board up and disconnect the power cable connector on the rear side (extremely difficult, so patience is required) Logic board comes out.

Using tweezers, CAREFULLY peel the microphone ribbon cable off of the sidewall. Lift out the speaker terminal rings. Now flip the HomePod Mini over and remove the 4 rubber screw covers on the bottom side, remove the 4 T6 screws. Bottom comes out (also held together with some moderate strength adhesive like the top half). You can remove the speaker driver by removing the 4 T6 screws (or removing 2, and loosening the other 2) Most of the markings on the NAND flash storage IC aren't readable as some of the markings on the processor

The S5 (System in Package a.k.a SiP) appears to be on it's own daughter PCB which is then soldered to the main PCB (photo 6) The NAND flash storage is the larger IC and the processor is the smaller IC. Most of the markings on the NAND flash storage IC aren't readable as some of the markings on the processor

Sorry for the incomplete, quick and dirty right up. Have to catch some rest, work in 6 hours.
 

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Mr. Awesome

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2016
863
1,788
Idaho, USA
Wow! Very impressive!!! I can’t wait till my Apple Store opens again and I can hear the sound of one of these in person.
 

MayaTlab

macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2007
275
246
I have no idea if it's a good thing or not, but I'm always in awe at Apple's acoustics engineering team's capacity for quite novel and original designs. The basic principles of the HM (one driver + two passive radiators in opposite directions) are quite well known, but the driver / surround design and passive radiators design look quite novel to me, or am I wrong ? Anyway it really feels that every single bit of it was designed / engineered with intent and is far removed from off the shelf parts or derivative designs.
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 28, 2008
3,369
5,363
Beverly, Massachusetts
Okay, so here is some close up photos of the logic board. I’ve looked up the markings for what I suspect is the flash nand chip and Google didn’t seem to find anything. It turns out the residue on the nand chip and the processor is a thermal compound of some sort (it’s hard as a rock) there is no shield as you can see in the photos as the shield is integrated into the main enclosure (again, see photos) Here is what I can identify.

The amplifier that gives this speaker a voice is located right next to the speaker terminals (no surprise) and is an Analog Devices SSM3582A (Class D) amplifier

The Texas Instruments (*grabs calculator) CDP3217B12 didn’t turn up a data sheet, but was also used on the MacBook Pro 16” (Late 2019) and iFixit speculates it is likely a power controller IC.

The USI 339M00117 80033162 didn’t turn up anything, but I’d guess it’s a WiFi & Bluetooth module radio

The other USI IC looks very close to the USI (Apple U1) chip found in the iPhone 11/11 Pro. I’m guessing this is the ultra-wideband (UWB) chip used for Hand Off.

On the flip side with the 19 RGB LEDs, there are (2) Texas Instruments LP5030 LED driver ICs

As far as the other components under the 2 EMI shields, I don’t want to desolder the large shield on the bottom and small shield on the top since I don’t want to damage anything. It’s all back together and working fine.

In the 2 from last photos you can see how outer grommet ring is integrated into the 3D mesh and how it easily snaps from the main grommet (integrated into the HomePod Mini's housing).
Last photo shows the digitizer assembly removed from the top cover (secured by 4 T5 screws). The 3D mesh fabric seems to be melted/molded into this top cover and they would be replaced as a single component (if you could find a replacement)
 

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Bob_squared

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2020
1
1
Hi and Thanks for the Teardown Its great that you took the Time :D

I got one question though:

You showed us the Connector on the board. Does that mean that the Power Cable is not soldered to the board? so technically we could replace it if we get the HomePod open, change the cable and manage to put it back together?

Best

Bob
 
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ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 28, 2008
3,369
5,363
Beverly, Massachusetts
Hi and Thanks for the Teardown Its great that you took the Time :D

I got one question though:

You showed us the Connector on the board. Does that mean that the Power Cable is not soldered to the board? so technically we could replace it if we get the HomePod open, change the cable and manage to put it back together?

Best

Bob
Correct. The cord is connected to the logic board with a 12 pin connector.
 

haralds

macrumors 68000
Jan 3, 2014
1,973
729
Silicon Valley, CA
What the picture does not tell you is how nice they sound at home, especially as a Stereo pair. More moderate volumes than the larger Homepods, but very nice for normal use.
 

Baltus1969

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2020
1
0
Quick note: I’m not sure where iFixit is with their teardown. They’ve been late with a lot of things this year. I’m still waiting for the iPad Air Teardown and Apple silicon Macs. I had to drive to another Apple Store to get my pair since I missed the preorder time and the local one didn't offer in store pickup. Just like with the first HomePod, I had to tear this one apart. I’ve only had my pair for 5 hours. The sound is great for it’s size just like with the original HomePod. It sounds bigger than it is, but as they say, "there’s no replacement for displacement". Same principle applies here. Just a small woofer and two passive radiators. No tweeters, etc. Also, the power cord is NOT replaceable DO NOT pull as it won’t come out (unlike the original HomePod) I was hoping to find a female lightning connector to help explain the leaked braided lightning to USB-C cable we saw over the summer. My 2 HomePod Mini units were Assembled in Vietnam. I'm not sure if that means these were manufactured by GoerTek (they make AirPods in Vietnam), Foxconn or Luxshare Precision.

Let’s get to the fun part. The disassembly procedure is a bit different, and you need to be careful since the mesh doesn’t have long draw strings. You still open the HomePod Mini from the top, but you have to get in to the mesh first from the bottom. Do not try to remove the top plastic touch surface like in the original HomePod. Removing this is a great way to break it and isn't necessary for disassembly. Begin by removing the rubber circle, and then 3 T6 screws to remove a plastic disc plate. Then remove the bottom base T10 screw. Open up the mesh (there are tiny draw strings to be mindful of.. I will have to rethread mine) and pop the plastic grommet from around the power cord inlet.

Remove the 4 rubber screw covers on the top side, remove the 4 T6 screws. Carefully separate the top from the HomePod Mini. Some moderate strength adhesive is used. Flip up the retaining tab and disconnect the digitizer ribbon cable. Flip up the retaining lever and remove the microphone ribbon cable. Pull off the LED diffuser, and remove 4 screws securing the logic board (two secure the logic board to the speaker ring terminals) Using a black stick, pry the logic board up and disconnect the power cable connector on the rear side (extremely difficult, so patience is required) Logic board comes out.

Using tweezers, CAREFULLY peel the microphone ribbon cable off of the sidewall. Lift out the speaker terminal rings. Now flip the HomePod Mini over and remove the 4 rubber screw covers on the bottom side, remove the 4 T6 screws. Bottom comes out (also held together with some moderate strength adhesive like the top half). You can remove the speaker driver by removing the 4 T6 screws (or removing 2, and loosening the other 2) Most of the markings on the NAND flash storage IC aren't readable as some of the markings on the processor

The S5 (System in Package a.k.a SiP) appears to be on it's own daughter PCB which is then soldered to the main PCB (photo 6) The NAND flash storage is the larger IC and the processor is the smaller IC. Most of the markings on the NAND flash storage IC aren't readable as some of the markings on the processor

Sorry for the incomplete, quick and dirty right up. Have to catch some rest, work in 6 hours.
Regarding the power supply, is it an auto switching PS? Could I replace the plug and use the unit on a 220V power grid?
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 28, 2008
3,369
5,363
Beverly, Massachusetts
Had some time tonight to dig up and configure my old DATS V2. It's a USB based sound card contraption that is used for measuring speaker driver paremeters. I was actually curious about the Thiele/Small parameters of the OG HomePod's woofer and tweeters. I tested those (post on that thread coming shortly) but decided to check out the little 2 1/4" HomePod Mini driver. (Measuring the diameter from the peak of the surround across was 1 7/8".. had to measure that for the V(as) )

Thiele-Small Paremeters of HomePod mini's driver

Resonant Frequency (Fs) 175Hz

DC Resistance (Re) 2.068 Ohms (wow.. high current driver typically see 2Ω speakers in automotive)

Voice Coil Inductance (Le) 0.08379 mH at 10 kHz

Total Q (Qts) 0.7667

Electromagnetic Q (Qes) 0.9845

Mechanical Q (Qms) 3.465
___

This data is critical if you needed to source a comparable replacement or had this driver and wanted to use it in a project and enclosure design of your own. Doubt this is super useful right now, but if you are into speaker building and your HomePod Mini fails, this might be helpful. Both the mini and the regular HomePod's woofer have a larger than you'd expect diameter voice coil and larger excursion than what you'd typically find in a comparable sized driver.


Also attached several photos showing the bottom plastic housing (wave guide) to show how it disperses sound waves 360˚. Several photos of the microphone for the adaptive EQ are also included. I'm not sure what those little staple like objects are though. It reminds me on a temperature or humid sensor.. Perhaps someone can chime in as to what they are (photos 7 & 8)

IMG_0281.jpg IMG_0282.jpg IMG_0287.jpg IMG_0289.jpg IMG_0283.jpg IMG_0284.jpg IMG_0285.jpg IMG_0286.jpg Screen Shot 2020-12-08 at 11.39.02 PM.png
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 28, 2008
3,369
5,363
Beverly, Massachusetts
Some more photos from another unit. I was able to get the markings off the SOC part of the S5

338S00553-A0
20338HAZ

Working on a tear down guide and tear down video. Will keep this thread updated.
 

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sirix

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2008
24
12
@ouimetnick (amazing teardown, thanks!), given standard-looking connections to the woofer, would it be possible to hack a line-in (amplified via separate receiver)?
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 28, 2008
3,369
5,363
Beverly, Massachusetts
@ouimetnick (amazing teardown, thanks!), given standard-looking connections to the woofer, would it be possible to hack a line-in (amplified via separate receiver)?
The signal being fed to the woofer is much higher than regular line level out. I’d be concerned and nervous about overloading the line level input on a receiver or stereo amplifier. One could certainly add some longer wires and connect it to a passive speaker, but keep in mind that the DSP and voicing of the computational audio was designed with the small little speaker driver and enclosure in mind.
 

sirix

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2008
24
12
The signal being fed to the woofer is much higher than regular line level out. I’d be concerned and nervous about overloading the line level input on a receiver or stereo amplifier. One could certainly add some longer wires and connect it to a passive speaker, but keep in mind that the DSP and voicing of the computational audio was designed with the small little speaker driver and enclosure in mind.
Ah, I'm so sorry for not being clearer. I was thinking the other direction. Maintain HomePod mini as it exists, but feed audio in via speaker wire if/when desired to power the woofer directly via receiver.
 
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ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 28, 2008
3,369
5,363
Beverly, Massachusetts
Ah, I'm so sorry for not being clearer. I was thinking the other direction. Maintain HomePod mini as it exists, but feed audio in via speaker wire if/when desired to power the woofer directly via receiver.
You'd damage either the HomePod mini's internal amp or the external amplifier. If I'm understanding your suggestion correctly, you want to keep the HomePod's woofer connected as is, and also connect another audio amp directly to the speaker driver. That's basically the same as connecting the outputs of 2 amplifiers together. The magic smoke would escape on the weaker link.

Besides, the HomePod mini's DSP is custom voiced for the specific driver Apple is using. You'd need to design a proper crossover to use the speaker in the HomePod Mini housing. Just connecting a speaker driver to an amp with out a crossover designed with the speaker driver's specifications and enclosure volume in mind won't sound very good.
 

Langsang

macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2021
4
0
Thanks for sharing, very interesting.
I have considered making a better housing to replace the one of the HomePod mini (I don't need it to be compact nor omnidirectional) but everything here is maybe a bit too custom to be worth it. And as you mentioned the computational audio won't get it the same way.
 
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