Apple HomePod Mini review: Siri-ously good smart speakerSam SmartMay 3, 2022

aa2020 recommended

The Apple HomePod Mini is a good smart speaker with a small form factor and a big sound. It’s really only intended for people who are already deeply immersed in the Apple ecosystem and requires an iPhone or iPad to use, but if that’s you then at $99 it’s worth considering.

Smart home technology is everywhere now, but when you’re looking for it yourself, it can be daunting to figure out what the easiest first step is. Fortunately, Apple users have the Apple HomePod Mini as an easy-to-use option. This smart speaker fits well in any Apple user’s home thanks to its slim design and compatibility with Apple devices.

It’s not without its downsides, however, so it’s important to consider your own needs before investing in them for your home. Is it right for you? let’s find out

That Apple HomePod Mini review comes from the audio experts at our sister site SoundGuys. Cash her in-depth look at the Apple HomePod Mini.

Who is the Apple HomePod Mini for?

  • Everyone in the Apple ecosystem should consider this smart speaker. An iOS or iPadOS device is required for operation and it will connect to your Apple devices instantly.
  • Smart home enthusiasts can use HomePod Mini to control their Apple HomeKit accessories.
  • Siri fans will appreciate HomePod Mini’s four-microphone array, which registers a “Hey Siri” even when music is playing through the speaker.

How is the Apple HomePod Mini?

The HomePod mini sits on a windowsill.

Sam Smart / Android Authority

The HomePod Mini is the mini version of the original Apple HomePod. This smart speaker executes voice commands via the smart assistant Siri. Siri can answer questions, set reminders, send messages, and read the messages. It can also control your smart home and execute commands such as B. Controlling your home’s thermostat.

HomePod Mini is also a speaker and can stream music or other audio from your iPhone or directly from services like Apple Music. If you have multiple HomePod devices, you can pair them for stereo playback or multi-room audio. Once you have a HomePod ecosystem in your home, you can use the speakers to send intercom messages to other rooms.

Cash: The best smart home devices

About the size of a softball, HomePod Mini is covered with mesh on the sides. It’s fairly easy to knock over, but the construction is solid and can take a fall. The white fabric gets dirty easily, but there’s a gray color variant if that’s an issue.

The speaker is not IP rated but will withstand 5% to 90% relative humidity non-condensing. But this isn’t meant to be a portable or outdoor speaker, so that’s not a huge issue. It uses a USB-C cable and a wall adapter to plug it into your wall.

How does the Apple HomePod Mini connect to your devices?

The HomePod mini on a wooden floor next to some lamps.

Sam Smart / Android Authority

The Apple HomePod Mini works wirelessly over 802.11n Wi-Fi, so your phone or laptop needs to be on the same network. With Apple devices using the same iCloud account, you can use peer-to-peer AirPlay even when your internet is offline.

To set up HomePod Mini, plug it into the wall and the touchpad will light up and the speaker will make a startup chime. When you unlock your iPhone near the speaker, a map will appear on the screen to guide you through the setup process.

HomePod Mini can use peer-to-peer AirPlay even when your internet is offline.

You can’t connect your iPhone to HomePod Mini via Bluetooth, but it uses Bluetooth 5.0 for AirPlay and Handoff. While playing music from your phone, you can hold it close to HomePod Mini to transmit output devices, so the sound plays through the speaker instead of your phone. This can be annoying when your phone is just close enough for your HomePod Mini to detect it, but far enough that it can’t connect. Your phone will vibrate, prompting you to move closer.

How to control the Apple HomePod Mini?

Homepod Mini windowsill 3 scaled e1630529304391

Sam Smart / Android Authority

You can control HomePod Mini with both your voice and the touchpad on the speaker. Double tapping the center skips to the next song, triple tapping goes to the last song, touch and hold activates Siri, and tap or hold the plus or minus icons adjusts the volume. You can also say “Hey Siri” and then say whatever command you want to use to control the speaker.

HomePod Mini can store the voices of up to six people and has a unique profile for each. For example, if you ask Siri to play music or send a message to your mom, you’ll get different results depending on the person. Siri can effectively distinguish between different voices, which is very convenient.

In the Home app, you can customize the HomePod experience for each profile, e.g. For example, set a password requirement for certain people or allow only certain people to control audio.

How to play music with Apple HomePod Mini?

The Apple HomePod mini on a table in front of a chair.

Sam Smart / Android Authority

To stream music to HomePod Mini, you need a subscription to a music service like Apple Music or Spotify. You can also play FM radio through HomePod Mini. Certain services like Apple Music and Apple Podcasts are built right into HomePod Mini.

To stream audio from Spotify, go to the Devices page on Spotify and select HomePod Mini. The connection between the iPhone and HomePod is generally stable, but there may be some jumps and hiccups along the way. There was a point during testing where the speaker would stop streaming via Spotify and attempt to switch to Apple Music.

Do not miss: Tips and tricks to get the most out of your HomePod Mini

How does the Apple HomePod Mini sound?

A hand touching the touchpad of a HomePod mini.

Sam Smart / Android Authority

The Apple HomePod Mini is an omnidirectional speaker and the sound is good from all angles. Packing a full-range driver and two passive bass radiators, it gets loud enough to fill a room.

Higher frequencies are boosted a bit, but don’t come through as loud as bass. Many audio products do this because most consumers prefer a little more bass. Nevertheless, all instruments come through clearly on this speaker and sound great.

Does the Apple HomePod Mini collect your personal information?

The Apple HomePod mini on a windowsill next to an iPhone.

Sam Smart / Android Authority

Much of the hesitancy in buying a smart speaker stems from the fear that they will collect your personal information like so much technology does these days. Apple assures users that the HomePod Mini will only listen after hearing the wake-up phrase, but you can turn Siri off by saying, “Hey Siri, stop listening.” You can turn Siri back on and turn the HomePod’s location services in too disable the Home app. Verbal requests are associated with a random identifier rather than your Apple ID when sent to Apple for processing, so this information about you cannot be stored. If you ask Siri to read messages or notes, HomePod Mini doesn’t send that information to Apple. However, unlike many smart speakers, the HomePod Mini doesn’t have a microphone mute button.

Apple HomePod Mini review: The Verdict

The Apple HomePod Mini is a very good entry-level speaker and anyone using an iPhone or iPad will have no trouble setting up and controlling it. Third-party streaming applications aren’t fully tuned for this, but that’s not surprising since Apple primarily makes its hardware for use with its own software products. People who are fully immersed in the Apple ecosystem should really get their hands on this speaker as it delivers good sound in an appealing small form factor.

Apple HomePod mini widget image

Apple HomePod Mini

Take all the power of Apple’s smart speaker and pack it into a smaller sphere. The HomePod Mini keeps the soft-touch exterior and Siri integration at a fraction of the price.

What are the best Apple HomePod Mini alternatives?

Amazon Echo 4th generation on a table.

Sam Smart / Android Authority

If the HomePod Mini’s lack of a mute button bothers you, the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) ($99) uses the Alexa Assistant and is quite similar to the HomePod Mini. It has a microphone mute button on the top of the speaker and an LED light on the bottom of the speaker that glows red when muted. The speaker is larger than the HomePod Mini and has two tweeters and a woofer, so it’s a bit louder. However, it is more compatible with Amazon products like Fire Stick and Amazon Music than Apple’s.

The same goes for the Google Nest Audio ($99). If you want direct YouTube Music integration or access to Chromecast support, consider the Google speaker. The Nest Audio also has a microphone mute button and the speaker will verbally confirm it’s muted when you press it. There are also some special features, like Ambient IQ, which automatically adjusts the volume of your audio based on ambient noise.

All three speakers cost the same and have really similar features, with the biggest difference being their respective smart assistants, and this will likely be the deciding factor when buying a smart speaker.

Continue reading: Echo Dot vs Nest Mini vs HomePod Mini

See more new articles in category: Mobile
Leave a comment