The Apple HomePod Mini has been in the works for quite some time.
The original HomePod was expected to be the first of a huge family of smart speakers as soon as it was released.
People were already inquiring when a smaller, more inexpensive edition will be released before it even arrived in stores.
Time Takes To Come Out?
It took over three years for that model to arrive, which is aeons in the realm of technology.
It certainly has: the HomePod Mini exceeds every other smart speaker on the market in terms of size and price.
What About Build Quality?
The HomePod Mini is a little device.
It’s half the size of the similarly priced and spherical Amazon Echo, at 8.4cm tall and 9.8cm broad.
It’s even more compact than the new Echo Dot.
The Mini is available in two colours: white and black, and it’s covered in a seamless cloth mesh.
It was supposedly chosen for its acoustic capabilities as well as its stylishness.
The whole thing looks like a little woven plant pot, which is a nice thing.
It’s charming and inconspicuous, and it’ll look great in any room.
When the speaker is turned off, the glass panel on top is opaque.
But when Siri is listening or processing, a whirling sphere of coloured light appears, and a smaller white orb gently oscillates as the music plays.
It’s a more elegant and appealing touch than you’ll find on any other speaker in this price range.
It gives the new Amazon Echo’s wraparound light strip the same elegant and sensual appearance as a series of traffic lights.
On the HomePod Mini, there are no physical buttons.
When the top panel is illuminated, it shows otherwise nearly invisible plus and minus symbols that, when touched, increase or decrease the volume.
A single press in the panel’s centre will pause or resume your music.
While a double tap will skip forward and a triple tap will skip back.
Meanwhile, a long press activates Siri’s listening mode.
But, at its foundation, this is supposed to be a hands-off situation.
Additionally, there are no physical audio connectors.
Even the power cable is fixed, with a USB-C plug on the other end that fits into the same 20W wall charger that comes with Apple’s higher-end iPads.
If you’re wondering if the HomePod Mini can be fueled by a Mac’s USB-C port, the answer is no.
When we put it into our MacBook Pro, it wouldn’t work, with an angry-looking flashing orange light.
Signalling the HomePod Mini’s dissatisfaction at being asked to perform on such a weak port.
What About The Features?
A single, Apple-designed full-range driver is housed within the HomePod Mini’s spherical.
Mesh-covered frame, firing sound downwards and out of the 360-degree waveguide around the bottom.
A suspension mechanism holds the driver in place to avoid distortion.
And two passive radiators flank it to assist generate a fuller, weightier sound.
The chassis features four microphones:
Three that listen for the ‘Hey Siri’ command explicitly.
And a fourth that employs echolocation to ensure you can be heard over background noise or loud music.
Throughout our testing, the HomePod Mini had no trouble hearing or understanding us.
What About The Sound?
The HomePod Mini easily outperforms its size and price from the moment we start listening to music.
It goes considerably louder than we imagined — even at 75% volume.
It’s louder than we think most people will want to go in an average-sized living room regularly.
The HomePod Mini, on the other hand, exhibits no signs of strain no matter how hard you drive it.
At all volumes, it’s clear and composed.
While a larger speaker, like the Amazon Echo, will produce more bass, the HomePod Mini does not sound bass-light on its own.
It’s more forceful than a speaker this size should be.
And its bass blends in smoothly with the rest of the mix.
The overall sonic balance and consistency are good, with no frequencies that are exaggerated.
What About The Final Verdict?
Although it took Apple a long time to release its first smart speaker, the HomePod was well worth the wait.
Yes, it took even longer to release a smaller, less expensive variant, but the HomePod Mini is even more remarkable.
Its audio performance is astounding for a speaker this compact and affordable.
Naturally, for a speaker of its size and affordability, the HomePod Mini has its limitations.
But the quality and maturity of its sound embarrass its direct competitors.
It gets to the heart of your music, making sure that everything it plays is intriguing and engaging.
It’s also cheap enough to buy in bulk, tiny enough to fit in any corner of the house.
Packed with smart features, and has an amazing knack for introducing you to new music you’ll enjoy.
All of this adds up to a rather impressive proposition.