Apple’s new HomePod (2023) is, at first look, a lifeless ringer for the unique HomePod, which launched in 2018. Within the meantime, Apple launched the HomePod mini, which was the corporate’s solely speaker for almost two years, as the unique HomePod was discontinued in early 2021.
The brand new HomePod and the HomePod mini share the same set of options, although at very completely different worth factors. So do you have to go for one HomePod, or purchase two HomePods mini as a substitute (leaving you with 100 bucks to spare)? Let’s dive in.
Cute, small and colourful versus huge and delightful
Identical to the unique, the brand new HomePod has a cylindrical form, and is wearing an interwoven mesh material, with quantity controls, and an animated contact show on high, which lights up whenever you invoke Siri. The HomePod mini is smaller, cuter, and approach lighter (5.16 kilos vs. 0.76 kilos), however its primary options are the identical: Mesh material cowl, contact show and quantity controls on high. It’s far more colourful, although, as you may get it in House Grey, Blue, White, Yellow, and Orange, whereas the HomePod solely is available in Midnight and White colours.
One distinction is that the HomePod has a removable cable, whereas the HomePod mini does not.
Credit score: Stan Schroeder/Mashable
It is price noting that, because of the sheer measurement distinction, the HomePod is a much more placing and delightful object to put in your house. Mini is nearly inconsequential; I’ve owned it for a yr, and over time it received pushed behind the TV by different objects resembling fruit baskets and candles. The HomePod, particularly if you happen to purchase two, is one thing that you just undoubtedly need to be seen.
The identical set of options
When it comes to options, the HomePod and the HomePod mini are remarkably comparable. They each help Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity, include an accelerometer in addition to humidity and temperature sensors, and have sound recognition capabilities.
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Even though the HomePod mini has an older chip (Apple’s S5 vs. HomePod’s S7), it is onerous to level at a function that the HomePod mini does not have. It seamlessly integrates with different Apple units, runs Siri simply the identical, and could be paired with one other mini to get stereo sound. It even has 4 microphones listening for enter, identical to its greater, youthful brother. If you wish to nitpick, the HomePod has a removable energy cable, whereas the HomePod mini has a non-detachable USB-C cable which must be plugged into an exterior, 20W energy adapter. Neither speaker is designed to be moved round too usually, so when you set them up, you in all probability will not discover.
The distinction in measurement is giant; the distinction in sound is fairly huge, too.
Credit score: Stan Schroeder/Mashable
The similarities cease on the approach these two audio system produce sound. The HomePod has an array of 5 tweeters firing in all instructions, coupled with a 4-inch woofer. The HomePod mini has a completely completely different design, with a single speaker and two passive radiators, which enhance its bass response, however can not get it to sound as deep as the brand new HomePod.
HomePod likes pop, HomePod mini likes rock
I’ve in contrast the HomePod to the HomePod mini side-by-side. If you pay attention to every speaker individually, they sound comparable, with a number of bass and a stunning airiness to the sound. However whenever you really evaluate them instantly, switching from one to the opposite at similar quantity, the distinction is astounding. Switching from the smaller to the larger speaker is like listening to a live performance by a closed door, after which opening it and stepping inside.
The HomePod is louder and has extra bass, nevertheless it additionally has tons extra readability and definition throughout the complete frequency vary. That is to not say the HomePod mini sounds dangerous; it simply can not maintain a candle to the larger speaker.
The distinction is most pronounced when reproducing bassy pop and hip hop, like one thing from Rosalia or Drake. Curiously, regardless that the HomePod nonetheless sounds higher, the distinction is way smaller when listening to rock, like Queens of the Stone Age or All Them Witches. The HomePod affords extra readability, however the HomePod mini has a greater sound combine, with the devices properly tied collectively, the bass and the distorted guitars fortunately producing a punchy, deep sound. In distinction, the HomePod places an excessive amount of treble within the combine. I’ve mentioned this in my HomePod evaluate, and I will repeat it right here: It is a pity that Apple does not supply any kind of equalizer for the HomePods, as they may each profit from some high-quality tuning.
The actual query for potential consumers, I feel, is whether or not to purchase two HomePods mini for $198 or one HomePod for $299. Including one other speaker to the combo offers you stereo and vastly improves the general sound. Provided that the function record between the HomePod and HomePod mini is virtually similar, going for 2 minis is an effective cost-conscious choice. In fact, if cash isn’t any object, go for 2 HomePods; doubling down does wonders for the sound and makes the audio system an amazing choice for house cinema audio.