HomePod (2023) vs. HomePod mini: Well worth the improve?

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 an identical set of options, although at very totally different worth factors. So must you 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 massive and exquisite

Identical to the unique, the brand new HomePod has a cylindrical form, and is wearing an interwoven mesh cloth, with quantity controls, and an animated contact show on prime, which lights up whenever you invoke Siri. The HomePod mini is smaller, cuter, and manner lighter (5.16 kilos vs. 0.76 kilos), however its fundamental options are the identical: Mesh cloth cowl, contact show and quantity controls on prime. It’s far more colourful, although, as you may get it in Area 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 doesn’t.
Credit score: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

It’s price noting that, as a result of sheer dimension distinction, the HomePod is a much more hanging and exquisite object to position in your house. Mini is sort of inconsequential; I’ve owned it for a 12 months, 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 simply positively wish to be seen.

The identical set of options

When it comes to options, the HomePod and the HomePod mini are remarkably related. 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 supposing the HomePod mini has an older chip (Apple’s S5 vs. HomePod’s S7), it’s exhausting to level at a function that the HomePod mini doesn’t 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, similar to its larger, 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 typically, so when you set them up, you most likely received’t discover.

HomePod and HomePod mini

The distinction in dimension is giant; the distinction in sound is fairly massive, too.
Credit score: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

The similarities cease on the manner 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 wholly totally different design, with a single speaker and two passive radiators, which enhance its bass response, however can’t 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. While you pay attention to every speaker individually, they sound related, with plenty of bass and a shocking airiness to the sound. However whenever you really examine them instantly, switching from one to the opposite at identical quantity, the distinction is astounding. Switching from the smaller to the larger speaker is like listening to a live performance by means of a closed door, after which opening it and stepping inside.

The HomePod is louder and has extra bass, but it surely additionally has tons extra readability and definition throughout your entire frequency vary. That’s to not say the HomePod mini sounds dangerous; it simply can’t 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, despite the fact that the HomePod nonetheless sounds higher, the distinction is far smaller when listening to rock, like Queens of the Stone Age or All Them Witches. The HomePod provides 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 overview, and I’ll repeat it right here: It’s a pity that Apple doesn’t provide any type of equalizer for the HomePods, as they might each profit from some nice tuning.

The actual query for potential consumers, I believe, is whether or not to purchase two HomePods mini for $198 or one HomePod for $299. Including one other speaker to the combo provides you stereo and vastly improves the general sound. On condition that the function record between the HomePod and HomePod mini is virtually an identical, going for 2 minis is an efficient cost-conscious choice. After all, if cash is not any object, go for 2 HomePods; doubling down does wonders for the sound and makes the audio system a terrific choice for residence cinema audio.