The smaller cousin of Apple's smart speaker, the Apple HomePod Mini, packs stylish looks and decent sound. It will look good anywhere at home, and comes in five different colours to suit the decor. More importantly, it's one way of turning your home smart as long as you have compatible Apple HomeKit accessories.
- 84.3mm x 97.9mm, 345g
- Full-range driver and dual passive radiators, stereo pairing capable
- 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
- Comes with 20W power adapter
The HomePod mini's is bigger than the Google Nest Mini, and shares the round-ish shape of the Amazon Echo Dot. However, the top of the HomePod mini is flat, with a touch panel similar to the HomePod. Touch and hold, and it lights up with the familiar Siri circle and colours. Touch it to play or pause music, double to skip, or triple tap to rewind. When it's playing music, you get a white light that looks like an audio visualiser. You can also say “Hey Siri” to get it to play music, control your lights, and other smart home devices.
My favourite thing to do is to transfer whatever's currently playing from my phone to the HomePod mini by just placing the phone near the top of the speaker. The speaker will take over the music playback. It works with Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music, but not YouTube videos. You can also do it manually by AirPlaying content. If you have a second HomePod mini, you can set them up as a stereo pair. However, you cannot pair the HomePod mini with the HomePod, though you can set them up to play together via AirPlay.
Audio is generally great — at up to around 80% volume. Beyond that, the bass feels weak without a decent rumble. It feels overpowered by the vocals, especially in bass-heavy tracks like Jessi's What Type of X. Below that volume, the mids don't overpower the bass, and comes through clearly. Vocals and mids are excellent, even at 100% volume. If sound quality is more important to you, get the excellent HomePod (or two) instead. The mini doesn't support spatial audio, but its 360-degree audio does fill up the room.
At S$139, the Apple HomePod mini is one of the more affordable Apple devices you can get. It's also a great way to kickstart your smart home journey through Apple's HomeKit ecosystem. Get it from Apple, Shopee, or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Apple.
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