Apple unveils the HomePod Mini, a rival to Google’s Nest Audio

Apple HomePod Mini space gray

  • Apple has launched the HomePod Mini, a lower-cost sensible speaker based mostly on Siri.
  • It makes use of a well-recognized design, simply with much less elaborate audio system.
  • The HomePod Mini arrives on November 6 for $99.

The iPhone 12 isn’t the one focus of Apple’s “Hello, Velocity” occasion. Apple has launched the HomePod Mini, a smaller and decidedly extra inexpensive sensible speaker than the full-size HomePod from 2018.

The brand new mannequin borrows acquainted design traits, together with the mesh cloth cowl (in area grey and white) and a touch-sensitive display screen on prime for controlling quantity and play/pause. Nevertheless, it’s based mostly round a way more compact design that sheds among the audio prowess within the title of worth.

You possibly can count on acquainted options, together with stereo pairing when you’ve got a number of HomePod Minis in the identical room, multi-user recognition, and assist for companies like Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Radio.com, and TuneIn. Apple says Pandora and Amazon Prime Music assist will arrive within the coming months.

Learn extra: The most effective sensible speaker you should purchase

The HomePod Mini has a number of new options over the unique HomePod. First, it’s powered by Apple’s S5 chip, which permits what Apple is asking “computational audio.” The HomePod Mini analyzes music even earlier than it performs to use tuning fashions to optimize quantity and EQ.

The Mini speaker ought to sound good, too. Inside, it has a full-range dynamic driver, two passive radiators for high-quality bass, and an acoustic waveguide to ship constant 360-degree sound.

There’s additionally a brand new handoff expertise for iPhone house owners. Using the brand new U1 UWB chip, the HomePod Mini can detect when your iPhone is close by and show visible and haptic results on the highest display screen. This characteristic is arriving later this 12 months.

Apple HomePod Mini white

Apple is taking a web page out of Google and Amazon’s books with the brand new intercom characteristic. This allows you to ship a message to different HomePod units in your own home. Individuals in different rooms of the home can reply to your message in the event that they’d like. The place Apple’s characteristic stands out is that it really works with HomePods, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, AirPods, and CarPlay. Meaning you possibly can ship an intercom message out of your CarPlay system in your driveway and relations close to a HomePod ought to hear it.

Apple says no voice recording is distributed out of your private home to Apple’s servers till you activate Siri. Your requests usually are not related along with your Apple ID. Plus, you possibly can select whether or not or not Apple saves audio recordings.

HomePod Mini pre-orders start November 6 for $99, and can ship the week of November 16. Actually, that lower cost is the important thing. The place the HomePod’s preliminary $349 worth (finally lower to $299) restricted its enchantment to high-end clients searching for units just like the Google Residence Max and Sonos Play 3, the Mini is aimed immediately at individuals who would in any other case purchase an Amazon Echo or Google’s Nest Audio.

It’s not sure if Apple’s HomePod Mini will succeed the place its bigger counterpart has struggled. It stays a tricky promote for anybody who isn’t already invested within the Apple ecosystem, or prefers the flexibleness of AI helpers like Alexa and Google Assistant. Nevertheless, a extra inexpensive design may simply broaden the viewers to individuals who in any other case wouldn’t have given the HomePod a second look


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