Apple announces new HomePod Mini smart speaker for $135

HomePod mini works with Apple devices so customers can seamlessly hand off music or automatically receive personalized listening suggestions on iPhone.
PHOTO: Apple

Two years after the release of the original HomePod smart speakers, Apple has finally announced the new HomePod Mini, a more compact version of the HomePod speaker.

The 3.3-inch HomePod Mini speaker is a small, spherical speaker that comes in a mesh fabric casing. with both space grey and white options available. As well as a small display on top that displays wave graphics when music is playing or when Siri is activated, as well as volume controls.

It features one main driver, two passive radiators, and an “acoustic waveguide” at the bottom to help give the smart speaker with an immersive 360-degree audio experience. This way, you will be able to place the speaker anywhere in your house.

HomePod mini uses the intelligence of Siri to deliver a personalized experience for each member of a household. PHOTO: Apple

“HomePod mini is the ultimate smart speaker for anyone with an Apple device,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “It works effortlessly with iPhone to hand off music, answer calls, or deliver personalised listening suggestions, elevates the sound from Apple TV, plays music from a Mac, and so much more. There’s a lot of Apple innovation packed into such a small speaker, all at an affordable price.”

The smart speakers work with a number of music, radio and podcast apps, including Apple Music, TuneIn, and radio.com. In time to come, music services such as Amazon Music, and Pandora will be available as well. 

If you have more than one HomePod Mini, you will be able to sync them up to stream music at the same time. If two such speakers are used in the same room, you can create stereo sound for a wider soundscape.

The HomePod Mini comes with the Apple S5 chip that allows the speaker to undergo “computational audio” processing to help “analyse the unique characteristics of the music and apply complex tuning models to optimise loudness, adjust the dynamic range, and control the movement of the driver and passive radiators in real-time.”

Intercom offers a quick and easy way to send messages to everyone in a household — from one HomePod to another, or across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay. PHOTO: Apple

With the HomePod Mini, you will be able to use Siri for a true smart home experience. You can have Siri identify who is talking to it, and tailor its replies and music to the individual’s preference. 

The speaker will also come with Intercom features, which allows family members to easily communicate with one another even if they are away from home, or simply in a different room.

One user can send over a message via the Intercom feature, and said message will automatically play over the HomePod Mini speakers. Intercom also works with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay.

The HomePod Mini is available in white and space grey for US$99 (S$135). Pre-orders for the speakers will open on Nov 6, 2020, and will ship in the week of Nov 16.

This article was first published in Geek Culture.