In this post we compared two very different technologies because there has been a major shift in paradigms of portable smart sound since the debut of the ancient Bose Sound Link Mini II way back in 2015. On the flip side, the Homepod Mini is a special release from Apple following the failed attempt to launch the 2018 Homepod against the Google and Amazon wonders in the smart speaker category.
It is an understatement to say that the speaker technology and smart in them has changed quite a bunch between these two generations and these speaker look and sound a world apart. Today people want the best of convenience with smartphone connectivity and multipoint Bluetooth and such. we are also moving towards a more integrated home entertainment and security system and smarter assistants to do stuff.
Just the same there is a good number of sound enthusiasts who simply can’t ignore the charm of the antique Sound link Mini II sound. The price point and simplicity is perhaps worth sacrificing a heck of a lot of sound fidelity for? What about the freedom of not having to rely on the Apple Ecosystem to continue using your speaker?
Join us as we explore the pros and cons of choosing the tiny futuristic Apple Homepod Mini or the Bose SoundLink Mini II. Will you go for the classic Bose or prefer the shortcut to high Fidelity sound with Apple’s most accessible smart speaker yet.
|Apple Homepod Mini||Bose Soundlink Mini 2|
|Compact design for less shelf space.|
Impressive sounding speakers.
Cheaper than the Homepod.
Works well with Apple ecosystem.
Thread and intercom features.
Easily complements the Homepod.
|Sounds fuller and heavier that its size.|
Clean and minimal look.
sleek compact design.
Comes with a charging cradle.
|Not the best sounding speaker for $99.|
Restricted to the Apple platform.
Intercom does not allow for two-way calling.
Siri is still playing catchup to Alexa and Google Assistant.
Volume controls are fiddly.
|No real stereo separation.|
Cant pair two speakers simultaneously.
Limited smart technology.
Poor battery life.
|BUY NOW||BUY NOW|
Apple Homepod Mini
It would appear that the Apple was finally willing to make a price compromise but they were not going to admit it publicly that although their Homepod was laser focused on quality of sound, people would rather go with Google and Amazon made speakers that were retailing for a tiny fraction of their $300 worth Homepod original. It was a massive failure forcing retailers to discount it massively to even get a slight rise in sales. It was clear that customers wanted more for less and Apple was in the mood for negotiations and this was their counter offer.
Like its predecessor, the Mini is more concerned with sound quality and reliance on the Apple platform which makes it come below par with the current trend in assistant features and connectivity with other systems developed by third parties.
On the one hand, Apple Homepod Mini is an impressive speaker for its size and sound but on the other hand, it is still not top of its class for best sound smart speakers in its price range. Here are some pros and cons to help you finalize your purchase decision.
Bose Soundlink Mini 2
This speaker is a sleek and compact wireless Bluetooth speaker with a better sound that can be assumed for its small size. It also features a clean aluminum body with very few look alike and excellent build quality and durability. It is portable and also comes with a charging cradle where you can leave it docked indefinitely.
The speaker is heavier than it seems both physically and in sound with no sign of flimsiness and fragility that haunts the Apple Homepod Mini speaker. Connectivity in this instance is limited to only two devices at once and you have to toggle between them. External controls are also limited to a strict minimum and the overall look and feel of the device is a clean and clutter free sound box. The charging jack and Aux input are very discreet and will go unnoticed.
The weight has to do with the innovative driver configuration that gives a fuller bass and clearer high frequencies.
The squat ball with a flat top is a different design from the larger Homepod which is a canister like cylinder. I looks like a cue ball with the top chopped off plus the beautiful mesh cover or the appearance of an expensive aromatic candle. Whether you settle for light or dark grey option, you will find the soft fabric extremely aesthetic. We now better than to trust all that glitters so we are more interested in the sound features aren’t we?
This cheaper remake of the Homepod is hard to nail down but not one you want to dismiss all that quickly. It definitely performs less than the original acoustically but also seems to be more than meets the eye because of its size. It still packs a high quality engine for perfect execution of sound and fast sensitive responses with 4 mics to listen and autocorrect.
The Bose is very feature light as smart speaker and lacks on all aspects of the word. You cannot connect two of them or pair two devices for real. Amazingly, it deserves its place among the best portable speakers of all time for its ability to sound great at all volumes. The aluminum casing hints to its shocking .7kg weight and the minimal design simplifies the appearance so that it is even more shocking when it blasts.
The Mini sounds fantastic for its size and though not good on the bass, it has a crisp and faithful sound with clear voice and mids to highs. It is a well-balanced sound on its own especially for low volumes but also a good compliment for the Homepod when you already have one. Apple products are many years in development and are often focused on specific functions while often overlooking others. For the Homepod, that primary objective was stellar sound quality and they tried to cram the same good output in the smaller ball but it doesn’t sound like success.
Small wireless speakers are always struggling to output lows but the Bose spits bass in spades while still maintaining a clever and delicate balance at all loudness. It might not have all these feature rich software components but still manages zero distortion and plays almost any song with stunning authority.
The good news is that Siri is more responsive on this platform and this adds to the impressive audio. It also supports an additional feature called Thread that lets you integrate it with other home appliances running the same protocol which are scarce to be honest. On the Plus side, it does support a one way kind of intercom that will allow you to announce “dinner is served” across all rooms with a speaker in the house. The thread radio acts as a smart hub for other devices that support the feature and there is a promise that more devices will be coming with the Thread support.
You cannot really do anything smart with this speaker but still it will beat the Apple Mini for better sound on any genre and volume. It sound heavier and fuller than it is and never seems to look the part. If you want a classic that does not need any of that assistant stuff or internet to work like a charm, the Bose Sound link Mini II is your go to product.
It is clear that the Homepod Mini was created as a compromise and compliment to the Homepod. I you already own the larger sibling then it would do good to get this variance in all the other rooms in the house and build an interconnected speaker system. If you already exclusively subscribe to the Apple platform then you should find it easy to adapt the Homepod Mini to your needs. Owners of the original Homepod will welcome the hefty savings on speakers for additional locations in the home as a complement and extension of the main speaker.
While Apple strives to give its customer base high quality sound and value for money, exclusivity remains its Achilles heel because not everyone wishes to be restricted to the Apple ecosystem to make use of their home entertainment system which they paid so much for.
It is true that wireless and smart speaker technology has made leaps over the second half of the last decade and the Apple Homepod Mini is so much different from the 2015 Bose Soundlink Mini II. The Bose proves to be the boss of good sound and set the bar very high for small speakers. They are comparable by size and that is just about the end of their similarities. Apple has all those sophisticated engines to auto tune the sound to the room and stuff but with trial and error placement, the Bose will beat it hands down.
The Bose is also an expensive brand but for $199 you get a small portable speaker that you can use with any Bluetooth player and zero compromise on sound quality.