Apple Homepod Vs Homepod Mini: What Should You Buy?

If you are having a run for your money just trying to decide which of the two Homepod or the mini version to buy then you are mighty lucky because this post has all you need to know to make the right choice for your preferences.

The Apple Homepod has been a great standalone option when it comes to smart speakers that have rich quality sound and style. It is no wonder that Apple would try to cram the same good sound in a smaller lighter options and see if the people will love it as much as the bigger sister.

The Homepod mini was announced alongside the iPhone 12 official release and comes cute and handy just as the phone and also cuter than its larger sibling. But aside from the attractive little body, you surely want to know the sound as did we. Below are some unique features that set this mini speaker apart and make it measure up to the original.

In the end does the size of the speaker matter, here is sibling rivalry worth looking out for between the Homepod and the Homepod mini. Who knows, maybe the little beast which is only one third of the price of the original was price compromise and not a lite version of the Homepod. Let’s have closer look.

Apple HomepodApple Homepod Mini
Apple HomepodApple Homepod Mini
PROSPROS
Amazing sound.
higher voice accuracy for Siri.
An attractive and understated design.
Internally 8 speaker’s capable A8 software.
highly proprietary and patented technology that makes it unique.
Small and compact size.
Easy to use if you are used to Apple.
Siri understands commands.
Pretty loud.
Heavy base for small size.
Its lucky its cute.
CONSCONS
Limited to Siri.
No Bluetooth streaming.
Requires Apple Music subscription.
Clarity less than original Homepod.
Only suitable for people with Apple products.
Still not the smartest or cheapest for similar quality.
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Apple Homepod

Apple Homepod

When we review the Apple Homepod we must review two items built into one another and integrated because it is both smart home hub and premium smart speaker. As a speaker, this device offers premium quality feedback and the second is a bit of a disappointment when you think of it. It does not allow for flexibility and integration outside the Apple ecosystem and Siri is only middling in its implementation for voice commands and such.

Perhaps the most discouraging factor about this speaker is the hefty price of $300 nearly three times the ballpark of Google’s Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers which also have better assistants and integration with other ecosystems. It may as well be this problem that caused Apple to review its pricing of the item without necessarily admitting they were over ambitious and they gifted us with the mini version with surprisingly more features than the original.

The Amazon echo was some serious competition for the Homepod because it “just happened” to have the same spherical shape as the Homepod and slightly larger for only one third of the cost. It is now not much of a surprise given this context that Apple is striving toward cheaper and yet capable devices. Here are some what is to like and the downsides of this purchase.

Apple Homepod Mini

Apple Homepod Mini

This Homepod miniature version was the response by Apple to meet customer taste and pricing preferences. For the price, it is a suitable entry level product for the full Apple sound experience. Apple claims over 200 patents on this series of speakers because it packs a lot of innovation and still fits nicely inside your pocket or bag.

The Homepod has the obvious advantage of being minute so that it fits better with your stuff on busy bench or table as opposed to its bigger sister for which you will need to do quite some rearranging. I also has arguably better looks compared to the original which borrows some aspects of the trash-can look of the old Mac Pro. It is a deliberate effort which Apple will deny to look more like the Google an Amazon’s speakers.

This magic eight ball has quite a surprisingly rich sound for its size which does not add or remove from the sound but simply uses complex algorithms to adjust to the room it is sitting in. By acoustically mapping the room, the device can bounce sounds off a wall for background effects and create a direct beam of sound for the neutral sounds.

A favorite of the mini is the small touchscreen on the top of the speaker with white or grey variants. The sum of these features is a cute little wonder which looks rather different than the big sister and yet measures up to it in sound quality and clarity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder an here are some specs you might want to know before settling for this.

Design

Apple Homepod Mini Vs Homepod

These two speaker are from the same maker and series and bear obvious similarities. We focused on the differences to help you get a clear perspective of what you are paying for in each versus the other.

Apple Homepod is the response for Amazon Echo, a speculation that Apple will vehemently deny. Aprt from the obscenely high price and the usual lockdown on integration minus even Bluetooth playback, this speaker was on point and a great competitor for the Echo and maybe even a match for the sound quality of the Google Home smart speaker.

The official statement is that the speaker has been six years in development and that they went to great lengths to achieve sound quality. Under no circumstances would a company like Apple release a $349 Speaker prematurely because of the competition. Unless they could in which case they did. But the Homepod has been viewed by critics as a wanna be product that was supposed to answer a more superior product by Amazon showcasing the lovable and intelligent Alexa.

Apple promoted their speaker laying emphasis on the features and the Homepod had quite a bunch of these but what use are they when you are comfortable with using only Apple and keeping your music subscription running to make the most of the speaker?

The Homepod mini cuts to the chase and provides better balance of sound at all loudness and is built to produce 360 degree sound. The speaker comes with an inbuilt s5 chip by Apple that allows sound computation and auto-adjustment for the best music experiences in every room. It is not that these features are alien to the Homepod full size version but the little speaker has them too and it is worth noting.

The size of this mini makes implementation of the beam forming technology impossible and everything is sort of crammed in together. For its size and pricing and sound quality, the Homepod mini is comparable to the larger Amazon Echo and a world better than the Amazon Echo dot.

Audio Quality

Apple Homepod Mini Vs Homepod

Even though the Homepod mini claims many features, its smaller size is definitely a disadvantage for better sound compared to its bigger sibling the Homepod. It may sound better than other speakers of its size including the Amazon Echo dot and the echo dot is a very worthy adversary for the smart miniature speaker category.

In contrast the Homepod original has an array of 6 microphones that pick up commands and also auto-tune the sound to the surroundings to ensure a balanced and well-rounded sound from all corners of the room.

Smart Features

Apple Homepod Mini Vs Homepod

There is no denying the lure of Siri’s receptivity for commands and these proprietary technology will understand your commands when you are incoherent for whatever reason and around the corner from the hallway or living room.

Both of these speakers support all the few range of streaming services form Apple Music but sadly are limited to this eco-system. There is no Spotify and this can be a deal breaker for many smart speaker enthusiasts. Just the same, you will find the siblings to be at par with one another on this front.

Verdict

So the sibling rivalry of the larger Homepod and Homepod mini continues and so far none seems to be gaining meaningful ground against the other and we just can’t have a stalemate. When you want a speaker that allows the freedom of Hand-off music playback and also want to seize the opportunity to save $200 then the mini is your best buy. IPhone users, run with the smaller speaker and never turn back.

However, if you want a richer sound and a more sophisticated smart speaker then the Homepod is the zero compromise option. It is to be expected seeing the amount of volume you are working with to create the sound. Audio enthusiasts will go for the original most of the time because they may have gained the aptitude for telling the difference between the two speakers from their Apple-centric appetite.

Our verdict has to favor the mini though, given its superior design and portability as well as hands-free playback from iPhones. It is a solid solution for audio and as a beginner you might not have something better around to compare it with.