HomePod (2023) vs HomePod mini: Worth the upgrade?
At first glance, Apple’s new HomePod (2023) is a death bell to the original HomePod, launched in 2018. Meanwhile, Apple has launched the HomePod mini, which has been the company’s only speaker for nearly two years, as the original HomePod was discontinued in early 2021.
The new HomePod and HomePod mini share a similar set of features, albeit at very different prices. So should you buy one HomePod or buy two HomePod minis instead (leaving you a hundred dollars to spare)? Let’s dive in.
Cute, small and colorful compared to big and beautiful
Like the original, the new HomePod is cylindrical and wrapped in an interlocking mesh fabric, with volume controls and an animated touchscreen at the top, which lights up when you call up Siri. The HomePod mini is smaller, cuter, and much lighter (5.16 pounds versus 0.76 pounds), but its basic features are the same: Mesh fabric cover, touchscreen, and volume rocker at top. However, it comes in more colors as you can get Space Gray, Blue, White, Yellow, and Orange, while the HomePod only comes in Midnight and White colors.
One difference is that the HomePod has a detachable cable, while the HomePod mini does not.
Credits: Stan Schroeder / Mashable
It is worth noting that due to the sheer size difference, the HomePod is a much more beautiful and striking object to place in your home. Mini is almost unimportant; I’ve owned it for a year and over time it gets pushed out by other objects like fruit baskets and candles behind the TV. The HomePod, especially if you buy two, is something you definitely want to see.
Same set of features
In terms of features, the HomePod and the HomePod mini are quite similar. Both support Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 802.11n, come with accelerometers as well as humidity and temperature sensors, and have sound recognition capabilities.
Despite the fact that the HomePod mini has an older chip (Apple’s S5 vs. HomePod’s S7), it’s hard to point out a feature that the HomePod mini doesn’t have. It integrates seamlessly with other Apple devices, runs Siri just like it, and can be paired with another mini for stereo sound. It even has four microphones to listen in, just like its bigger brother. If you want to nitpick, the HomePod has a detachable power cable, while the HomePod mini has a non-removable USB-C cable, which must be plugged into an external 20W power adapter. Neither speaker is designed to be moved too often, so when you set them up, you probably won’t notice.
The difference in size is big; The difference in sound is also quite large.
Credits: Stan Schroeder / Mashable
The similarity stops at how these two speakers produce sound. The HomePod has an array of five tweeters that radiate in all directions, along with a 4-inch woofer. The HomePod mini has a completely different design, with a single speaker and two passive radiators, which improve bass response but can’t make the sound as deep as the new HomePod.
HomePod loves pop music, HomePod mini loves rock music
I compared the HomePod to the HomePod mini side by side. When you listen to each speaker separately, they sound similar, with plenty of bass and surprisingly clear sound. But when you actually compare them directly, going from one to the other at the same volume, the difference is astounding. Switching from a smaller speaker to a larger speaker is like listening to a concert through a closed door, then opening it and stepping inside.
The HomePod is louder and has more bass, but it also has more clarity and clarity across the entire frequency range. That’s not to say the HomePod mini sounds bad; It just can’t hold a candle for larger speakers.
The difference is most pronounced when recreating bassy pop and hip hop, like something by Rosalia or Drake. Interestingly, while the HomePod still sounds better, the difference is much smaller when listening to rock music, like Queens of the Stone Age or All Them Witches. The HomePod offers more clarity, but the HomePod mini has a better sonic mix, with instruments strung together nicely, bass and distorted guitars happily producing powerful sound. and profound. In contrast, the HomePod puts too much treble into the mix. I said this in my HomePod review, and I’ll repeat it here: It’s a shame Apple doesn’t offer any kind of equalizer for the HomePod as both could benefit from some tweaking. .
The real question for potential buyers, I think, is whether to buy two HomePod minis for $198 or one HomePod for $299. Adding another speaker to the mix will give you stereo sound and greatly improve the overall sound. Given that the feature list between the HomePod and the HomePod mini is practically identical, going with the two minis is a cost-effective option. Of course, if money isn’t an issue, buy two HomePods; doubling will do wonders for the sound and make the speaker a great choice for home cinema audio.