Buying the Right HomePod: Apple's Smart Speakers Compared

Apple retired the unique HomePod as early as 2021 and solely saved the HomePod mini in its portfolio. Then, in early January of this 12 months, the brand new second-generation HomePod took over. We are going to concentrate on these two good audio system – the HomePod (2023) and HomePod mini – right here, for the reason that first HomePod is usually solely obtainable second-hand.

If you’re solely on the lookout for a wise speaker that helps Siri, you too can go searching at different producers, comparable to Sonos, Teufel, Bose and Bang & Olufsen. Alternatively, when shopping for a wise speaker, you’ll be able to merely search for compatibility with Apple’s AirPlay 2 normal to seamlessly ship content material from the iPad or iPhone to the speaker. On this article, nevertheless, we’ll concentrate on Apple’s in-house good speaker.

Apple HomePod (2023): The OG amongst Siri audio system

The 2023 Apple HomePod in white and gray
The HomePod (2023) is Apple’s strongest good speaker / © Apple

In mid-January 2023, Apple introduced the brand new model of the massive HomePod with its second era. And huge it truly is, a minimum of compared to the “mini”: The size are fairly cumbersome with a top of 16.8 centimeters and a diameter of 14.2 centimeters. The burden can also be excessive at 2.3 kilograms, though the gadget is now 200 grams lighter and 4 millimeters decrease than its predecessor.

Nevertheless, the burden is just not a giant deal since Apple’s HomePod doesn’t include a built-in battery anyway. Thus, it’s extra appropriate to operate as a bookshelf speaker or as an extension on your house theater setup alone or with a second mannequin as a stereo pair. Sound-wise, the HomePod encompasses a high-excursion woofer and a hoop of 5 horn-loaded tweeters, every with its personal amplifier. So, you find yourself with a complete of six drivers, every accompanied by their very own amplifiers.

There are additionally a complete of 5 microphones, 4 of that are answerable for recording your voice to regulate Siri. One other is a “low-frequency calibration microphone for automated bass correction,” as Apple said on a HomePod service web page.

Apple needs to enhance the sound high quality with beam forming in addition to computational audio. The HomePod adjusts its sound through room recognition relying on its placement in your house. Thus, the audio high quality must be optimum even in corners or on cabinets.

The Apple HomePod additionally connects to different gadgets through 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 5.0. You may play music on the speaker through Apple’s HomeKit, AirPlay 2, and the Residence app, however it can’t be used as a Bluetooth speaker. You can not play music by connecting a cable to it, both.

In comparison with the unique from 2018, Apple has added some options to the brand new HomePod that you just already know from the mini: Amongst them is the chance to combine it into the house theater setup with the Apple TV. The second era of the HomePod additionally helps the brand new good house normal Matter however has additionally been given utterly new features. For instance, there at the moment are sensors on board for measuring temperature and humidity.

Within the spring, Apple will add one other operate that means that you can react to smoke or carbon monoxide alarms because of noise detection when you have put in a corresponding detector. You’ll then obtain the corresponding info in your iPhone.

The HomePod is just not fairly low-cost, which can also be provided within the 2023 model for 349 euros. If you’re keen to pay this value, you’ll be able to anticipate a robust good speaker with seamless integration into the Apple universe.

Apple HomePod mini: Screams in shade

Apple HomePod mini on the table
The HomePod mini is relatively low-cost with an MSRP of $99. / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

With the HomePod mini, Apple launched a second good speaker a couple of years after the HomePod’s debut. The mini mannequin is considerably smaller and lighter with a weight of 345 grams, a top of slightly below 8.5 centimeters, and a diameter of 9.7 centimeters. There’s solely room for 2 passive woofers and one tweeter within the HomePod mini. Apple positioned 4 microphones within the microphone to cater to Siri’s voice recognition.

Just like the bigger-sized HomePod, the mini mannequin can be utilized as a stereo pair. It’s also appropriate with AirPlay 2 and is available in white, yellow, orange, blue, and area grey. Apple has not built-in any technical updates with 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. As a substitute, there’s an ultra-wideband chip that means that you can monitor the HomePod in your house through iPhone.

Though the HomePod mini is rather more transportable, it doesn’t have an inner battery, similar to its large brother. So, except you personal a PowerStation, you’ll have to use the HomePod mini wired in your condominium or home.

In comparison with the HomePod, the mini mannequin can also be surprisingly reasonably priced. Apple gives a really helpful retail value of simply $99 for its HomePod mini. Furthermore, the small HomePod will nonetheless be available in shops in July 2022.

Which HomePod mannequin is the appropriate one for you?

Clearly, the sound within the massive HomePod is extra highly effective. Aside from that, each fashions are virtually similar of their performance. It’s best to search out out whether or not the sound of the little brother is enough for you earlier than shopping for, so it is best to take heed to the sound of the HomePod mini for a check drive earlier than you go to nice lengths.

For those who do not need to return the gadget, you too can get a dwell impression at your native Apple retailer or electronics retailer. If you’re happy, you might be shopping for a high-quality and pleasant-sounding small good speaker with the HomePod mini. For extra “bang,” get the large HomePod (2023).

The brand new options for temperature measurement or alarm detection might additionally tip the scales when it comes to a wise house. Matter help, then again, is just not, since the usual is supported by default on the massive HomePod, however the HomePod mini has already acquired the HomePod firmware 16.1 and is thus Matter-compatible.

Since a number of HomePod fashions can be utilized on the similar time, you too can obtain a lot better sound high quality with a little bit of spare change. Nevertheless, Multiroom help is particularly really helpful for seamless music enjoyment all through the house.

Which HomePod would you select? And are you trying ahead to extra good speaker/HomePod articles within the coming weeks? Tell us within the feedback!

Information up to date in November 2023 with up to date offers and specs. Older feedback have been saved and should seem out of context.

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