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LISTEN up! There’s a brand new Apple good speaker available on the market vying for a spot in your letter to Santa.
I’ve spent a number of weeks utilizing the HomePod Mini, and it’s a correct Christmas cracker.
The HomePod Mini is a Siri speaker that prices £99/$99Credit score: The Solar / Sean Keach
What’s the HomePod Mini?
Apple’s full-size HomePod launched again in 2018, when good audio system had been taking off in an enormous method.
The Siri-powered beast price £279/$299, which made it one of the costly choices available on the market.
Now higher late than by no means, the HomePod Mini arrives at a far cheaper £99/$99.
It performs the identical Siri and good residence methods, nevertheless it’s far smaller and has much less highly effective sound – as you’d anticipate, given the £180/$200 worth distinction.
It is tiny at simply over 3 inchesCredit score: The Solar / Sean Keach
Apple HomePod Mini – design
Apple’s HomePod Mini is certainly handsome.
It’s a small pod that stands at simply over three inches tall.
The delicate material mesh that covers the pod is available in black and gray color choices, each of which look good.
I really like the way it appears: it’s like a neat little decoration to your desk or kitchen counter.
There’s a touch-sensitive floor on the highest that permits you to faucet to regulate playback.
In fact, it’s a wise speaker – so that you’ll spend extra of your time utilizing your voice for management.
There is a touch-sensitive floor on prime that lights up throughout interactionsCredit score: The Solar / Sean Keach
Apple HomePod Mini – sound
When it comes to audio, it lacks the heft of the correct HomePod.
However for its measurement, it’s an absolute powerhouse – probably best-in-class.
I’m frequently impressed by the comparatively deep bass, and general richness of the sound.
There’s nice readability even at excessive volumes, with no discernible distortion.
And boy does it go loud: you may fairly simply use this as a predominant speaker in your room – except you’re residing someplace very grand certainly.
That is no shock: there’s a full-range dynamic driver and passive radiators, in addition to an acoustic wave-guide.
The latter makes certain you get correct 360-degree sound wherever you set the speaker.
Inside you’ve received Apple’s S5 chip, which provides its personal computational trickery.
It lets the HomePod Mini analyse the sound profile of your music 180 occasions each second, to regulate the audio expertise for greatest listening.
I’ve listened to metallic, rap, dance, classical and good old school talk-radio and all of it sounds peachy.
The speaker has a beautiful material mesh on the skinCredit score: The Solar / Sean Keach
Apple HomePod Mini – enjoyable options
So it sounds good, however is it good?
It’s received the identical Siri that you just’ll discover within the iPhone, iPad, Mac – and HomePod correct, after all.
Which means you may ask in regards to the climate, get instructions despatched to your iPhone, or request a music, album or perhaps a garbage dad joke.
She picks up voices rather well: I discover her extra constant and speedy than Alexa, and I get far fewer false-positives.
A lot of the enjoyment of Siri typically is having the ability to management different devices along with your voice.
Good lightbulbs are cheaply obtainable lately (I exploit a wonderful Nanoleaf bulb in my examine) – and turning them on or off with a easy phrase by no means will get previous.
You may management a number of lights, devices or rooms without delay, which is neat.
And it additionally ties into the Apple Dwelling app, which helps you to see and management your devices from an iPhone or iPad.
When you’ve received two HomePod Mini audio system in the identical room, they’ll provide the choice to stereo pair them.
And you can even use them as a part of a surround-sound speaker arrange to your Apple TV – however provided that you’ve already received a full-size HomePod too.
Siri can recognise completely different voices, so she will let you know about your calendar – and never your companion’s.
Apple’s HomePod Mini pumps out critical audio for its measurementCredit score: The Solar / Sean Keach
You should utilize the HomePod Mini to seek out your iPhone, making it “ping” from beneath the couch cushion.
When you carry your iPhone close to the HomePod Mini, it would mechanically switch no matter is enjoying to the speaker. Critically cool, and considered one of my favorite options.
There’s additionally a brand new characteristic referred to as Intercom that permits you to ship voice messages between rooms when you’ve got a number of audio system.
You possibly can additionally ship a message from exterior of the house utilizing your iPhone, like: “I’m on my method, need something from the store?”
Chances are you’ll be noticing a pattern right here: HomePod Mini works greatest should you’re already within the Apple world.
It’s considerably higher should you’ve received an iPhone versus an Android.
And though different music providers are supported, Apple Music is the default streaming possibility.
So take into account whether or not you’d get good use out of many of those options earlier than shopping for a HomePod Mini.
The HomePod Mini is sensible, particularly when you’ve got an iPhoneCredit score: The Solar / Sean Keach
Apple HomePod Mini evaluation verdict – do you have to purchase it?
The HomePod Mini isn’t going to be the best speaker for everybody.
For a begin, not everybody wants a £99 good speaker. Amazon and Google provide entry-level choices at a 3rd of the value – which can swimsuit you higher.
And should you’ve received no different Apple gadgets, you’ll discover the Mini much less helpful than somebody with an iPhone or iPad.
However for £99, it’s a fully cracking speaker that does the job nicely.
I’ve discovered audio nice, voice pick-up glorious, and Siri typically performs excellently.
The sound high quality alone might be price £99, should you’re into music.
If you wish to take a look at the Apple good speaker waters with out shopping for a full-size HomePod, that is the way in which to go.
And it’s additionally an important choice to put Siri in additional locations round your own home.
The Solar says: A superb speaker with a great deal of nice options and distinctive sound – however at £99/$99, it’s not for everybody. 5/5
The HomePod Mini is out on November 16 for £99/$99.
All costs on this article had been right on the time of writing, however could have since modified. All the time do your individual analysis earlier than making any buy.
- Apple HomePod Mini at Curries for £99 – buy here
- Apple HomePod Mini at Finest Purchase for $99 – buy here
In different information, Apple not too long ago launched new MacBooks with higher efficiency and battery than ever earlier than.
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