Hands-On With the New HomePod Mini

Apple's new $99 HomePod mini officially launched yesterday, with the first pre-order purchases arriving to customers and Apple beginning in-store sales. We picked up a new ‌HomePod mini‌ and thought we'd test it out for MacRumors readers who are curious how Apple's smaller HomePod measures up to the original model.


The ‌HomePod mini‌ measures in at just 3.3 inches tall and 3.9 inches wide, so it's a good deal smaller than the standard ‌HomePod‌. Despite the size, we were impressed at the sound that this little device was able to put out.

homepod mini on shelf
It sounds great, and compared to other speakers in this size and at this price point, the ‌HomePod mini‌ really stands out from the competition. For such a small speaker, the sound quality is a little bit mind blowing. At max volume, there's no distortion and the sound is crisp and clear, which is also quite impressive.

homepod mini regular homepod comparison
In terms of size, the ‌HomePod mini‌ is probably smaller than you're imagining. It can fit in the palm of a hand, and it's lightweight, which means it can go just about anywhere. Unfortunately it does need to be plugged in to operate, and it comes with a USB-C cable and a 20W Apple power adapter that it connects to. At the top, there are some touch gestures, but it's easiest to control ‌HomePod mini‌ with Siri commands.

homepod mini apple tv
Apple designed an Intercom feature to go along with the ‌HomePod mini‌, envisioning a ‌HomePod mini‌ in every room of the house for home-wide communication. As the feature suggests, it serves as an intercom for family members to communicate with one another without having to shout. You have to have a ‌HomePod‌ to use Intercom, but you can send messages with an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or through CarPlay.

homepod mini next to iphone
‌HomePod mini‌ also supports almost all of the same features as the ‌HomePod‌, such as Handoff for transferring music from a phone to the speaker and vice versa, but we had a bit of trouble getting this working all the time. That should improve later this year when Apple adds an update that will introduce new U1-powered haptic feedback features for transferring songs between the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌HomePod‌.

homepod mini on a book
The ‌HomePod mini‌ works with HomeKit devices, can play Apple Music, supports AirPlay 2, can be used for phone calls, works in a stereo pair, and serves as a Home hub, so there's a lot going on here.

homepod mini handoff demonstration
The best part about the ‌HomePod mini‌ is the price tag. It's offering solid sound at a low price, and it's a lot easier to shell out $99 for a little home speaker than it is to pay the full $299 price for the regular ‌HomePod‌. If you've been holding out on getting a ‌HomePod‌ because of the high price, the ‌HomePod mini‌ is worth checking out for the wealth of functionality that it offers to those in the Apple ecosystem.

Do you have a ‌HomePod mini‌? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Related Roundup: HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Neutral)

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Top Rated Comments

pubb Avatar
47 months ago

Anyone know yet if these can be run off a USB Battery pack? I want to set it up at home, but then take it with me when I go skating at the park. Really curious if I can make that work or not
Don't be that guy that makes everybody else listen to your music. Wear some earbuds.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneteam Avatar
47 months ago
So I keep hearing people saying that Siri is dumb. I've been using Siri to control my homekit accessories for a while; it can control my lights, start my car, set my thermostat, locks, music, tv, etc. I ask random questions, conversions of temp, currency, send/reply to texts and I always get an answer. I have several automations, I have it to do something when something happens and never had a hiccup.

This reviewer says to look somewhere else if you are looking to create "powerful custom skills".

I wonder what these powerful custom skills are. I wonder what else is what people what Siri to do? What can Alexa or Google do that Siri can't?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jicon Avatar
47 months ago
"thought we'd test it out for MacRumors readers who are curious how Apple's smaller HomePod ('https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/homepod/') measures up to the original model."

Then proceed not to really tell us anything telling on differences in sound compared with the HomePod...

Other post indicated very noticeable lack of bass from other reviewers. Does that comment have any merit?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jcshas Avatar
47 months ago
I posted this in another thread but I’ve had a HomePod Mini for almost 24 hours now. The mini is replacing its older sibling (HomePod) as a nightstand speaker, which I moved to a larger room. I’m not an audiophile so take it with a grain of salt, but to my ear the HomePod Mini is a great little speaker when the volume is cranked up, but the SQ is only slightly better than my 3rd gen Echo Dot which was a fraction of the cost. I think the iOS/Apple integration is where HomePod mini truly shines, but on SQ alone I think there are better options out there.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jbro1999 Avatar
47 months ago
I picked up 3 today.. To go along with my 3 regular HomePod. Really impressed! They are super small but sound great. There is pretty good bass. Picking up one more and giving to the kids for Christmas for their rooms. The other 2 are going next to our home work desks. The regular HomePods are for the tv and the other is an extra I bring all over the house. Right now its in the basement since I am finishing it. Love the minis!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thejadedmonkey Avatar
47 months ago
I have one, and I'll paraphrase what I said in a different thread: It's a nice speaker compared to $29 Alexa and Google devices. It's not a great $100 speaker though. If you don't need Siri, there are better options for the price, or cheaper options for the audio quality.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)