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)

Top Rated Comments

pubb Avatar
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 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)

Related Stories

Apple homepod mini white 10132020

Apple Announces HomePod mini With Spherical Design and S5 Chip for $99

Tuesday October 13, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today announced the HomePod mini with a new spherical design and the S5 chip at its "Hi, Speed" event. The device is the first addition to the HomePod product lineup since the launch of the original HomePod, and is much smaller at just 3.3-inches tall, as opposed to the original's 6.8-inches, and looks substantially different with a new spherical design. Following in the footsteps of ...
homepod mini homepod

Top Five Reasons to Buy a HomePod Mini

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:19 am PDT by
Apple last week introduced a new $99 HomePod mini, which is a more affordable alternative to the full-size HomePod that's been around since 2017. The HomePod mini isn't shipping out until November, but on paper, it sounds great for those who have been eyeing a HomePod but haven't wanted to shell out $299. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, ...
homepod mini sale

Deals: HomePod Mini Sees First Discount, Available for $89 at Expercom ($10 Off)

Tuesday April 13, 2021 11:11 am PDT by
Apple reseller Expercom is offering the first straight cash discount we've ever seen on HomePod mini, priced at $89.00, down from $99.00. This is a new HomePod mini in Space Gray (White currently isn't on sale), and it has an estimated delivery in 3-7 business days. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Expercom. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, ...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Launching in More Countries, Can Be Used as Apple TV Speaker Starting This Fall

Monday June 7, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the HomePod mini can be set as a default speaker output on the Apple TV 4K starting later this year. Apple also announced that the HomePod mini will be available to purchase in Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand starting later this month, followed by Italy later this year. The speaker first launched in November 2020. In March, Apple announced that the full-sized ...
homepod mini 14 4 u1 chip

Upcoming HomePod 14.4 Software Update to Add New HomePod Mini U1 Features

Wednesday December 16, 2020 9:00 pm PST by
The iOS 14.4 beta that was introduced today didn’t appear to include any new features, but an accompanying HomePod 14.4 beta will introduce new HomePod mini functionality that takes advantage of the U1 ultra wideband chip in the device. The HomePod beta software is not made available to developers like iOS and macOS software and is instead provided to a limited number of Apple-selected...
homepod mini teardown cable

HomePod Mini Teardown Confirms Power Cord Can't Be Removed

Wednesday November 18, 2020 9:31 am PST by
Apple's newly released HomePod mini features a USB-C power cord that plugs into a separate power adapter, and there was speculation that the cord could perhaps be removed, but that's not the case. In a home teardown, MacRumors forum member ouimetnick found that the power cord is not meant to come out and it is not replaceable if it is removed. The standard HomePod also comes with a cord...
homepod mini event shot

Watch: HomePod Mini Reviews, Sound Quality Tests, and Unboxing Videos

Thursday November 12, 2020 6:01 am PST by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the HomePod mini ahead of the speaker launching on Monday. In addition to our in-depth HomePod mini reviews roundup, we've gathered a collection of unboxing videos and sound quality tests below. As its name implies, the HomePod mini is a smaller version of the standard HomePod, standing just 3.3 inches tall. However, despite its more compact,...
homepod feature purple

HomePod Now Unavailable From Apple in Canada After Being Discontinued [Updated]

Monday June 7, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
In March, Apple announced that the full-sized HomePod would be discontinued once supplies run out, following years of reportedly lackluster sales. Apple said it would focus its efforts on the HomePod mini released last year. As supplies start to dwindle, the HomePod is now listed as "Currently Unavailable" for delivery on Apple's online store in Canada. This comes just days after the HomePod ...

Popular Stories

safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
iphone se 2020 top

iPhone SE With Larger 5.7-Inch Display May Launch in 2023, 'iPhone SE+ 5G' Also Rumored

Monday January 17, 2022 6:46 am PST by
Apple is planning to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display as early as 2023, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a reliable source of information for future Apple products. The fourth-generation iPhone SE has until now been rumored to launch in 2024, but Young now says a 2023 release is looking more likely....
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...