Apple recently announced the HomePod Mini, a smaller version of the smart speaker HomePod. The model, launched along with iPhone 12 and with integrated Siri assistant, features computational audio, which optimizes the sound of what is playing practically in real-time. The product will also allow a more practical interaction between apple devices thanks to Intercom, allowing you to continue playing with the iPhone or iPad without stopping.
The device, which comes to compete directly with Amazon’s Echo Dot with Alexa, and Google Nest Mini with Google Assistant, will also allow you to control devices connected via HomeKit, Apple’s connected home service. Its price is US$99, and the product arrives at stores in the United States from November 19.
HomePod Mini Features
|Launch||October 13, 2020 (arrives at stores on November 16)|
|Dimensions||9.7 x 8.4cm|
|Colors||White and Space grey|
|Power||Energy Star certified for efficient power|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi and Ultra-Wideband wireless communication system|
According to Apple, the metal mesh that covers the HomePod Mini is made of 90 percent recycled plastic, and the wood fibers of the packaging are from sustainable forests or recycled sources. The HomePod mini will be available in the space gray and white colors. The model is coated with a braided mesh fabric, and the upper part of the box is touch-sensitive.
According to Apple, the metal mesh that covers the HomePod Mini is made from 90 percent recycled plastic, while the wood fibers in the packaging are from sustainable forests or recycled sources. HomePod mini is available in the space gray and white colors.
Power and Sound
Although compact, the HomePod Mini is expected to deliver a powerful sound thanks to the Apple S5 chip. The new device uses computational audio, which promises to equalize the content to be played track by track, improving whatever is necessary – and all via Artificial Intelligence. This process, according to the apple, takes place in almost real-time.
In addition to automatically adjusting frequency ranges, the product also promises better dynamic range and volume optimization with the function. The HomePod Mini has dual long-range drivers and passive radiators, which promise to deliver good mid, low and high, without imbalance.
The HomePod Mini also offers a 360° immersive audio experience. The new smart speaker directs the sound flow down and out towards the bottom of the device. This allows the user to place the speaker box anywhere and feel as if the sound is circulating through the environment, ensuring greater realism and more consistent audio.
According to Apple, the gadget can hear “Hey Siri” even with loud music – a common problem with smart speakers. A set of three microphones will be responsible for recognizing the user’s voice, while a fourth capture isolates the sound from the speaker, causing the voice to be detected even during the playback of other audios.
The HomePod Mini is designed to work with Apple Music, as well as facilitating access to podcasts and radio stations such as iHeartRadio and TuneIn. But for those who use other streaming services such as Amazon Music and Pandora, etc, Apple promises support soon.
The HomePod Mini arrives with a new feature called Deep iPhone Integration, which allows the automatic location and communication of devices equipped with the technology. This way, just bring your iPhone closer to the HomePod Mini to instantly transfer the soundtrack to the speaker.
The feature is only available on devices equipped with the U1 chip on the HomePod Mini, and on iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and versions. What’s more, by placing two HomePod Minis in the same environment, both will allow you to set up the pair as stereo speakers.
Another novelty is the function called Intercom. The new system will allow all users inside a house to communicate in a simple and fast way. The idea is to make it easier to send voice messages from one Mini HomePod to another, or even to all HomePods present in the home. The “intercom feature” works on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay, delivering chat notifications to anyone.
The HomePod Mini can also be used as a home automation center. Through Siri’s voice commands it will be possible to create scenes, such as turning the lights off or on and to lock windows and doors. The feature applies to IoT devices compatible with Apple’s Assistant.
Siri will also be able to recognize who is speaking and thus respond to personal requests such as accessing messages, reminders, notes, and calendar appointments. It is also possible to modify music and search results according to the preferences of each user.
Although compact, Apple’s smart speaker needs outlets to work. That’s why the HomePod Mini is not a good option for those looking for a portable soundbox. According to the company, the gadget uses optimized power management features and relies on intelligent software that reduces power usage during periods of inactivity of the device.
The HomePod Mini is expected to consume up to 75% less energy than Energy Star’s strictest standards, an international standard that certifies the efficient consumption of power for electrical and electronic products.
Price and Availability
The HomePod Mini is available in the United States for US$99. The pre-sale of the product starts on, November 6, and deliveries start on the 16th.
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