At the traditional fall presentation, Apple showed the younger version of the HomePod smart speaker – HomePod Mini. The small spherical column is a bit like a golf ball, especially in light colors – but there is also a dark one. The top of the speaker is an illuminated touchpad with volume buttons.
With a diameter of less than 10 cm, the speaker received the full functionality of a smart speaker. The voice assistant connects with the Apple ecosystem and HomeKit and answers questions – while, according to the company, does not sacrifice security and privacy. Three microphones listen to Siri commands, and the fourth is used to detect the owner’s voice when the speaker is playing music.
One of the new features is the intercom function: the user can send a voice message from one speaker to a speaker located in another room (or to several speakers). This feature works with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods and CarPlay, so anyone in the Apple ecosystem can send and receive messages. However, to work with HomePod Mini, you need to have an iPhone 6s, no older, and with iOS 14.
At the heart of the HomePod Mini is a full-range speaker built specifically for this speaker and a pair of passive radiators. It is paired with the S5 processor, which, using sophisticated algorithms, analyzes the music being played and adjusts the sound to the content. A special waveguide is provided at the bottom of the speaker cabinet for 360-degree sound. Thanks to this design, HomePod Mini can be placed anywhere. Multiple HomePod Minis can be used to build a smart stereo system by placing speakers in the same room.
The start of pre-orders of Apple HomePod Mini in some countries is scheduled for November 6, deliveries will begin on November 16, the cost of the column is $99.