Apple today unveiled its new HomePod mini smart speaker. The smaller, spherical HomePod speaker is designed to deliver impressive sound, the intelligence of Siri, and a smart home experience without complexity.
The HomePod mini stands at just 3.3 inches tall, compared to the original’s 6.8-inches, and will be available in white and space gray at a price of just $99.
The HomePod mini uses the same Apple S5 chip used in the Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch SE. The S5 works with software designed to analyze the unique characteristics of the music and apply complex tuning models to optimize loudness, adjust the dynamic range, and control the movement of the driver and passive radiators in real-time.
The speaker features an Apple-engineered full-range driver, powered by a neodymium magnet and a pair of force-cancelling passive radiators, enables deep bass and crisp high frequencies.
A three-microphone array listens for “Hey Siri,” and a fourth inward-facing microphone helps isolate sound coming from the speaker to improve voice detection when music is playing.
The speaker features a backlit touch surface that includes controls for volume, play, and pause, and it glows when Siri is summoned.
The new smart speaker works with Apple Music, podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com, and TuneIn, and in the coming months, will gain other popular music services including Pandora and Amazon Music.
Later this year, the HomePod mini will gain a new “handoff experience” that can detect when a user’s iPhone is nearby to offer visual, audio, and haptic effects. A new “Intercom” feature will send messages from one HomePod to another within a home, and also to other devices including an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and even CarPlay in your vehicles.
- Siri Shortcuts created on iPhone and iPad are accessible on HomePod mini, so users can ask Siri on HomePod mini to start a pot of coffee, control a robot vacuum, add milk to the grocery list, and more.
- Ambient sounds, including rain, a fireplace, a stream, and more, offer the perfect background noise to focus, relax, or fall asleep. Siri can set a sleep timer so the sounds automatically stop playing.
- Find My helps locate a misplaced iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple Watch by playing a sound to pinpoint its location.
- Web search results from HomePod mini can be sent directly to the user’s iPhone for easy viewing.
- Music alarms let users wake up to a favorite song, playlist, or radio station from Apple Music.
HomePod mini will be available in white and space gray for $99 (US) from apple.com, in the Apple Store app, and Apple Store locations. HomePod mini is also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). Pre-orders begin on November 6, and deliveries begin on November 16.