When there are 2 products that seem to be similar in functionality, name and appearance, one wonders where their price difference comes from. It is legitimate. This is the case for AirPod and AirPod Pro, but also for HomePods and HomePod mini which we will tell you about the differences.
What is a HomePod or HomePod mini for?
A HomePod is a connected speaker. In other brands, you will find Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
A HomePod can be configured with an iPhone or iPad and requires Wi-Fi internet access. The usefulness of a HomePod, whether mini or not, lies in calling Siri without an iPhone or other iDevice at handy. Siri will then allow you:
- interact with your HomeKit-compatible home devices, in the app House ;
Note : Security devices require authentication on your iPhone. For example, your HomePod will be able to close your lock, but not open it without you validating with your iPhone. This may change when the speaker differentiates users in France.
- to make or receive calls and SMS;
- to do quick searches such as the nearest restaurant and its opening hours or with quick information from Wikipedia;
- to have the weather forecast;
- interact with your reminders, alarms and timers;
- activate scenes, automations or shortcuts;
- listen to Apple Music;
Note : you can all the same listen to music without Apple Music on your HomePod, but without Siri.
You can also sync it with an Apple TV to use it as an audio output, or even enjoy stereo.
However, it is certain that without an Apple TV, or home automation, its usefulness is reduced.
What are the differences between a HomePod and HomePod mini?
Release date and price
The HomePod mini was released in 2020 and the 1er HomePod 2 years earlier, in 2018. You will find both in the apple store. The HomePod hasn’t been a big hit, but the release of the HomePod mini with its lower price and Intercom functionality is a game-changer. The HomePod is € 329 and the HomePod mini is € 99. Both are available in white or space gray.
But then, what changes, what makes this price difference?
Appearance and weight
First of all their weight and size. While the HomePod measures 172 x 142mm at 2.5kg, the little brother is at 84.3 x 97.9mm at just 345g. It is not for nothing that it is called HomePod mini so it is smaller, lighter, but also has a more rounded shape.
The HomePod and HomePod mini have other differences which lie in technology and functionality.
Unlike the HomePod, the mini does not have a long-range boomer with a specific amplifier, but a broadband transducer and 2 passive radiators. While the HomePod has 7 horn tweeters, the HomePod mini has a custom acoustic waveguide.
The HomePod has an internal microphone to calibrate the low frequencies which is not the case with the little brother. In addition, the HomePod has 6 microphones for the detection of “Hey Siri” against 4 for the HomePod mini.
Other technologies and functionalities
Classic HomePod Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ac with MIMO is HomePod mini 802.11n.
The HomePod mini benefits from the Ultra Wideband (UWB) Chip to detect nearby devices, which the HomePod does not.
The 2 types of HomePod can be configured as a stereo pair connected, or not, to an Apple TV. However, this is only with a pair of the 1er HomePod and Apple TV 4K that you can enjoy Dolby Atmos sound.
Note : it must be the same 2 models of HomePod.
The HomePod mini has a USB connection and a 20W power adapter is included. However, you can plug it directly into a USB port while the classic HomePod only plugs in with a moral plug.
It is up to you to make your choice !