HomePod mini reviews: impressively powerful for its size at a reasonable price

The HomePod mini went up for pre-order last week and the first orders will reach customers on November 16. Ahead of availability, the first reviews of the HomePod mini have now been published and they are very positive.

Apple announced its new small mid-range speaker, HomePod mini its October 13 ‘Hi, Speed’ event. Supported with Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice assistant, the new HomePod mini is designed to perform multiple tasks in a secure and private environment. Users can listen to music, send messages, set reminders, control their smart home, and do much more with this small speaker for just $99.

HomePod mini reviews are out!

CNET’s Molly Price raved about the sound quality of the Bluetooth speaker in her review. She even went as far as to say that the HomePod Mini offers clearer and less distorted audio than the latest Echo Dot and Nest Mini:

“Apple packed a lot of audio power into a small speaker. It’s loud enough to fill a room with sound. Bass, mids and treble are all distinct and easy to detect. Compared to the latest Echo Dot and Nest Mini, the HomePod Mini is clearer and less distorted.”

Price goes on to say that the HomePod mini may be best for users who prefer Siri and are deeply rooted in Apple’s ecosystem:

“In short, if you like Apple — and if Siri is your smart assistant of choice and HomeKit is your preferred smart home hub — you’re going to love Apple’s newest smart speaker. If you’re already living with an iPhone, Apple TV or original HomePod the Mini makes sense as your next small smart speaker. If not, well, we have a few more ideas on how to spend that $99.”

However, The Verge says that the audio quality of the speaker felt lackluster compared to some of its competitors in the same price range:

“So it sounds good, but I can’t say the HomePod mini sounds great. And next to the larger Echo and Nest Audio, both of which cost the same, it simply can’t keep up. It doesn’t have the presence, volume, or sound stage of either, and it certainly can’t match the Echo’s bass output. As they say, there’s no replacement for displacement.”

Tech Crunch’s Brian Heater applauded the audio quality of the speaker and said that “It’s full and clear and impressively powerful for its size.” The review also praises how responsive the speaker is for voice recognition:

“I’ve used a lot of different smart speakers in my day, and honestly, I’m really impressed with the sound the company was able to get out of the 3.3-inch device.”

While the review by The Guardian had many good things to say about the size, design, and sound quality of this speaker, it also highlighted several limitations. Specifically, the fact that HomePod mini is not cross-platform and requires an Apple Music subscription to get your money’s worth:

“It is an attractive but unassuming little device that blends into the background well. Siri is more capable than ever and is closing the gap to the superior Alexa and Google Assistant on most fronts. The proximity features with an iPhone 11 or newer are a little touch of magic, too.

But unlike most other smart speakers, the HomePod mini is not cross-platform, needs an Apple Music subscription to get the best out of it and requires you and your family members to be fully integrated into the Apple ecosystem – Android users need not apply.”

In conclusion, the agreement amongst the reviews seems to be that HomePod mini is an exceptional speaker for its price point, especially for people who prefer Apple’s ecosystem over Android. However, devices like Amazon Echo still have an advantage over Apple’s speaker due to cross-platform support.

Are you going to buy the new HomePod mini? Let us know in the comments below!

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Mobile gaming editor for iThinkDifferent