At today’s Apple event, the first product announced was the HomePod Mini smart speaker. The new speaker is not only packed with features but also costs a fraction of the cost of the HomePod that was announced in 2018.
The HomePod Mini has a globe-like design with a screen at the top and a flat base. There is a mesh fabric that wraps around the speaker and covers the single driver unit, two passive radiators, and an acoustic waveguide at the bottom.
The speaker is powered by an Apple S5 chip that provides “computational audio” which Apple explains adjusts how the music sounds almost 200 times per second.
Place two HomePod Mini speakers near each other and they will automatically work in stereo mode. Apple has also copied the Google Assistant’s “Broadcast feature“ but has dubbed it Intercom.
With Intercom, users will be able to send voice messages to other HomePod speakers in the house. Those at the other end will also be able to reply. Intercom messages will also display on other connected devices including iPhones, Apple Watch, and even play on AirPods.
As with all smart speakers, the HomePod Mini can also be used to control smart home devices. It works as a hub that controls lights and other smart home devices. The HomePod Mini supports streaming from multiple services including iHeart Radio and TuneIn.
Apple rounds it off with an amazing price of just $99, the same price as Google’s Nest Audio smart speaker. That is a quarter of the launch price of the 2018 HomePod speaker. The HomePod now sells for less, as low as $199 but we won’t be surprised to see folks pick up two HomePod Mini speakers instead of a single HomePod speaker.
The new speaker will be available for pre-order on November 6 and will go on sale on November 16.
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