Just as predicted, Apple just announced the HomePod mini to join the existing HomePod in the lineup. The new device is just 3.3 inches tall but, most importantly, it’ll retail for just $99.
Apple announced the new smart speaker alongside the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and it’s set to be a popular one. Apple says that it’s designed to work with multiple services across podcasts, music, and more. Not just Apple’s own, likely in a nod to anti-competitive arguments the company has been facing of late.
HomePod mini is designed to work with Apple Music, podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com, and TuneIn, and in the coming months, popular music services including Pandora and Amazon Music. Multiple HomePod mini speakers work together to stream music or podcasts to multiple rooms, all in perfect sync. By placing two HomePod mini speakers in a single room, a stereo pair can be created for a wide soundstage, filling the space with rich, enveloping sound.
Despite its small size, HomePod mini should produce quite the sound thanks to the Apple S5 processor that will handle audio processing on the fly. Apple promises rich bass and support for stereo audio when you pair two HomePod mini speakers together.
HomePod mini delivers an incredibly rich and detailed acoustic experience, using computational audio to deliver peak performance. To achieve big sound out of such a compact design, the Apple S5 chip in HomePod mini works with advanced software 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 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.
You’ll also get the usual Siri compatibility as well as Handoff support, coming later this year, that will make it easier than ever to take audio from an iPhone and move it to your HomePod mini.
Apple also confirmed a new intercom system, with HomePod mini connecting to other devices like iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.
A new Intercom feature offers a quick and easy way for family members to connect with each other at home. One person can send an Intercom message from one HomePod to another — whether in a different room, a specific zone, or multiple rooms throughout the home — and their voice will automatically play on the designated HomePod speaker. Intercom works with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay, so everyone in the household can get Intercom notifications and send Intercom messages from the backyard or on their way home.
The new HomePod mini will be available in Space Gray and White for $99 when it goes on sale on November 6 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US.
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