Technophile

Apple HomePod mini: Hear it in colour

Mala Bharghava | Updated on: Dec 08, 2021

This ball of a smart speaker gets full marks for cuteness and makes itself at home in the ecosystem

Who doesn’t love a pop of colour? Apple certainly does and they do colour so well, as is evident with many of their products, from the older Macs to some iPhones and the watch bands — and now, their HomePod mini speakers. To add to the existing white and space grey versions of the HomePod mini, Apple added blue, orange and yellow and gave these a nice place in the launch event of the MacBooks in October.

If one could afford it, a collection of mini speakers could make a very pretty sight. The boxes they come out of match the colours inside, and so do various other elements like volume buttons and the braided cable for charging. You even get a charging brick — a rare thing for an Apple product nowadays.

Colour coordinated: Of course, each mini costs ₹9,900 and so one has to consider before making up a collection. But if you like the idea of arranging them prettily or scattering them around a room or many rooms, a whole set would be very nice, specially as they do sound better together. You can match them to room decor, for good measure. The colours have the additional benefit of appealing to children, not to mention quite a few adults, and looking good as a gift as long as the person is an Apple user.

When you take a HomePod mini out of its box, you’ll be surprised at its tiny size even if you’re expecting it to be small. Next to the bigger HomePod, it’s all the smaller with its 3.9-inch diameter. It’s about the size of Amazon’s Echo Dot, if you’re familiar with that range. Apple is sadly no longer selling the larger HomePod speaker, so comparisons are of little value now. But for anyone who owns or is familiar with the HomePod, the mini speaker doesn’t have the hardware to match up but it does have surprising volume and clarity, and even some bass, and makes for very pleasant music, depending on what your demands are.

Better together: There’s no doubt that doubling the mini makes for better sound. Some even feel that it compares with the HomePod. Remember, the sound is 360 degrees from its little round contours so it can radiate around a room. Apple uses some computational audio in the form of adaptive EQ to get the speaker to sense where it is and adjust its sound accordingly. The mini speakers are ‘room-aware’ as well and when set up correctly will respond to commands that show this such as turning off lights.

If you’re quite entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, Apple speakers could make sense because Siri lives in these speakers too. Siri lags behind Google and Alexa on many fronts but still does do a lot including controlling compatible smart home appliances. You can ask Siri to play music from various sources to the speakers and if you're playing music on your iPhone, you can just tap it to the HomePod Mini and use Apple’s Handoff for calls. If your demands don’t extend beyond simple background music or uninvolved listening, these speakers would work for you. Obviously if music is very central to your life, you would look for more complex finessed audio equipment.

Published on December 08, 2021

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