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Apple HomePod (2nd Gen) vs HomePod Mini: Do the new upgrades matter?

The HomePod 2nd generation is the latest addition to the company’s smart speaker lineup, and it’s packed with new features.

But anyone that’s looking to upgrade their home audio may have also come across the HomePod Mini and may be wondering how these two devices compare.

We’re going to be running through all the key differences between these two devices so you can decide which home speaker is the best fit for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

The Mini is a lot more affordable

It’s not too surprising to see that the HomePod Mini is a lot more affordable than its larger older sibling. The Mini costs £99/$99/€109 and can be found in five different colours: Space Grey, Blue, White, Yellow and Orange.

The HomePod is a lot more expensive, coming in with a £299/$299/€344 price. Since it boasts different specs – which we will touch on in the next sections – the price hike makes sense. It can be found in just two colours, White and Midnight.

Apple HomePod 2023
Apple HomePod. Image Credit (Apple)

Taking a quick look at the designs of each device, the Mini is a lot lighter and weighs only 345g with a curved design that is similar to the Amazon Echo Dot. The HomePod is larger, with an impressive weight of 2.5kg. It has a tubed shape and looks a little more mature than its smaller sibling, which is helped by its limited colourways.

Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos feature on the HomePod

The full-sized HomePod comes with Spatial Audio. If you want to learn more about Apple Spatial Audio, click on the link prior for a more detailed explanation.

Simply put, Spatial Audio uses an accelerometer to track where you are and direct the music towards you, aided by the room-sensing feature that is implemented on the HomePod.

Apple HomePod Mini side
Apple HomePod Mini. Image Credit (Apple)

According to Apple, the room sensing feature allows the HomePod to understand where it is placed in any given space, and alter its audio to fit the environment. This should all be complimented by Dolby Atmos, which is a surround sound technology developed by Dolby. It adds height to audio that makes it feel more enveloping with no vertical or horizontal limitations.

Until we test out the HomePod we can’t comment if it will be more immersive than the HomePod Mini, but we suspect that the added technology will result in a more expansive experience.

The HomePod boasts five tweeters and a woofer

The Mini comes with a full-range driver alongside dual force-cancelling passive radiators. We thought that this speaker provided an impressive sound that was balanced without losing any subtly.

The HomePod has amped things up, as it features a high-excursion woofer and five beamforming tweeters. Apple claims that the tweeters – which are located around its base – optimise high frequencies to produce detailed and articulate audio. The woofer, meanwhile, should provide a rich, deep bass thanks to the powerful motor inside which drives the diaphragm while tuning low frequencies in real-time.

Due to the expanded array of features, we expect that the HomePod will provide more detailed audio that is better equipped to handle both high and low notes. The larger size should also mean that it can reach a higher volume.

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