The incredibly affordable HomePod mini is official with nifty new features3
Standing 3.3 inches tall, the spherical speaker is roughly half the size of the original device, but it features the same mesh design and a small display at the top for controlling volume and talking to Siri. Color choices include white and space gray, as expected.
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- The incredibly affordable HomePod mini is official with nifty new features
HomePod mini features a year old chip, but it is heavy on computational skills
The HomePod mini has last year's S5 chip as its brain, which might sound familiar because it also powers the Apple Watch SE and Watch Series 5.
The speaker features a neodymium magnet-powered full-range driver and a pair of force-canceling passive radiators to enable high frequencies and deep bass. The hardware is unsurprisingly aided by computational audio to help the compact device deliver a rich acoustic experience.
Apple says the S5 chip works in conjunction with advanced software to analyze audio and tweak loudness and dynamic range, and control the movement of passive radiators and the driver in real-time. If you are looking for the specifics, the speaker can adjust audio 180 times per second.
For a 360-degree audio experience, the HomePod mini takes inspiration from the OG HomePod to dictate the flow of sound. A three-microphone setup listens to “Hey Siri” commands and another one isolates the audio coming from the speaker to improve voice detection.
Multiple HomePod minis can be placed together to stream audio to various rooms in perfect sync. And to get the party going, you can two place two of Apple's new speakers in the same room to create a stereo pair for a wide soundstage.
That's not to say Apple is expecting you to buy a bunch of its new HomePods and it very well understands that the same speaker will probably be used by all the people in a house. Thanks to Siri, it is well equipped to identify who is speaking and tailor its suggestions accordingly.
The speaker can also act as an Ultra-Wideband station
Apple also assures us that security and privacy are at the forefront of the device. Requests will not be tied with your Apple ID and your personal information will never be sold to advertisers.
This story is part of:Apple iPhone 12 launch event (5 updates)