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Apple HomePod mini Review Rundown

ApplePublished on 21 Mar 2021Last Edited on 14 Nov 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*
Rundown of external reviews is now integrated to the product page in the External Reviews section.
We will no longer publish Rundowns separately.
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Overview

Neoscore* 75%
Pros**
  • Great sound quality
  • Computational audio
  • Works with Siri and AirPlay 2
Cons**
  • Doesn't support third-party streaming services
  • Lacks a 3.5mm audio jack

Summary

Apple HomePod mini is a $99 alternative to the larger, more powerful $299 HomePod. Powered by Siri, Apple's nine-year-old voice assistant, the HomePod Mini can respond to a wide variety of queries and commands. Apple also unveiled the Intercom feature that lets you broadcast announcements to other HomePods, Apple Watches, and AirPods.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.

Rundown

digitaltrends[1]

Sentiment Score[*] 74%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The HomePod mini is the most affordable home hub for Apple HomeKit devices in the home. It's not as smart or as powerful as some of the other smart speakers out there, but it doesn't need to be because its computational audio, subtle design, and HomeKit home hub functionality make it a logical choice.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Powerful computational audio
  • Computational audio
  • Easy to set up
Cons[**]
  • No HomeKit support
  • Limited app support

pcmag[2]

Sentiment Score[*] 77%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
Apple's computational audio allows the HomePod mini to get fairly loud for its size and price. At maximum volumes, you get a solid sense of bass depth, but the dynamics are limited to a notable degree. If audio is your top priority, it's not even close to the Amazon Echo.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Solid audio performance for its size and price
  • Siri and Google Assistant voice control
  • DSP can raise bass levels when volume is turned low
Cons[**]
  • DSP isn’t as powerful as Amazon’s

rtings[3]

Sentiment Score[*] 40%
Reviewers from rtings have found the following[***]:
The Apple HomePod mini is passable for music. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly, though higher-frequency noises can sound a bit dark. Unfortunately, there isn't an EQ to help you customize its sound to your liking. Also, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, and it doesn't get very loud.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gets very loud
  • Great directivity
  • Excellent build quality
  • Gets incredibly loud.
  • Great built-in support for Siri
Cons[**]
  • Lacks low-bass
  • No EQ to help you customize its sound to your liking
  • Doesn't have a very portable design
  • Can't control when it's listening to you

t3[4]

Sentiment Score[*] 77%
Reviewers from t3 have found the following[***]:
The HomePod mini is the best small speaker you can buy. Voice recognition is built in, so that it will only read your personal stuff out when it's your voice who asks for it. To play audio on it, you can either ask Siri to request songs from Apple Music (or podcasts), or you can actually play any audio from any app to it using AirPlay 2 from Apple devices. More services are coming to Siri – Pandora and Amazon Prime Music, specifically – but no confirmation yet on Spotify.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Flexible AirPlay 2 support
  • Great sound quality
  • Works as a control hub
Cons[**]
  • Siri isn’t as good as Google Assistant or Alexa
  • No support for Apple Music or Tidal

techhive[5]

Sentiment Score[*] 77%
Reviewers from techhive have found the following[***]:
The $99 HomePod Mini lacks the impressive driver array of the $300 HomePod. While it's obviously a downgrade compared to the bigger HomePod, the Mini version sounds surprisingly full-bodied and detailed for its size. Purely from a sound perspective, the Nest Audio remains the smart speaker to beat—at least at the $99 price point. But if you're willing to dally with Alexa, there are better values out there.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Sleek design
  • Great audio quality
  • Supports AirPlay 2
Cons[**]
  • Doesn’t support third-party music services

techradar[6]

Sentiment Score[*] 67%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
playing phone at the HomePod mini, and a little rumble will tell you the music is now playing on the speaker. To'steal it back', simply repeat the procedure and it'll come off the small HomePod and onto the phone again. Intercom feature enables you to tell Siri via your phone or HomePod to make announcements that are played on other HomePod speakers in your home. It's a little cumbersome to use, as we found ourselves constantly rehearsing our lines to make sure it worked correctly.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to set up and use
Cons[**]
  • Siri isn’t as good as Apple’s

tomsguide[7]

Sentiment Score[*] 80%
Reviewers from tomsguide have found the following[***]:
Apple's HomeKit is a sneakily good smart home platform, second only to Alexa. While you can set up the HomePod mini to recognize personal requests for up to six people, they all need to have an iPhone. It lacks such Amazon features as Kids+ (FreeTime), which has tons of child-friendly content and lets you monitor what they're doing.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Siri and Google Assistant work well together
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Lots of smart home automation features
Cons[**]
  • Doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit

trustedreviews[8]

Sentiment Score[*] 91%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following[***]:
The HomePod Mini is not only better-sounding than the Echo Dot, but better sounding than the Amazon Echo. Apple has put in a full-range driver, two bass radiators and an acoustic waveguide that sits at the bottom of the downward-firing speaker. The system is designed to produce 360-degree sound, not because you’ll have the speaker in the middle of the room, but because we tend to move around.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous design
  • Great sound quality
  • Great integration with Apple’s Home app
Cons[**]
  • Too loud for most rooms

whathifi[9]

Sentiment Score[*] 86%
Reviewers from whathifi have found the following[***]:
From the moment we start playing music, it's clear that the HomePod Mini comfortably outperforms its size and price. It goes much louder than expected – even 75 per cent volume is louder than we imagine most people will regularly want to go in an average-sized living room. There's excellent overall tonal balance and consistency, with no frequencies over-exaggerated.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Intuitive controls
  • Impressive battery life
Cons[**]
  • Not as engaging as bigger speakers
  • Not as dynamic as Amazon Echo

wired[10]

Sentiment Score[*] 78%
Reviewers from wired have found the following[***]:
Apple products are designed to be used by Apple people. Because I move in an Apple universe like Ariel under the sea, the HomePod minis were remarkably easy to set up and incorporate into my life. For such a small speaker, it is surprisingly loud. But the upper registers are noticeably more fuzzy and dull than the fourth-generation Echo Dot.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Great audio performance
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Works with Apple Music, Pandora, and Amazon Music
Cons[**]
  • Sound isn’t as good as Echo Dot

References

1. ^ Apple HomePod mini review: Finally, the smart speaker Apple needs. digitaltrends. 2021-02-18 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
2. ^ Apple HomePod mini Review. pcmag. 2020-11-16 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
3. ^ Apple HomePod mini Speaker Review. rtings. 2021-01-19 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
6. ^ Apple HomePod mini review. techradar. 2021-01-27 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
7. ^ Apple HomePod mini review. tomsguide. 2020-11-12 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
8. ^ Apple HomePod Mini Review. trustedreviews. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
9. ^ Apple HomePod Mini review. whathifi. 2020-11-12 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
10. ^ Review: Apple HomePod Mini. wired. 2020-12-10 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
*. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher\'s own rating, if available, as a result.
**. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher\'s own bullets points, if available, as a result.
***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher\'s own, if available.
****. This page contains affiliate links to third-party merchants such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. When you make a purchase using the supplied links, we will receive a commission.

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