HomePod mini (white, 2020)

The HomePod mini was the second device in Apple’s HomePod line of intelligent, Siri-controlled speakers. Despite its small size and relatively low price, the HomePod mini offered impressive sound quality. Apple described the HomePod mini: “Jam-packed with innovation, HomePod mini delivers unexpectedly big sound for a speaker of its size. At just 3.3 inches tall, it takes up almost no space but fills the entire room with rich 360‑degree audio that sounds amazing from every angle.”

Apple designed the HomePod mini to allow homes to use multiple devices:

“With multiple HomePod mini speakers placed around the house, you can have a connected sound system for your whole home. Ask Siri to play one song everywhere or, just as easily, a different song in each room. And HomePod mini works with HomePod for multiroom audio and features like Intercom. If you want to take the amazing sound experience of HomePod mini even further, you can create a stereo pair. Two HomePod mini speakers paired in the same room create left and right channels for an immersive soundstage.”

The HomePod mini was spherical with a flat top and bottom. It measured 3.3 inches high and 3.9 inches wide. Internally, it used four microphones and allowed real-time tuning through computational audio. The HomePod mini had no ports and connected wirelessly to audio sources including Apple Music, iTunes music purchases, iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription, and some third-party services. In addition, it could play content from any device that allowed AirPlay streaming (AirPlay 2). Wireless technology included 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.

The top of the device provided a backlit touch surface for certain controls: Tap to Play/Pause music or Siri; Double-tap to Skip; Triple-tap to Skip back; Touch and hold to access Siri; and Tap or hold + or – to control Volume up/down. The HomePod mini was available in black and white. This example is white.

I ordered this particular HomePod soon after it was released. While Apple packaging is well-known for its attention to detail, even the mailing box seemed to have received the Apple packaging treatment. The outer cardboard box featured a wraparound pull-tab that separated the box halves with no need for a tape-cutting blade. Once removed, the inner retail box was revealed which, surprisingly, was shrink-wrapped with no pull tab.

The AirPod mini used a permanently affixed USB-C cable and provided a 20W USB-C power adapter.

Source: Apple (Overview, Tech Specs)

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