Home Gadgets Apple’s new $99 HomePod Mini is on the way—here are the details

Apple’s new $99 HomePod Mini is on the way—here are the details

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posted on 2020-10-13 17:13:00 .

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It took a couple of years, but Apple has finally announced HomePod Mini, a smart speaker that’s priced to compete with affordable offerings from competitors Google, Amazon, and Sonos. The revised HomePod is a cheaper, less powerful cousin to the steeply priced HomePod that Apple released in 2018, arriving on November 16 at $99. Orders begin on November 6.

Instead of breaking down exactly how the HomePod Mini downgrades from the original, larger model, Apple’s announcement talked up its use of an Apple S5 chip to drive “computational audio,” which will dynamically adjust audio depending on the room it’s in. Apple made its usual promise of “a full-range dynamic driver that delivers high output while keeping distortion to a minimum,” which we look forward to testing.

The 3.3″-tall hardware includes a touch panel on its top for play/pause and volume options, along with a light-up display to indicate use of Siri. And if you hold an iPhone close to a HomePod Mini, its top panel will reflect this—and you’ll be able to access wacky options on the phone.

The form factor resembles a squished original HomePod, complete with its signature white mesh covering—though this model also has a black option.

Apple also announced that HomePod Mini will sync up with any other HomePod family products in the same home—and demonstrated this with two of the new, smaller units on the same shelf, acting as a veritable “stereo” arrangement. All HomePod products will soon be updated with “Intercom,” a feature that lets users speak into one HomePod and have the voice message play on another speaker unit. In good hands-free news, this feature will also work with Apple CarPlay.

Listing image by Apple

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