Apple on Tuesday launched the HomePod Mini at the iPhone 12 launch event. The Siri-powered smart speaker will be available for pre-orders from November 6, with availability beginning the week of November 16. Priced at Rs 9,990, the HomePod Mini will be available through Apple Store online and Apple authorised resellers in in white and space grey colours.
Just 3.3-inch tall, the HomePod Mini is designed to work with Apple Music, podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com, and TuneIn. In coming months, other music services including Pandora and Amazon Music will also be added to the list of supported service provides. The HomePod Mini supports true wireless stereo set-up and it multiple HomePod mini speakers can work together to stream music or podcasts to multiple rooms. In a single room set-up, two HomePod mini speakers can also form a stereo pair for a surround sound stereo audio effect.
HomePod Mini is powered by the Apple S5 chip, which is touted to analyse the unique characteristics of the music and apply complex tuning models to optimise loudness, adjust the dynamic range, and control the movement of the driver and passive radiators in real time. The smart speaker features full-range driver, powered by a neodymium magnet and a pair of force-cancelling passive radiators for deep bass and crisp high frequencies.
The HomePod Mini features a three-microphone array to listen to voice commands. There is also a fourth inward-facing microphone to help it isolate sound coming from the speaker to improve voice detection when music is playing.
Powered by Siri, the HomePod mini delivers a personalised and integrated experience for iPhone customers. Siri can identify who is speaking and tailor music and podcasts to their preferences, and respond to personal requests, like accessing messages, reminders, notes, and calendar appointments, or making and answering phone calls.
The HomePod Mini is compatible with Apple devices, including iPhones, Mac and TV. Moreover, the speaker supports smart home set-up to control smart home accessories though voice commands. It also features a new ‘Intercom’ feature, which offers a quick and easy way for family members to connect with each other at home; One person can send an Intercom message from one HomePod to another — whether in a different room, a specific zone, or multiple rooms throughout the home — and their voice will automatically play on the designated HomePod speaker. Intercom works with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay.
With regard to security and privacy, Apple said that “…only after “Hey Siri” is recognised locally on the device, or the user activates Siri by touch, will any information be sent to Apple servers. Requests are not associated with the user’s Apple ID, and personal information is not sold to advertisers or other organisations. HomePod mini works with iPhone to complete requests for messages and notes on device without revealing that information to Apple.”