Amplifiers: 4″ subwoofer and 5x dedicated speakers
Delivery: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (smart home control only)
Size: 5.6 x 5.6 x 6.6 in / 142 x 142 x 168 mm
Colors: Midnight, white
We haven’t finished our full review of the full-size HomePod 2 yet, but we’ve had a chance to try it out with music, and it’s incredible. The bass is deep and controlled, the mids have perfect clarity and convincing instrument placement, and the treble is detailed and natural. Unfortunately, you can Just Use this sound quality with AirPlay or Siri sources.
- Big, detailed sound
- Dolby Atmos & Lossless
- Great smart home features
- Siri isn’t that smart
- There is no bluetooth
Amplifiers: Full range driver, 2x passive radiators
Delivery: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (smart home control only)
Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.3 in / 98 x 98 x 84 mm
Colors: White, yellow, orange, blue, space gray
The HomePod mini delivers the best sound of any speaker its size, and being one-third the price of the entire large HomePod — it might be the most enticing option for most people. Its balance is excellent, it’s fun and lively while still being detail-oriented, and it offers nearly all the features of the big version – but without Dolby Atmos. Maybe that’s fine with you.
- Great sound for the size
- Same smart home features
- Much cheaper of the two
- Siri isn’t that smart
- There is no bluetooth sound
The HomePod 2 is the latest addition to Apple’s line of smart speakers, joining the HomePod mini, which was released in 2020. (The original HomePod was released in 2018, discontinued in 2021.)
The HomePod mini is one of the best smart speakers on the market for those in the Apple ecosystem, and it’s one of the best wireless speakers overall if you want something small and inexpensive — however, again, you need to really focus on Apple.
The HomePod 2 is very similar to its predecessor in many ways, including having far more speakers inside than the HomePod mini, in an arrangement that makes possible Dolby Atmos music with great spatial sound effects.
So what does that mean for how the latest soundbar compares to the Apple HomePod mini for sound, and what about other features? Well, we tried the HomePod 2 and can tell you how great the music is. But we’ll explain all the additional differences here, so let’s take a look at the Apple HomePod 2 vs HomePod mini.
Apple HomePod 2 vs. HomePod mini: Price and availability
The HomePod mini was released in November 2020 and costs $99 / £99 / AU$149. At this price, it’s had a lot of appeal in the market for years, and it’s fitting for such a great smart speaker.
The HomePod 2 was made available for pre-order on January 18, 2022, and will be released on February 3, 2022. It costs $299 / £299 / AU$479, which is the same price as the previous full-size HomePod cost when it was discontinued.
That means the HomePod mini is cheaper—it’s the “mini” version of the HomePod, after all. But as we’ll soon see, this will have a huge impact on what audio technology Apple can include.
Apple HomePod 2 vs. HomePod mini: Design
HomePod mini is available in five colours: grey, blue, white, yellow and orange. It’s small, measuring 3.3 inches (84.3 mm) high and 3.9 inches (97.9 mm) wide, and lightweight, with a weight of 345 grams. It has a simple, spherical design that allows it to pump out 360 degrees of sound.
HomePod 2 is only available in two colours: “Midnight” (i.e. black) and white. It looks similar to the original HomePod with its cylindrical shape and mesh-covered exterior (which is also similar to the HomePod mini). There’s a color touch backlit surface on top, and it’s edge-to-edge lit, like the HomePod mini. It’s a design that blends happily with the background and will look the part in any home.
HomePod 2 dimensions are similar to the original HomePod. It measures 5.6 inches (142 mm) in diameter and is about the same height. It is slightly shorter at 6.6 inches (168 mm) instead of 6.8 inches (173 mm) and weighs 2.3 kg.
Apple HomePod 2 vs. HomePod mini: Features
When it comes to smart home features, there are a lot of similarities here between the Apple HomePod 2 and the HomePod mini.
You can do almost anything smart home related with both speakers, like stream music, radio, and podcasts. You can also use Siri for voice control, request news updates, weather forecasts, schedule appointments, and upload more.
HomePod 2 and HomePod mini both have smart home automation support for Apple HomeKit and Thread and Matter, smart home protocols that work with more devices than ever before and can power smart home automations when you’re not in it. Humidity sensors, which help with climate control, are smart home accessories.
Both smart speakers also use ultra-wideband technology, which means you can hand whatever you’re playing on your iPhone, like a song, podcast, or call, and play it on your HomePod simply by moving the phone closer to the speaker — it can detect the distance between them. You can also pair two identical HomePods in a stereo combo, or you can create a multi-room sound system with more of the best AirPlay speakers.
Apple HomePod 2 vs. HomePod mini: Audio Performance
The features of both smart speakers may be similar, but with five tweeters, a 4-inch tweeter, and a new S7 chipset that delivers more advanced audio processing power, the HomePod 2’s audio performance is a major step up in the game. Compared to the HomePod mini, based on our experience with it so far.
HomePod 2 is equipped to support Dolby Atmos by Apple Music, which includes Spatial Audio. Room sensing technology bounces sound off your walls, creating a sense of the music around you – and we found this to be really effective. They deliver rich, deep bass, a natural mid-range, and clear, detailed highs.
Dolby Atmos support here would be excellent if you have an Apple TV — and you can use two HomePods as a replacement for one of the better Dolby Atmos speakers. HomePod 2 also supports lossless audio from Apple Music.
The HomePod mini is a third of the price, so it doesn’t have the same audio technology. It has a single full-range driver to provide the sound, but the two bass radiators help give the lower end some impressive weight for its size. Intelligent physical design spreads sound from the single driver in all directions.
When we reviewed the HomePod mini, we thought the treble frequencies and vocals were evident throughout every song, cutting through bassy tracks with ease. Everything we tested had a good balance, and while the bass was often powerful, it wasn’t any kind of overpowering. There’s an S5 chipset in the Mini, which is a step down from the HomePod 2’s S7 but still enables computational audio and analyzes song playback, changing speaker response accordingly.
We found the HomePod mini’s mid-tones to be smooth, especially on pop songs, and cranking up the volume levels didn’t introduce any distortion. If anything, the room-filling experience has been improved to maximum volume.
The HomePod 2 comes on another level when it comes to the detail and depth of the sound it can produce, as well as the spatial sound effect — but the HomePod mini is the best speaker in its size.
Apple HomePod 2 vs. HomePod mini: The Conclusion
If you’re using an iPhone, already have Apple Music and use Siri, we highly recommend one of Apple’s smart speakers. But which should you choose in the battle between the Apple HomePod 2 and the HomePod mini?
It’s hard to say without testing the Apple HomePod 2 yet, but we know the HomePod is much cheaper. It’s also smaller and lighter. The HomePod mini weighs 345g compared to the HomePod 2, which is 2.5kg. So if you’re looking to take a small step into the smart home space but aren’t sure what to look for, it’s a solid choice.
If you want richer, clearer, and more comprehensive sound, we expect the HomePod 2 to sound significantly better. This is the option to choose if you want room-filling sound or use more of the HomePod 2 in place of one of the better sound bars.