“Hey, Siri, what’s my day like?” “
As I ask this, sipping an early morning coffee, the little blue globe on the side table comes to life, a glowing light on top, before a male voice, very Indian, tells me I am. have an appointment today, another video call, around 4:30 p.m.
The new HomePod mini is a tech-driven Jeeves, now that Apple has added personal requests to the 2021 version of its smart speakers. And it’s not all about requests. I asked HomePod to add a reminder for a new team meeting and it told me I don’t have a reminder list and asked if it should create one. It did it in a jiffy too, all while the iPhone was nowhere near filling up for the day.
The appearance of the new HomePod mini is no different from the previous version. However, Apple has added a lot of color this time around and users have the option of choosing the color that goes with their decor, or that just stands out. The review unit I received was a dark blue which went well with the gray fabric that dominates my living room.
The music also blends well into the room. The HomePod mini for me has the right sound profile and the right volume so I don’t go overboard too much. This is a very balanced audio profile that can add oomph if the song calls for extra bass. And for those like me who like their music to be crisper, the settings provide the ability to cut the bass, an option I was happy to use.
After filling the room with the stunning compositions of AR Rahman for the new Atrangi Re, the HomePod mini was more than happy to play Sanjay Subramanian’s Suttrum Nadiye Kande… the two at roughly either end of the spectrum. But the change is transparent as the Apple S5 chip inside the speakers determines the acoustics to match the speakers and the surroundings. So nothing ever disturbs your experience. From one song to another, the playlist flows freely.
Plus, the 360 degree speakers have acoustics that make them sound the same wherever you place them in the house. My only grouse with the mini is that it has to be wired at all times to work. I expected the new version to come with a battery to make it more portable. And you can’t really power the HomePod mini from a laptop or PC using the USB-C port as I discovered. You need a wall charger for this to work.
At Rs 9,900, the new HomePod mini is the most colorful and smart speaker you can get for the home, especially one with other Apple devices that can sync with it. Getting more than one mini will make your home look great, without breaking the bank, as many other simple speakers will cost you what two minis currently do.