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HomePod was introduced back in 2017, but since then, the future of Apple’s smart speaker is uncertain. More recently, however, we’ve heard rumors about a new “HomePod mini” that is expected to be announced this year.
If you’re planning to buy a new HomePod, read on as we walk you through what you need to know.
The current HomePod
The first-generation HomePod, which is also the only one to date, is designed to offer a great sound experience with some smart features built-in. It has a seven-tweeter array and a single woofer that delivers an immersive audio experience.
HomePod is powered by the A8 chip, which is the same from the iPhone 6 and Apple HD TV (4th generation). Even if it’s a six-year-old processor, the A8 chip can handle all the HomePod’s tasks without struggling. Because of that, HomePod has maybe of the features present in other Apple devices, including Apple Music, Siri, and HomeKit.
You can ask Siri to play songs, set alarms, call someone, or turn off the lights of your living room. HomePod has a six-microphone array that recognizes voice commands from any direction, even while a loud song is playing.
As the HomePod uses AirPlay 2 to connect with other devices, you can pair two HomePods in stereo mode or even more HomePods to synchronously play the same content.
What we know about the next generation HomePod
Although there isn’t much evidence that Apple is planning to announce a significant update to the regular HomePod soon, there are rumors about an upcoming so-called “HomePod mini.”
Compared to competitors like the Amazon Echo lineup, HomePod is still very expensive — even after last year’s price cut from $349 to $299. Having a smaller version would reduce production costs, making the product cheaper.
According to a Bloomberg report, the HomePod mini is expected to keep the same cylindrical design as the larger version, but it would be about half the current product’s size.
Apple is unlikely to sacrifice audio quality to make a cheaper version of the HomePod, but keep in mind that having less physical space means the speakers will be reduced, and consequently, the sound may be lower than in the current HomePod model.
Besides, the HomePod mini should also have Siri for voice commands and AirPlay 2 for pairing it with other compatible speakers.
Should you buy a HomePod right now?
If you don’t already have a HomePod and you’re planning to buy one, we recommend that you wait until later this month before making your decision.
As Apple will host WWDC 2020 on June 22, the new mini HomePod might be introduced at the event. Even if you don’t want the smaller version, the regular HomePod might have its price reduced once again or get updated with internal improvements such as a more powerful processor.
For those who will wait to make a decision, the regular HomePod is ideal for people who want the best sound quality at home, no matter how much it costs. But for those who want a cheaper smart speaker that works with all Apple devices, HomePod mini may be the best choice.
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