A little info about HomePod and why you may or may not want one
The HomePod has always been a very controversial product for Apple. Below are a list of complaints from the start...and none of them have been addressed with the New HomePod (as of this article):
1, Only works with Apple devices
2. Doesn't natively support most other music services (Amazon, Spotify, etc)
3. No Bluetooth
4. No inputs like HDMI
5. No usable screen
6. Siri sucks
With all of these limitations, why would anyone want a HomePod? I can only answer this for myself, but here are a few of the reasons I bought the OG HomePod:
1. I mainly use Apple devices, like the iPhone, so this isn't much of a limitation
2. I use Apple Music
3. I use Airplay which is more robust than Bluetooth
4. For my current use, this fits on the wall between my kitchen and Den. Don't need HDMI or other inputs for this use case.
5. I don't need a screen in this location
6. It works fine for music and controlling my Hue Lights. I agree that it could be a lot better, but it works for my general needs. I also have an Amazon Dot nearby for more thorough voice assistant use cases.
7. The most important feature for us is sound quality. It sounds amazing and we mainly use it for music, so that is the most important feature for us.
8. With Airplay2, it can also send audio to my Denon Receiver (even turning it on and playing). It can also control my AppleTV. Sending it audio, playing and pausing, etc. I also use it to start audio in my Sunroom, where I have an AirPort Express that got the Airplay 2 update.
9. I should also mention the footprint. Sure, you can find big speakers that can compete on sound quality, but being able to make it sound this good with such a small footprint is a game changer.
10. 360 dispersion. This was a major selling point for us. It can now feed multiple rooms without a trade off in sound.
So do you like the new version?
Any Plans to buy one?
For $120, it is cheaper than buying new and has the added benefit of being able to be paired with my current HomePod. I am looking forward to seeing how much better it sounds as a stereo pair.
The new one has a faster chip, which is great, but I just don't see much better results when doing anything with my HomePod mini vs the OG. I think we are talking about maybe a second quicker which is irrelevant for the way I use the device.
The new one also has sensors for humidity and temperature, which aren't anything I care about. I have the feature on my mini and never use it.
As for sound quality, I have only seen two blind reviews and they both preferred the OG. Not saying the new one sounds awful, but from what the videos below are explaining, the two tweeters that they removed has an affect on the sound. I am sure I would be happy with it, but might as well keep the old ones until Apple adds something new that I need.
The Wrap Up
As for my opinion of the device, it checks a ton of boxes for our specific needs. It isn't a product for everyone and Apple has designed it for a specific market, so I have never been surprised that the product isn't a huge seller. I had a rambling Youtube video on it when the OG hit the market that pretty much applies here, as well.