It’s been an enormous yr for Amazon and Apple sensible audio system. One new participant is Apple’s, the corporate’s first miniature sensible speaker. At $99, it’s one of many pricier mini sensible audio system in the marketplace, however it’s full of options and boasts an aesthetically pleasing design. On the opposite facet of the ring is Amazon’s fourth-gen . The machine rocks a spherical look and improved audio efficiency — at half the worth of the HomePod Mini. However which speaker is the higher of the 2?
In case you’re considering of grabbing one among these new mini sensible audio system, learn on for a side-by-side of the Apple HomePod Mini and Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen).
Each the HomePod Mini and Echo Dot are spherical sensible audio system. Measuring in at 3.3 inches tall, 3.9 inches large, and weighing 0.76 kilos, the HomePod Mini is out there in white and area grey. The fourth-gen Echo Dot is sort of equivalent to the HomePod Mini dimensions. Amazon’s speaker measures 3.5 inches tall, 3.9 inches large, and weighs 0.75 kilos. The Echo Dot brings extra coloration choices to the desk than the HomePod. Selections embody charcoal, glacier white, and twilight blue.
By way of button structure, the HomePod Mini makes use of a touchpad on the prime of the speaker for play/pause, observe skip, and different instructions. The Echo Dot goes for the extra conventional button method. Buttons embody quantity up/down, mic on/off, and an motion button. Neither speaker is designed for wall mounting.
Sound high quality
The HomePod Mini makes use of a full-range driver with twin passive radiators to ship one of many most interesting compact speaker sounds — to not point out Apple’s customized acoustic waveguide and computational audio options. These are calibration instruments (powered by Apple’s S5 chip) that assist to steadiness sound output at numerous quantity ranges. Jargon apart, the HomePod Mini delivers crisp and clear mids and highs with out a lot compromise on bass. Apple’s tiny speaker does a greater than superb job of delivering audio on par with some larger sensible audio system in the marketplace.
The brand new Echo Dot makes use of a single 1.6-inch front-firing speaker. The most recent-gen Dot packs an excellent larger punch over its third-gen sibling. Due to its spherical design, the speaker is louder and brighter than earlier Dot iterations. It additionally retains the three.5 mm jack for connecting with exterior audio system.
Controls and notable options
For the HomePod Mini, Apple’s Siri runs the present. One of many largest perks for Apple followers is a lower-priced Apple HomeKit gateway machine. As soon as related, your HomePod Mini will be capable to management your sensible dwelling units, set and create schedules, seek for information and climate, and entry fashionable streaming companies like Apple Music, Pandora, Prime Music, and extra. You may work together with the sensible speaker utilizing voice instructions preceded by “Hey, Siri” or by the Residence app in your iOS machine.
One in every of our favourite HomePod Mini tips is the speaker’s iOS casting skill. It goes like this: Say you stroll previous your Mini and love the tune it’s enjoying, however you’re in your manner out the door. iPhone customers will be capable to hover their cellphone by the Mini, which may start enjoying the Mini tune in your cellphone. This characteristic additionally works in reverse. In case you occur to have two HomePod Minis in the identical room, you may also pair each audio system collectively for stereo sound.
Echo Dot customers will see the return of Alexa as Amazon’s voice assistant. Just like the HomePod Mini, Alexa means that you can stream music, test information and climate, management sensible units, and extra. Voice instructions are preceded by “Alexa” when interacting instantly with the Dot, and cellular controls are dealt with by the Amazon Alexa app in your cellular machine.
Whereas not unique to the newest Echo Dot, Amazon’s Alexa Guard characteristic is one among our favourite Echo options. When enabled, your Echo speaker will monitor for seems like smoke alarms and breaking glass. As soon as your Echo hears the sound, you’ll obtain a notification in your cellphone. Alexa Guard Plus (a paid model of Alexa Guard) consists of extra options like entry to an emergency hotline, monitoring for footsteps and different break-in sounds, and emitting siren and canine sounds for heading off intruders.
Each the HomePod Mini and Echo Dot even have an intercom perform (though Alexa’s is a little more superior). With the HomePod Mini, you possibly can ship audio messages to HomePods all through your house. The Echo Dot model of this characteristic is known as Drop In. As soon as permissions are enabled within the Alexa app, Drop In will mean you can discuss to your buddy by their Echo speaker (and vice versa).
Worth and guarantee
The HomePod Mini sells for $99 and comes with a one-year restricted assure, together with 90 days of complimentary tech help. For an additional $15, you possibly can choose so as to add AppleCare+ to your Mini. This covers you for an extra two years of unintentional injury safety. Do notice that you simply’re solely allowed two accident claims per yr, each of that are topic to a $15 service price and taxes.
The Echo Dot (4th Gen) is at present going for $49 and comes with a 90-day restricted assure. There’s additionally the choice so as to add between one to 3 years of prolonged unintentional protection, with plan costs beginning as little as $5.
We’re calling this one a draw. Apple followers will love the HomePod Mini for its devoted iOS capabilities and Apple S5-assisted audio tech. However apart from some area of interest sound options, the Echo Dot can just do as a lot (if no more), and for $50 lower than the competitors. Then once more, in the event you’re in search of the most cost effective approach to launch a HomeKit community, the HomePod Mini is a perfect manner into Apple’s sensible ecosystem at a comparatively low value. Plus, you’ll have a crisp-sounding sensible speaker to mess around with.
For a person breakdown of every sensible speaker, take a look at our detailed evaluations of each the HomePod Mini and Echo Dot (4th Gen).