Over the years The Home Pods from Apple have not been particularly doing well.
With stiff competition from global brands like Amazon Echo and Alexa, the Home Pods are becoming a sort of a misfit in the market.
Thus, it was not a big bummer when news about Apple axing the plans on a Battery-Powered HomePod hit the market.
But, what’s gonna be Apple’s future plans? Are they going to reive the HomePod lineup with something new? Is there going to be any new innovation in HomePods? What’s the next step for HomePods?
Follow this article till the very end to get all your answers.
Let us Begin…
According to Mark Gurman, Apple had previously planned to release a portable powered version of its HomePod smart speakers.
Gurman stated that the company had even built a prototype HomePod Bluetooth speaker before eventually shelving the project.
Gurman's claims are true, but it's disappointing because there are very few portable smart speakers currently available. We could use a rival to our favorite model, the Sonos ROAM if only to shake things up a little.
The HomePod mini is Apple's wireless speaker. The original HomePod was discontinued by Apple in March 2013 (Apple has discontinued the original HomePod since March 2013). It must be plugged into an outlet.
Apple recently discontinued the Beats Pill+, the only Bluetooth speaker from its subsidiary Beats brand.
Although Apple is not yet confirming the reasons behind the move, it has been streamlining its Beats product line over the past year. It discontinued the Powerbeats and Beats EP headphones, as well as the Solo Pro headphones and earbuds.
Gurman doesn't believe that Apple is trying to channel the Beats Pill+ to make room for a new HomePod Bluetooth speaker. He says he wouldn't be surprised if an Apple-branded portable speaker were ever launched.
However, we are less likely to rule it out. Apple has expanded its audio device range significantly in recent years. It first made waves in wireless earbuds with the AirPods and then moved into over-ear headphones with the AirPods Max.
The HomePod range is now reduced to just the one smaller version of the original smart speaker. There's certainly a demand for-and there's the expectation that soon a new HomePod will be launched.
What's the next step for the Apple HomePod?
Although the Apple HomePod mini is an excellent speaker, its small size and low price make it doubtful that Apple will release a successor to its flagship smart speaker to be competitive with other more powerful models such as the Amazon Echo Studio or the Sonos One.
We've seen patents suggesting that Apple is working on a new HomePod model, the Apple HomePod 2. If rumors are to be believed, it might even include a display.
According to a previous Bloomberg report, Gurman stated that the company was working on an updated version of the HomePod before discontinuing the larger model.
However, such a launch is not imminent. Although there is no guarantee that the new HomePod will be launched this year, it is clear that Apple continues to explore wireless speakers.
The new HomePod will likely replace the company's original smart speaker. This means that it will be large, powerful, and too heavy to be a portable Bluetooth speaker.
However, a portable HomePod is not impossible. We'd be shocked if Beats never made another Bluetooth speaker. This subsidiary offers cheaper products than Apple's, which allows it to be present in a wide range of audio markets.
Beats products are generally very well integrated into the Apple ecosystem. However, they are also more compatible with other operating systems than company devices. Models like the Beats Fit Pro offer the same features to Android owners as those who own iOS devices.
We think that a Bluetooth speaker from Beats that doesn't have to be tied to any particular ecosystem would work well. A smart speaker that can switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth just shouts Apple to us anyway.
We hope Beats and Apple will soon release new speakers. We currently have the Apple HomePod mini. While it is a great product, the audio quality is not as good as Sonos wireless speakers. However, we know from the original HomePod that Apple can produce amazing audio without the AirPods' true wireless earbuds or headphones.
Homepod Mini: Sound performance
The sound quality is the best reason to purchase the HomePod mini. This is something we don't often say about Apple products.
However, for the price, you get excellent value in this regard.
As we noted, the HomePod mini design is similar to the new Amazon Echo 2020 in that it is spherical. However, that speaker does not have a 360-degree sound. Apple has included this feature in the new HomePod.
The sound is directed from the internal driver to the base and fired upwards to create an immersive sound. The new S5 chipset is inside the HomePod mini. According to Apple, it enables "computational audio." In other words, the HomePod will analyze what song is playing and adjust the response accordingly.
You can adjust the audio output to enhance the sound quality instantly. This is in addition to the use of two passive radiators and a full-range driver. The results speak for themselves.
It was tested with many different music genres and it works well. However, the HomePod is larger and more expensive.
The vocals and treble frequencies are clear and crisp in every song. They can also punch through the bassy tracks with ease. We tested everything and found that it had a good balance.
The mid-tonality in pop songs was very smooth. Turning up the volume didn't cause distortion. It enhanced the room-filling experience.
One time, two HomePod minis were paired together, and they became slightly out of sync. A restart fixed the problem. We only experienced it once with the smaller HomePod.
One instrument, like the Fleetwood Mac's twanging guitar or Mozart's Jupiter single instrument, had a great resonance. The only thing we could criticize was the possibility that instruments could get lost in orchestral movements. However, this was minor and subjective.
The HomePod mini will not impress audiophiles with its audio quality, but it is a strong speaker for its price. Apple is betting on the fact that the HomePod mini is going to be a hit with music lovers.
Music handoff is a feature you won't see on the larger HomePod. It uses the Ultra-Wideband chip (the same one inside the iPhone 11 or iPhone 12) to detect when the phone is being pointed at it.
Point your phone's music-playing device at the HomePod mini and you will hear a rumble. \
You can get it back by repeating the process. The HomePod mini will then come off and be transferred to your phone. It's an extremely neat process and will delight anyone who wants to pass music as if it were magic.
Apple should give us the ability to control one thing: the light at the top of the HomePod Mini is lit when it plays music. This makes sense, but it can be quite bright if the speaker is being used to aid you in sleeping (by playing rain sounds or mimicking the ocean).
Apple desperately needs a "night mode" for its speakers. This is because you want to be capable of saying "Hey Siri, Goodnight" and having the HomePod respond with "OK, THE SCENE." It will wake up half of the family and light up the room when you want the music to continue.