HomePod Mini vs Soundbar: (Key differences, which is better)?

What’s the difference between HomePod Mini and Soundbar?

The difference between the HomePod mini and Soundbar lies in the sound quality and design. HomePod mini is mostly roundish, while Soundbars are horizontally-shaped rectangles. The HomePod delivers a clearer and more immersive sound experience, while soundbars are louder, but not so clear as compared to the HomePod stereo.

A HomePod tiny pair, however, makes a fine soundbar substitute once the arrangement is set up.

Voices are sharper and more distinct than on my LG.

A HomePod tiny pair is really not as loud as some would prefer — you may be dissatisfied if you really want to blast the soundtracks for TV and movies.

Even at limited amounts, having a fully separated subwoofer outperforms having a soundbar and woofer every time.

Furthermore, dealing with wi-fi settings will never be as simple (or as low latency) as plugging in a cable, especially for something you’ll never pick up and move. I adore my home pods, but I’d never use them for watching TV; instead, I’d use them to listen to music.

And while I have the huge ones, the built-in TV speakers are probably just as nice if you have minis. Stick with a soundbar if you can. 

The HomePod has amazing sound quality and, when used in tandem, provides excellent stereo music listening. But, in a home theater system that costs half as much as a single speaker, are two HomePods enough to complement a soundbar? AppleInsider discovers the truth. 

The HomePods were blown away in a recent comparison of stereo HomePods to my own $2,500 home theater system. While it was not unexpected, we were not expecting them to do as poorly as they did.

The reason for this was discovered to be a glitch in the Apple TV 4K, which causes the stereo HomePods to produce lower audio volumes by default.

To rectify it, we would have to manually change the format to stereo, which resulted in an immediate increase in the HomePods’ maximum output from 75 to 83 decibels.

With this modification, we wanted to compare our $700 Stereo HomePods to my $180 soundbar (2018 version here) to see if they’re still too quiet to contend with anything dedicated to TV audio, at even four times the price.

homepod mini

To make this test as good as possible, each speaker will be utilized with the identical action scene from the same movie bought from the iTunes store.

We also changed the gain control option on our Zoom H6 audio recorder to the manual, but it doesn’t adjust for the varied volumes automatically. This allows us to hear the volume differential between the HomePods and the soundbar. 

Surprisingly, the soundbar is still higher than that of the stereo HomePods, after the volume fault has been fixed. In addition, the soundbar’s Twitter users sound brighter and clearer than the HomePods, providing a much more immersive experience altogether.

The testing was then repeated, but this time with the audio recorder’s gain leveled down to emphasize the disparities in audio quality.

The stereo HomePods sound better in this situation. Every sound is very clear and precise, however, the soundbar sounds a little tinny and unbalanced on the top end.

The greatest feature of Airplay 2 is how you can plug multiple audio sources at once, allowing us to use the soundbar and our HomePods as a full system. To keep the audio recorder from peaking, I had to reduce the gain way, way down, but I can assure you that it is incredibly loud. 

If you have a pair of HomePods and wish to use them with your Apple TV, they sound good in the end, but they lack the punch of other specialized audio systems. Will not get me wrong: the quality is excellent, however, the volume is lacking.

Owners of two HomePods who have discovered the same issue could usually get away with boosting the volume with their old soundbar or whichever speakers they have attached to the TV.

We also observed that whenever the stereo HomePods are playing the song, they are substantially louder than while they are playing the very same track in an Apple TV movie. 

Cons of Using Apple TV Speakers with HomePod Minis

This audio arrangement is a quick and easy method for improving your visual experience when you already own two of these speakers and an Apple TV, it’s not without flaws.

For a surround-sound experience, you’ll need to maintain those two speakers in the same room as your TV and in their designated locations, left or right.

We also discovered that you can’t change the Apple TV’s default audio to the HomePod Minis, which is annoying and time-consuming.

You can, however, with the full-size HomePod, which, apart from its mini version, features Dolby Atmos 7.1 or 5.1 surround sound. 

It would be even better if Apple upgraded the HomePod Mini’s settings. However, for the time being, it’s a good option to have good sound at a reduced cost. 

Last year, Apple introduced the HomePod mini, a smaller, less expensive version of the HomePod.

It’s one of Apple’s most affordable products: at $99 / £99 / AU$149, it’s practically accessible for most, even though it’s competing with devices that can cost a fifth of that, such as Amazon Echo Dot or Google Nest Mini.

Still, if you’re considering replacing your soundbar with two HomePod tiny speakers, you may save a great deal of money. Sure, soundbars can be had for more than $200 / £200 / AU$250, but the HomePod mini comes with a slew of iOS-specific features that might give Apple the upper hand. 

Audio in lossless format

Support for Apple Music’s Lossless Audio streaming tier is another new feature coming to the HomePod mini.

Subscribers will be able to “hear exactly the same thing that artists made in the studio” with Lossless Audio, according to Apple.

To listen to Lossless Audio, go to Settings > Music > Audio Quality and switch it on. From there, you may adjust the resolution of your music based on your connection (cellular, Wi-Fi, or download).

The Lossless tier begins with CD quality (16 bit / 44.1kHz) and progresses to 24 bit / 48 kHz, and it can be played natively on Apple devices. 

When Company announced that Apple Music users would be able to listen to lossless music at no extra charge, many people were perplexed as to why many of the company’s own gadgets didn’t support hi-res audio.

Although the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max won’t be able to transmit lossless sound, HomePod mini users will be able to listen. 

According to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named addressing internal matters, the company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions.

Other features of the device would include normal Apple TV box tasks like watching videos and playing games, as well as smart speaker functions like playing music and interacting with Apple’s Siri digital assistant. It would be Apple’s most ambitious smart-home hardware product to date if it were to be released. 

An iPad would be combined with a HomePod speaker, as well as a camera for video chatting. Apple has looked into using a robotic arm to connect the iPad to the speaker and follow the user around the room, similar to Amazon’s new Echo Show device.

Both Apple devices are still in the initial phases of development, and the corporation may decide not to release either or tweak crucial features. The corporation frequently develops new concepts and devices but does not release them. An Apple spokesperson refused to respond. 

Apple’s smart-home fortunes may be revived as a result of the new offers. According to Strategy Analytics, Apple had 2% of the TV streaming device market in 2020, while the HomePod has had less than 10% of the smart speaker industry throughout the majority of its existence.

Apple’s high-end HomePod was discontinued in March, and the Apple TV box hasn’t been upgraded in over three years. The business released the HomePod mini last year, which has performed well because of its reduced pricing.

In 2020, Apple merged its HomePod and Apple TV engineering teams, resulting in a unified software platform for both devices. That was a foreshadowing of Apple’s future integration of the hardware lines. 

Apple’s HomeKit software, which allows iPhones, iPads, and HomePods to manage third-party devices via an app or Siri, supports fewer goods than Amazon’s and Google’s competing systems.

“According to Bloomberg, the device would be “Apple’s most ambitious smart-home hardware offering to date.”

The device would be similar to an Apple TV in terms of streaming video and playing games, according to the source, but with a built-in speaker akin to a HomePod. FaceTime would be brought to the big screen for the first time thanks to the integration of a camera.

According to people familiar with the situation who asked not to be named discussing internal matters, the company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions.”

Fresh Apple gadgets are unlikely to improve that, but they may provide new motivations for Apple and potential partners to invest in the bigger Apple smart-home ecosystem.

Although Facebook sells a Portal video chat gadget that uses a TV as its display and Amazon sells the Fire TV Cube box with a small speaker, Google and Amazon have yet to seriously address a combined speaker and TV box.

However, Amazon is the market leader in the Smart Displays category, which includes smart speakers with screens. 

Conclusion

While the story claims that the product may change or be dropped entirely, I sincerely hope that Apple produces someone like this.

It would not only be the future of Apple TV, but also of the living room.