Apple HomePod mini communicates wirelessly via 802.11n Wi-Fi, so it must be connected to the same network as your phone or laptop. The speaker uses the internet to answer your questions and stream media. You can use peer-to-peer AirPlay with other Apple devices using the same iCloud account, even if your internet connection is down.
The HomePod mini is smaller in size but has the same features as the larger HomePod. However, Apple has altered the shape slightly, with the smaller device sporting a spherical body rather than the cylindrical form of the larger HomePod.
The top of the speaker is touch-sensitive, allowing you to control volume and playback as well as summon Siri. The device has no physical buttons or ports. The power cable is fixed, unlike on other smart speakers, with a USB Type-C plug on the other end that connects to the included power adapter. This means that the HomePod mini is always on when plugged in, and once set up, it is always connected to your Wi-Fi.
HomePod mini's sound quality compensates for all of its Apple-specific limitations. This is the best-sounding compact speaker you can buy, and its tightly controlled ecosystem of services and features helps to maintain the quality of the sound and performance.
The HomePod mini is an excellent product that delivers where it matters. The device works well as a compact smart speaker and sounds pretty good for something this small.