Our kids need music to fall asleep. Our oldest daughter loves listening to theme park tunes before closing her eyes (she’s a massive fan of De Efteling). Before, this meant waiting besides her bed, with the music playing on your phone, until she finally dozes off.
There were two disadvantages to this:
- It takes a lot of time
- It’s not possible to listen to something else on AirPods, while playing music on your phone’s speakers. (I had a workaround using my Apple Watch to stream directly to my AirPods, but this was cumbersome.)
I did some experimentation with a Google Nest Mini I had lying around, but the sound quality is awful, and you need to bridge AirPlay with something like AirConnect, which does not support Airplay 2. I wrote a blog post in Dutch about this.
So, I bought three HomePod Mini and I have been loving them ever since. Let’s get one thing out of the way: Siri is not fantastic. Especially in Dutch. We have a Nest Hub in our living room, which we mostly use to control our Harmony Remote (“hey google, turn TV on”) and it works so much better than Siri. That being said, I occasionally use Siri on the HomePod for small things like grocery lists and timers, and she does ok. Just never ask her to play a song by an American band in Dutch because using two languages in one sentence makes her confused as hell.
What I do love about the HomePod Mini is the sound quality. It’s 8 cm tall, and it’s able to fill a room, and it doesn’t distort one bit when turned to the max. You have to hear this to believe it. It’s spectacular. Even bass sounds good (for a tiny speaker).
The ability to hand over what’s playing on your iPhone to the HomePod Mini is something that feels like magic. When you hold your phone near the HomePod Mini you will feel a satisfying vibration and the HomePod will resume playing the song you were listening to. This also works the other way around.
Controlling all those speakers is something that could use a little improvement, both in iOS and the Apple Music app. It works, but the UX is quite hard to wrap your head around. Luckily there’s a great screen in Control Center that offers you all speakers at a glance:
I’m a happy user, and thanks to the HomePod I don’t have to listen to theme park songs for too long now. I really hope Apple will launch a bigger HomePod for the living room in the near future.
(This is just an excuse to try the WordPress story block:)