Google’s new Nest Audio and the latest Echo range from Amazon went on sale last month with these speakers boasting improved sound, updated designs and the latest smart features. There’s no question that these devices will help boost the popularity of Google and Amazon’s intelligent music makers but before you rush to add more to your collection it’s worth remembering that something new is about to arrive from Apple.

The US tech firm announced the launch of its HomePod mini last month with this device packing some big sound into a very compact form factor.

Unlike the standard HomePod, the mini also arrives at a much cheaper price with Apple fans able to pop one in their homes for under £100 – that’s much closer to what Google and Amazon charge for the latest Echo and Nest Audio speakers.

The HomePod mini is now available to pre-order but what do you get for your money?

Well, this mini 3.3-inch tall ball-shaped speaker looks pretty mighty on paper with the mesh design concealing a custom full-range driver and dual force–cancelling passive radiators.

Apple says it has also created a clever design with an acoustic waveguide which channels the sound down and out the bottom of HomePod mini to create a consistent 360-degree experience.

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Of course, the HomePod mini is powered by Siri who should be able to play your favourite tunes, switch on the lights and answer questions via voice commands.

“HomePod mini has everything customers want in a smart speaker — amazing sound for listening to music, a world-class intelligent assistant that delivers a personal experience to each member of the household, and like every Apple product, it’s designed with privacy and security in mind,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “HomePod mini is the ultimate smart speaker for anyone with an Apple device. It works effortlessly with iPhone to hand off music, answer calls, or deliver personalised listening suggestions, elevates the sound from Apple TV, plays music from a Mac, and so much more. There’s a lot of Apple innovation packed into such a small speaker, all at an affordable price.”

It’s certainly an exciting time for smart speakers and it will be interesting to see just how well the HomePod mini performs when the official reviews appear later this month.

The HomePod mini costs £99 and will be arriving in homes on November 16.


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