I had a rough day last week and decided to treat myself to a couple of Apple’s HomePod Minis. I held out buying the big arse HomePods because they were so expensive and I wanted to get two of whatever I eventually settled on for the library, which is where we do most of our listening.
We’ve got a heap of Amazon’s lady-in-the-tube devices scattered around the house; some review units, some I got disgracefully discounted, and one high-end Echo I bought for myself because I wanted a slightly better sound.
I didnt mind Amazon’s Alexa, even though it is a bit creepy having Jeff Bezos listen to every word you say, every sound you make, every cough and grunt and muttered homicidal conspiracy. (All the better to sell you chainsaws and big plastic tubs for acid baths, I guess).
In the US, however, Amazon is trying to bootstrap a massive mesh network by linking all of its devices together, sort of, and sharing everyone’s internet capacity, sort of. Long story short, I dont like my neighbours and I dont want to share anything with them, especially my data plan. So after a bit of a shit day on Thursday, I decided to finally swap out Alexa for Siri.
I did it just as Apple was releasing its new Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio thingy, which does sound legitimately amazing through a pair of very expensive AirPods Pro Max – if you get the right track. I gave it a try with T-Swift’s Folklore album and was blown away. Other tracks on the Spatial Audio playlist… meh, not so much.
I have zero idea about whether the Dolby/Spatial upgrade has improved things for the HomePod mini, having only just installed them. But I can say my stereo pair does sound beautiful, even though they’re not the big arse Deathstar class models. I’m not an audio guy and won’t pretend to be. I’ll just raise my hand and say, yes, it sounds much nicer than my three year old, somewhat cheaper Amazon music tubes.