Apple is a tech brand known for making phones, laptops, watches, and tablets, though they've also made some speakers. The best Apple speakers have built-in Siri capabilities, making them suitable for home use. We've tested three Apple speakers, though only two remain on the market, as the first-generation Apple HomePod has been discontinued. However, you can still choose between the Apple HomePod (2nd generation) and the Apple HomePod mini.
The best Apple speaker we've tested is the Apple HomePod (2nd generation). Released in 2023, this sleek, wired-only smart speaker retains a similar design to its predecessor and offers an improved overall sound quality. The most noticeable difference between the two models lies in their bass performance, as the 2nd gen brings much more thump and rumble to the mix, making it a great choice for listening to bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop. Plus, the manufacturer has designed its bass-EQ microphone to keep a steady response in the lower frequencies, meaning you can turn down the volume without decreasing the overall thump and punch.
This speaker has easy integration with your other Apple products. Since it supports Apple AirPlay, streaming audio from your iPhone or iPad is a breeze. Plus, you can link the speaker to other compatible Apple devices to spread audio throughout multiple rooms in your home. As with most Apple speakers, you won't find any sound customization tools, but its automatic room calibration device provides a solid sound by adjusting the device's output based on the acoustics of your room. Built-in Siri support means you enjoy hands-free control right from the comfort of your couch. If you want a speaker to fit into your Apple ecosystem, it's a really solid pick.
If you're looking for a more affordable Apple speaker, consider the Apple HomePod mini. It's another smart speaker with built-in Siri support that integrates easily with your existing Apple products, like your iPhone or iPad. Wireless streaming is easy, thanks to Apple AirPlay support; you can enjoy all the music and podcasts stored on your devices on your speaker. Similarly, you can pair multiple speakers together to spread audio throughout different rooms in your home, which is a cool touch.
This speaker offers solid performance for the price, but there are some key differences between it and the more premium Apple HomePod (2nd generation). You'll notice that the mini is, as its name implies, much smaller than the traditional HomePod. It's not much of a surprise that, as a result, it doesn't get as loud as the larger model, and it can't reproduce as much low-bass. Audiophiles and bass lovers will likely want to opt for its larger cousin, but if you mostly listen to content without a lot of bass mixed in, like podcasts or more vocal-centric music genres, it's not a huge deal.
Apple and Amazon both manufacture smart home speakers with built-in voice assistant support. Amazon's Echo series offers well-designed wired speakers for home use in several sizes and price points to meet your needs. Naturally, they rely on Amazon's Alexa voice assistant instead of Apple's Siri. Also, they have more customization tools in general.
While Apple's speakers are designed for easy integration with the Apple ecosystem, Google's speakers are designed with other Google products in mind. You'll find built-in Google Assistant rather than Siri and Chromecast built-in support rather than Apple AirPlay compatibility. These sleek wired-only home speakers are available at similar prices, though Google's speakers come with more customization tools.
Apple produces premium smart speakers designed for home use and easy integration into your existing Apple ecosystem. However, they don't come with an EQ to customize their sound. Additionally, they're hard to pair with devices over Bluetooth, and some of their functions aren't compatible with Android devices.
Apple speakers generally have a Siri voice assistant built-in and must be plugged into a power source. They're compatible with Apple AirPlay for streaming audio content from an iPhone, but you can't easily pair them with devices via Bluetooth. Typically, they're not water or impact-resistant since the manufacturer has designed them for home use.