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Sonos One vs. HomePod mini: which smart speaker is best?

When it comes to smart speakers, the Sonos One and HomePod mini are two of the best. Offering impeccable sound, great smart home connectivity, and sleek designs, few products can match the style and performance of these two behemoths. But which one is right for your home?

While it’s impossible to go wrong with either, there are a few key differences between the two smart speakers that might make one a better fit for your home. Here’s a closer look at the Sonos One and HomePod mini to help you decide which is best.

Pricing and availability

Second gen Sonos One by a bed.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Sonos One typically retails for $219, although it can regularly be found on sale for $179. Two colors are available (White or Black), and they carry the exact same specs and pricing. The HomePod mini, meanwhile, clocks in at just $99 and is available in five different colors (Space Gray, Blue, White, Yellow, and Orange). That puts the HomePod mini at nearly half the price of the competition – and makes it the clear winner of this round.

Winner: HomePod mini


New 2021 Homepod Mini colors.

Both the Sonos One and HomePod mini are gorgeous devices. Apple’s product is noticeably smaller than the Sonos One, clocking in at just 3.3 inches tall and 3.9 inches wide compared to 4.7 inches wide and 6.4 inches tall. But unless you’re trying to squeeze the Sonos One into a tight space (or place it on a small desk), a few inches shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.

As for their overall designs, they’re both easy on the eyes. The Sonos One is more of a minimalist device, while the HomePod mini is a bit more stylish (thanks to the availability of multiple colors). Regardless of which you pick, you’ll be treated to a good-looking product that fits in with all home décor.

Winner: HomePod mini

Speakers and sound

Black HomePod mini on a side table, in front of an Apple TV
John Velasco/Digital Trends

This is where the Sonos One finally begins to shine. It might cost more than the HomePod mini and carry a larger footprint, but it all adds up to an incredible listening experience. Its tech chops are impressive (featuring two Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter, and one mid-woofer), allowing it to fill just about any room with impressive sound. Toss in adjustable EQ and Trueplay — which measures the acoustics of your room and tunes your Sonos One accordingly — and it’s easy to see why the smart speaker is so popular among audiophiles.

The HomePod mini is no slouch (featuring a full-range driver, dual passive radiators, and real-time tuning), although it can’t quite reach the highs of the Sonos One. It also can’t get as loud, so if you need to fill a big room, the HomePod mini simply won’t cut it.

Winner: Sonos One

Smart home connectivity

Sonos One front offset.
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Previously, HomePod mini only worked with other HomeKit devices. However, a recent update now gives the smart speaker support for Matter. We’re still waiting for Matter to roll out to more products, but that should give the HomePod mini a huge advantage in the coming months and years.

Sonos One supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and the first-party Hey Sonos assistant. It’s also compatible with AirPlay 2. And while Sonos has jumped on the Matter bandwagon, it has yet to roll out support for the Sonos One. It is possible support will arrive in the future – but at least it already supports both Amazon and Google ecosystems.

For now, this round is a tie. As more products get Matter support, however, expect the HomePod mini to become more enticing.

Winner: Tie

Which should you buy?

The Apple HomePod Mini on a table near an Apple Watch and an iPhone.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As mentioned at the start of this discussion, it’s hard to go wrong with either product. The Sonos One is ideal for large spaces or folks who are planning to listen to tons of music with their smart speaker, while the HomePod mini is great as a desktop speaker or to fill small spaces. You’ll also want to keep pricing in mind — if you’re on a budget, the more affordable HomePod mini is a better fit. But if pricing isn’t a factor, you’ll be well-served by the incredible sound offered by Sonos One.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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