AirPlay Not Working with HomePod Mini? Try This Stupid Trick

Jan 15, 2023 - 6 Comments

HomePod Mini

The HomePod Mini functions as an AirPlay receiver, allowing you to wirelessly stream audio, music, podcasts, songs, etc to the smart speaker. But randomly, the HomePod Mini does not show up in the list of available AirPlay devices.

If you’re trying to AirPlay some audio to HomePod or otherwise trying to use the HomePod or HomePod Mini as an audio output source, and it’s not showing up in your AirPlay device lists, follow along to resolve the issue quickly and to get AirPlay working with HomePod Mini again.

This is the least technical solution out there, but it works:

Unplug the HomePod Mini from the wall or outlet, then plug it back into the power source.

Wait another minute or so, and return to the AirPlay menu and you will find the HomePod available in the list of audio output devices.

Unplugging and reconnecting the HomePod Mini is basically a forced reboot of the little smart speaker, and if you’re having difficulties accessing the HomePod or HomePod Mini through AirPlay, a forced reboot like this usually works to resolve the problem. This tends to work even when restarting HomePod Mini through the Home app does not work.

Problems with AirPlay and HomePod Mini are widely reported, so this is not a rare situation for many users. With solutions ranging from logging out of iCloud, resetting the HomePod mini to factory settings, to restoring the device, none of them seemed to work in my situation for long. But, the forced restart by unplugging and plugging back in, does the trick every time.

Based on my own experience with a variety of smart speakers and AirPlay devices, despite being an Apple device with native AirPlay support, the HomePod Mini is not the most reliable AirPlay device. I would say that about 10% of the time AirPlay does not work at all with the device, and it is not seen or recognized by any iPhone, iPad, or Mac, when trying to use the HomePod Mini as an audio output destination. I find myself using this force reboot trick often, but it seems like this is an issue that should be fixable by a software update to the device rather than having to constantly fiddle with plugging and unplugging the speaker in the most rudimentary of hardware troubleshooting. Contrast that to a Sonos One speaker, which works about 99.99% of the time with AirPlay, no matter what device is trying to connect to it. I regularly use both Sonos and HomePods together with AirPlay, which, whenever the HomePod Mini does actually work, sound great to fill out a room with audio and music.

Do you have issues with AirPlay not working with HomePod Mini? Do you find that unplugging the HomePod Mini resolves the issue for you, or did you find another solution that works? Have you found a permanent fix for HomePod Mini not working with AirPlay or not showing up as an AirPlay receiver? Let us know your experiences in the comments.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

6 Comments

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  1. Mark Koops says:

    “Hello IT, So, Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?”

  2. Tom Myers says:

    I have the same problem with my homePod Mini’s.

    Power cycling seems to help. Model MY5G2LL/A. Version: 16.2

    • Ranting Ron says:

      I too have the same problem.

      My HomePod Mini only works about 50% of the time, it is the most disappointing Apple device I own. Siri is terrible on it, but Siri is bad everywhere. Last night it couldn’t even do Hey Siri set a Reminder, it just ignored me. Sometimes when Siri does listen and work it tells me to use my iPhone instead, uhhh no thanks I’m trying to be hands free. The need to disconnect and reconnect is also not hands free, and a significant inconvenience. It should Just Work. It also constantly gets my location wrong and thinks I’m 2500 miles away in California, probably because everyone at Apple Corporate is in California.

      And then there’s AirPlay, which I would say has at least 25% failure rate. It just isn’t found as an AirPlay device so often that it’s almost useless to even try.

      For $100, the HomePod Mini sounds decent but it performs terribly and fails often. Contrast that to a $15 Amazon Echo I bought, which does not sound as good, but performs impressively well and has not failed once yet.

      Maybe Apple should give up Siri and license Alexa from Amazon?

  3. Jim Parr says:

    I was not getting my Homepod Mini to accept AirPlay until I found this recommendation, and it worked.
    1. To open Control Center on your iOS or iPadOS device, do one of the following:
    * On an iPhone with Face ID or on an iPad: Swipe down from the top-right edge.
    * On an iPhone or iPod touch with a Home button: Swipe up from the bottom.
    2. Tap the audio card, tap the AirPlay icon,
    3. then select one or more HomePod speakers.

  4. Colleen Smitherman says:

    I was trying to use my newly purchased minis along with speakers connected to Airport Express devices to provide audio to more rooms and I had lots of disconnects, etc. When I deactivated the other speakers, the minis worked just fine. I guess Airplay can’t handle both HomePods and speakers using Airport Express devices.

  5. John Zehr says:

    HomePod

    Minis ought to be outlawed, along with the Home app. The sound on the Mimis is good. but the UI on Home sucks. Apple should be ashamed of this abomination.

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