Whether you're trying to decide on your first or fifth HomeKit Hub, picking the right one can be tricky. In this series of reviews, we'll talk about all possibilities and help you choose the right one for your needs.
Why Do I Even Need a HomeKit Hub?
A HomeKit Hub is an essential part of your HomeKit smart home. While you can create some smarts using Siri and the Shortcuts app on iOS and iPadOS, to create standalone automations or automations that other members of your home to access, you must have a HomeKit Hub. Additionally, the HomeKit Hub is tied to your iCloud account, allowing you to access your smart home from outside your local network — for remote status and control while outside of the home.
Compare HomeKit Hubs
|HomePod||AppleTV 4K||HomePod Mini||iPad|
|Thread||12021 Models Only|
|Power||100-240V AC||100-240V AC||20W USB-C||Lightning/USB-C|
|Price||US$299 (discontinued)||US$179 - 199||US$99||US$329 - 2,399|
Learn everything you need to know to pick the right HomeKit Hub for you
AppleTV 4K (2021)
The 2021 Apple TV 4K is the second-generation Apple TV 4K and the third with support for HomeKit, which...
Using Apple iPad as a HomeKit Hub
This review is somewhat unusual as it is not for the iPad itself but instead for its ability to...
Apple HomePod mini (2020)
In late 2020, Apple introduced the new HomePod mini (never "Mini"), a US$99 smart speaker supporting Siri, HomeKit, and...
Apple HomePod (2018)
The original HomePod, introduced in 2018, was Apple's second attempt (after the iPod Hi-Fi) at creating a high-fidelity speaker....
Picking the Right HomeKit Hub
If you watch streaming video, in particular, AppleTV+, then the AppleTV 4K is a must-have gadget that also happens to be a fully-featured, future-proofed HomeKit Hub.
If video content isn't your thing, and your WiFi network is rock solid, then it's hard not to recommend the HomePod Mini at just US$99.
At this time, we only recommend the original HomePod, if you have a device that is incompatible with the HomePod Mini (such as the Kwikset/Weiser Premis door lock) and you don't want to buy an AppleTV.
We also recommend against using the iPad as a HomeKit Hub. Unless you've got an old2Currently, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, iPad 5, and iPad Pros, and above are supported. Some older devices will likely lose support with iPadOS 16 this fall. iPad laying around and are willing to wall-mount it with permanent power.
Ultimately, you will likely end up with multiple HomeKit Hubs — I currently have two AppleTV 4Ks, one AppleTV HD, three HomePods, and seven HomePod Minis — but if I had to choose just one, it would be the AppleTV 4K.
- 12021 Models Only
- 2Currently, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, iPad 5, and iPad Pros, and above are supported. Some older devices will likely lose support with iPadOS 16 this fall.