It turns out that one of the coolest-sounding features of Apple’s new HomePod mini—the ability to hand off music from the diminutive smart speaker to your iPhone, and vice versa—can also be its most annoying.
Aided by its integrated U1 ultra-wideband chip, the HomePod mini’s music handoff feature senses when your iPhone 11 or later is in close proximity and allows you to transfer the tunes playing on the smaller HomePod to your phone, or the other way around.
When you hold your iPhone close enough to the HomePod mini, it’ll start to buzz, and a handoff notification will appear. (The larger HomePod lacks the U1 chip found on the HomePod mini, as do iPhone models earlier than the 11. Earlier HomePod and iPhone models can trade music, but they can’t match the the proximity features of the newer models.)
Now, the HomePod mini’s music handoff features work great if you had the speaker sitting on a living room shelf, the kitchen, or in another location where your iPhone will only get close if you intentionally hold it nearby.
But like many others, I have a HomePod mini sitting next to my Mac. That means if I’m working at my desk and I need to check my iPhone, it almost immediately starts buzzing with a handoff alert.
These notifications aren’t subtle, by the way; when they pop up, the rest of the iPhone’s screen blurs out, and the vibrations can get quite insistent depending on how close your handset is to the HomePod mini. You can dismiss handoff alerts with a tap, but still, they get pretty annoying after the fourth or fifth handoff buzz in an hour.
The good news is that there’s an easy way to turn off the HomePod mini’s music handoff notifications. The bad news? Doing so means turning off the speaker’s music transfer features completely, so you’ll essentially be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
If you still want to do it, just tap Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff, then toggle off the Transfer to HomePod setting.
That’s it—but remember, HomePod mini music transfers won’t work at all now, although you can always turn them on again. (It would be great if you could discretely enable or disable music hand-off for individual HomePod mini speakers, but no dice.)
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.