I didn’t know how easy Getting started with home automation in the Apple ecosystem would be. Let me tell you – it is so simple! While it’s not necessary to have a hub, if you do, you’ll be able to control all the devices in your home from anywhere in the world. These are the top five hubs for Apple HomeKit. If you don’t have a hub, you can still control your devices from your iPhone or Apple Watch but only if you are connected to the same Wi-Fi network that the device is on.
I’ve updated this list to include all the new Apple HomeKit hubs for 2022. These will all work with iOS 15 which is the latest Apple operating system. If you want to read more about why I’ve chosen to use the apple home automation system instead of Amazon or Google you can read this article.
Here are the top 5 hubs for Apple HomeKit
Here are my top 2 selections – based on value and affordability. There are other choices as well, and if you already have any of these there is no need to go out and get another device – just make sure it can be updated to the latest Apple iOS 15.
|Apple TV 4K||HomePod mini||iPad||Mac Mini||iPhone|
|Size||32G||3.3 inches||64G – 2TB||256G – 2TB||128G-2TB|
|1 USB |
|Comes with||Siri Remote|
Lightning to USB Cable
|Power Cable||Power Cable, |
1. Apple TV 4K
- Room-filling sound with Dolby Atmos
- 4K High Frame Rate HDR with Dolby Vision for fluid, crisp video
- The new Siri Remote with touch-enabled clickpad
- Private listening with up to two sets of AirPods
- Use AirPlay to share photos, videos, and more from your iPhone, iPad, and Mac on your TV
- Get a live view of your HomeKit-enabled cameras and control your smart home accessories
The Apple TV 4K is a “little black box” that I tuck behind the TVs I have mounted to the wall. It can easily hide behind, and isn’t too heavy or big that I worry about it falling. Once connected, it is almost like my TV becomes an Apple computer – but not really. You get access to iPhotos, Movies, your Apple Music Library, and of course all your HomeKit devices.
This is the kind of device that replaces your cable box, or other TV devices. Pretty much everything you need if you are in the Apple EcoSystem (which I am). I have one for each TV in my house, and I can do so many things with them.
For instance on game day, I can ask Siri to ” play the 49ers game on every TV”. Siri will then turn on the TVs, find the game, and display it simultaneously on every TV in the house. Of course, my wife who is a Green Bay fan hates this, but she could do the same if she wanted.
2. HomePod mini
- 5 colors to choose from
- Pair 2 to make an intercom system
- Room filling sound from just 1 device
- Private and Secure
- Works as a speaker for your iPhone calls too
The HomePod mini is a bout the size of a coffee cup, but has a ton of different features built in. First of all, it sounds way better than any other voice assistant out there, and it seamlessly connects to my iPhone and HomeKit devices. That’s why I picked this as the affordable option for your HomeKit Hub.
I have several of these around the house. In the kitchen I use it to listen to my favorite playlists and as a timer when cooking “Siri – give me a 12 minute timer”. In the bedroom, I have it set up to start automations at the beginning and end of the day – I like how I don’t have to get out of bed to turn off the lights, even if I forget one somewhere on the other side of the house. I can simply ask “Siri – turn off the laundry room lights” and she does.
The HomePod mini really shines in the family Room with our big screen TV. We have a stereo pair linked to our Apple TV, and get room filling sound for movies and sporting events, without taking up a lot of space.
Finally, when nobody else is home, I can have Siri play my favorite music on ALL the HomePods throughout the home at the same time. I haven’t heard any complaints from my neighbors yet – but I’m sure that day will come.
All the set-up for Homekit when you are using a HomePod mini will be done through your iPhone, but it still works extremely well as a hub.
- Various physical sizes, colors and storage amounts
- All work as HomeKit Hubs
- Stereo Speakers
- Touch ID (fingerprint recognition)
- High quality camera
- up to 10 hours of battery life
When I first got an iPad, I wondered what I’d do with it. Now I can’t live without it. My main uses are for watching movies, writing and reading emails – helping my 9 year old with his homework, playing games, and of course using it for HomeKit set-up and control.
For homework, I use it like a whiteboard with my child. I can use my finger to write and solve math problems, use the Apple Pencil as a stylus to work on handwriting, and download quizzes and tests that make learning fun!
Overall, the iPad is a powerful tool but maybe a bit overkill to use as a stand alone HomeKit Hub. If you have one already I’d use that, but if you are thinking of getting one to use primarily for HomeKit, there are more affordable options like Apple TV or HomePod mini.
4. Mac Mini
- A powerful computer in a small case
- 8 core GPU & CPU
- Powerful M1 chip for fast gaming, and graphics
I love my Mac mini – Once I used it for photo editing for photography, but now, for me I use it as a dedicated streaming computer for Twitch and YouTube. It’s so powerful and quiet and small, that I don’t ever have to worry about it sitting on the corner of my desk. With the ability to run 2 monitors and a dedicated hard wired Ethernet Connection (it also has fast WiFi), I can do whatever I want with it, and never worry.
When it comes to a HomeKit, this is a bit overkill as well. It is a full fledged computer, and that is a bit more than is needed to run all the automations in your home – but it can be used as a HomeKit Hub, so there’s that.
- Different physical sizes, and storage capacities
- High quality camera 12MP
- Large screen
- up to 22 hours of video playback
If you want to use an iPhone as a HomeKit hub, you will actually need TWO iPhones, the one you carry with you and another that you will need to leave at your home network, plugged in and connected to WiFi all the time. I’d recommend a newer model so that you can have the lates operating system on It for full compatibility.
Why do I need to have a hub with Homekit?
Controlling your devices from your iPhone works extremely well right out of the box – but it is limited because your phone and device need to be on the same WiFi network. In order to control devices from anywhere in the world, you need to have some device in your home on your HomeKit WiFi Network, AND connected to the internet. That’s where a hub comes into play. It is always “on” and always “connected” so you can control your devices from literally anywhere.
Do I need 2 (or more) different WiFi Networks to use HomeKit?
Nope! I only have one WiFi network, and a lot of devices, and everything works fast and simply. I’m sure there is a limit to how many different things you have, but I haven’t reached it yet. I can stream, have zoom meetings, and control all my lights and accessories with one WiFi network.
What can I use as a Hub for Apple Homekit?
The 5 devices listed above are the absolute best to use for connecting your home network securely. There are other brands of devices that are non-Apple that you might have, but I never trust them 100% to be absolutely reliable. By sticking with the Apple Ecosystem for Home Automation you are guaranteed to have the best experience.
What is the cheapest HomeKit hub?
The HomePod mini (any color) is the most affordable HomeKit Hub – it comes with some amazing features and incredible sound. You can ask it using Siri to control lots of different devices, and combined with your iPhone set up automations and scenes to be controlled automatically or whenever you want. So yes, the HomePod Mini IS a HomeKit hub?
Do you need Apple TV for HomeKit?
While the Apple TV (both older and newer 4K are amazing to use as a HomeKit Hub, they aren’t necessary to have to control your home automation devices. When you do have an Apple TV, or any of the other devices in the table above, connected to your home network you will have the ability to control your accessories from anywhere in the world over the internet.
How many HomeKit hubs can you have?
While you only need one HomeKit hub, you can have as many as you want! I think I have at least 3 Apple TV’s a Mac mini, and half a dozen HomePod Minis connected to my network right now, and they all work seamlessly together.
While it isn’t necessary to have a Hub with Apple HomeKit, when you do you can control devices from anywhere, even when you aren’t at home. This list has the top 5 different devices people use to create a HomeKit Hub in 2022. My personal favorite is the Apple TV 4K – it is affordable, and “always on”. Plus it is hidden away behind my TV so I don’t see it, or the wires, or anything. It just works – and that’s the way it is supposed to be.