Apple has just put the wraps off its 2nd-gen HomePod, which replaces the original model that the company discontinued back in 2021. This new HomePod introduces a slightly revamped design with a large backlit touch surface at the top, and it will be available in white and midnight colors.
“With the popularity of HomePod mini, we’ve seen growing interest in even more powerful acoustics achievable in a larger HomePod,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Apple revamped the internal design of this 2nd-gen HomePod to improve audio quality and added its custom S7 chip as well to deliver advanced computational audio capabilities.
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The 2nd gen HomePod has five tweeters around its base (the original model had seven) and a “high-excursion” 4-inch woofer at the top, coupled with five microphones (the original model had seven). The cylindrical speaker still uses room-sensing technology to optimize audio output in real-time, and users can also use two HomePod speakers in tandem to get a stereo experience and pair them to an Apple TV.
New on this 2nd-gen HomePod is the ability to hand off a song, podcast, or phone call by bringing an iPhone close to it, and this feature leverages Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology. Siri on this 2nd-gen HomePod is also capable of recognizing up to six different people in a household and give them personalized responses.
Apple hasn’t neglected smart home features in this update: The 2nd-gen HomePod can be used as a Matter smart home controller and Thread border router, and the company also added new temperature and humidity sensors allowing users to create smart home routines. An update coming later this spring will also allow the 2nd-gen HomePod to detect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sounds and notify users’ iPhones when necessary.
Apple’s 2nd-gen HomePod is available to pre-order today for $299, and it will start shipping on February 3. Apple will continue to sell the HomePod Mini at $99.