The HomePod is back! The big brother of the HomePod mini that disappeared from Apple's lineup in 2021 is now back with a second-generation model. While the new version looks pretty much the same as the original, there's lots new going on under that mesh fabric.
The big sell here is Spatial Audio, Apple's Dolby Atmos sound delivery that is transforming the quality of music. The new HomePod, being Apple's flagship device once again, supports the format (the original added it with OS 15.1) where the HomePod mini doesn't. Smart home functionality is also improved, with automation including smoke and carbon monoxide alarm detection. Temperature and humidity sensors also allow you to trigger other devices, such as fans and blinds. There's also native Matter support to connect it with a wide range of home devices.
Where the HomePod really comes into its own is in collaboration with the Apple TV 4K. You can link a single or a pair of HomePod speakers to your Apple TV, or to your whole TV setup using eARC on HDMI, turning them into a soundbar alternative.
The HomePod second gen is actually slightly smaller and lighter than the original though the touch-sensitive pad on the top appears larger. It actually contains two fewer tweeters and microphones than the previous model – but is presumably able to do the same job as before, if not better. It uses the five tweeters, its S7 chip and room sensing technology to optimise the sound, adapting in real-time to the environment it's placed in.
That mesh fabric – in either white or black finish – is 100% recycled material and is matched with a move power cable.
The HomePod second generation is available to order now in either white or black for £299/ $299 with availability from 3rd February.