Apple's best smart speaker is £50 off; there's a catch but it's a little one

The second generation HomePods are available with nearly 20% off – directly from Apple

Apple HomePod deals
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's HomePod (2nd gen) is without a doubt Apple's best-sounding speaker. It's also the most expensive, with a UK price tag of £299. Apple doesn't tend to discount HomePods, even for events such as Black Friday, so any sign of a discount is very good news for prospective purchasers. And right now you can get the 2nd Gen HomePod in either Black or White for a relatively titchy £249 – a saving of £50.

There's no catch other than the fact that these speakers are refurbished, in this case by Apple. That means they've been returned to Apple for some reason – a customer changing their mind, a fault that Apple has since fixed, a finance problem or any other reason – and can no longer be sold as brand new and unopened. So Apple sells them for a discount with a one-year warranty.

Should I buy a refurbished HomePod?

If you're all-in on Apple and serious about sound, yes. I have two of the first generation, which I bought second hand, and they've been absolutely solid and consistently brilliant. The newer generation sounds even better, and if you can stretch to it I'd definitely recommend investing in two rather than just one. That makes for a great home cinema setup with the Apple TV+ 4K as well as a great stereo music system. As we said in our review, "Without spending a lot more money, you won't get a better all-purpose smart speaker than the HomePod." It's considerably louder and more full sounding than the HomePod mini.

As for Apple Refurbs, I've literally bought dozens of devices that way – the first refurb I bought from Apple was a snow iBook G4 back in around 2005, and I've bought all kinds of refurbs since. Apple charges a little more for its refurbished items but I've found it's worth paying for guaranteed Apple parts (where required to refurbish the item) and Apple's usual high standards of quality control.

There are other cheaper HomePods out there, but make sure you're looking at the same thing: a lot of the refurbs on the likes of eBay are first generation models, which are perfectly decent speakers but of course aren't worth as much money as the newer ones. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).