Apple has announced HomePod 2, the successor to the original HomePod released in 2018. The new wireless speaker is very similar to his first HomePod in most respects, but it seems to be even more designed for Dolby Atmos movies. Spatial audio in Apple Music.
The original Apple HomePod was one of the best wireless speakers on the market, but was abruptly discontinued in March 2021, and the company chose to focus on the smaller, cheaper Apple HomePod mini.
HomePod 2 main features
– $299 / £299 / AU$479
– Released February 3, 2022
– Spatial audio and Dolby Atmos support
– High Execution Woofer, 5 Tweeters
– Smart Home Hub with Thread & Matter
But with Apple’s spatial audio-enhanced music now firmly on offer as part of its offerings, and with the recent release of Apple Music sessions available with spatial audio, a new HomePod that boasts spatial audio support is always inevitable. It looked like… (And to be fair, it was actually discovered before Apple announced it.)
The Apple HomePod mini is a great speaker in its own right, and its diminutive stature and low price put it head-to-head with some of the best smart speakers on the market, including the Amazon Echo Studio and Sonos One. It’s the first flagship wireless speaker and the only speaker to support Apple Music’s acclaimed Lossless and Spatial Audio content.
There weren’t really any rumors that it would have a screen or be cheaper, but we’re still excited about the redesigned HomePod 2.
Apple HomePod 2: price and release date
The HomePod 2 will be available to order on Apple’s online store starting Wednesday, January 18, 2022, and will actually release on Friday, February 3, 2022.
Priced at $299 / £299 / AU$479, it’s about the same price as the previous model until it was discontinued. Same price in the US, slightly higher in the UK, not surprising given the recent exchange rates. $AU10 expensive in Australia.
Even the most expensive Alexa speaker, the Amazon Echo Studio, costs almost half the price.The Sonos One is also much cheaper.
However, there are plenty of much more expensive wireless speakers like Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (2021) and the mighty Naim Mu-So Qb 2nd Gen.
The HomePod is therefore in the middle of the overall market and definitely above the high end. many People will pay for this stuff. But that’s what the HomePod mini is for, right?
Apple HomePod 2: Design and Speakers
The new HomePod 2 looks pretty much like the original HomePod, with a round shape and a cloth-covered exterior. I really like this design. It looks great when focused, but the simple black or white finish also makes it perfect for blending into the background when you’re not.
At the top is a swirling colored “screen” (no information, only visible when Siri or music is active). On his original HomePod, this was just a small dot in the middle, but now it’s all over the top, just like the HomePod mini.
The new model has the same diameter of 5.6 inches / 142mm as the original and is almost the same height. It’s a bit shorter at 6.6 inches / 168mm instead of 6.8 inches / 173mm.
Many of the principles are the same, but the internals are different. For example, there’s still a large 4-inch high-excursion woofer on top to handle midrange and bass. “High excursion” means that the drivers move particularly far back and forth, allowing more air to be displaced and producing a louder, deeper sound.
There’s also a ring of high-frequency tweeters still under the woofers, but instead of the original HomePod’s seven, there are five, and they’re positioned at the bottom of the unit and pointing upwards. This can be useful for adding height and spatial audio effects when used with Dolby Atmos audio.
Apple HomePod 2: Features
There have been all sorts of rumors about what the new HomePod will be, but the second stanza turns out to be very similar to the first. The features of the new HomePod are closer to the original.
That means it’s primarily aimed at music from the Apple ecosystem. You can use Siri to request songs from Apple Music, but Siri now works with other music services. You can send music (or other audio) from Apple devices via AirPlay 2, but there is no way to get Bluetooth or other audio.
Works as part of an AirPlay multi-room system, allowing you to use one HomePod alone or two in pairs.
The new HomePod supports Apple Music’s Dolby Atmos music support, including Spatial Audio. Try to bounce the sound off the walls to create a sense of the music around you.
If you own an Apple TV, these Dolby Atmos skills will come in handy. Because he can use the two new HomePods as his replacement for one of the best soundbars. Apple TV can send all sounds, including Dolby Atmos 3D, to HomePod. audio.
HomePod 2 also supports lossless audio from Apple Music for better overall audio quality.
It has an ultra-wideband chip that allows the iPhone 11 and later to detect when you’re near it, so you can easily send music from your phone to the HomePod (or vice versa) by simply moving it closer.
For smart home enthusiasts, HomePod 2 just got even better. It supports Thread and Matter, a next-generation protocol that works not just with Apple HomeKit, but more accessories than ever before, letting you trigger automation in your smart home when you’re not there. It also has built-in temperature and humidity sensors to help climate control smart home gear.
Watch the video here: Apple HomePod 2: Everything you need to know