The first-generation HomePod is now back in a second-generation guise, two years after it was discontinued. Apple Releases a Full-Size Second-Generation HomePod.
The speaker array has been modified in the new model, and temperature and humidity sensors have also been included. The second generation HomePod features the same 4-inch high excursion woofer as before. New five horn-loaded tweeters replace the seven on the original model. Four new far-field mics have replaced the six microphones of the original model. There is also an internal low-frequency calibration mic for automatic bass correction.
The new HomePod can automatically rectify rooms by listening to input from the microphones and calibrating itself, much like the old model could. The Apple S7 SoC aids in real-time tweaking and computational audio.
Like previous HomePod models, the new one also allows stereo pairing; just place two of them together and you’ll be prompted to decide if you want to connect them. The HomePod’s capabilities go beyond stereo playing and include Dolby Atmos playback on an Apple TV 4K. To make a stereo pair, you must use the same HomePod model, as the first and second generations cannot be linked together.
Apple Releases a Full-Size Second-Generation HomePod
Additionally, the new HomePod has sensors for humidity and temperature. These may be used to automatically activate particular tasks, such turning on the air conditioning or closing the blinds when a predetermined temperature goal is reached, and they can also report real-time information about your surroundings.
Some of you might recall that these identical sensors were formerly found on the HomePod mini, but they were never turned on. It now appears that Apple will make them available on the HomePod small in a future update.
Additionally, the Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad may all quietly get warnings from the Sound Recognition function when a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds. The HomePod mini will also have access to this capability.
The new model is a little bit shorter and lighter than the previous one, but otherwise the design is basically the same. It comes in two colors—White and a new, lighter shade of gray called Midnight—and both come with color-coordinated power cords that may now be removed.
The second generation HomePod is priced at $299, the same as the original model’s price when it was discontinued. It is available to order today and will be available on February 3.