Apple has unveiled the HomePod (2nd generation), an exceptional smart speaker that boasts advanced acoustics and an iconic design. Powered by Siri intelligence and a host of Apple innovations, the HomePod delivers an unparalleled listening experience with its revolutionary computational audio and support for Spatial Audio tracks. Moreover, users can easily manage their daily tasks and control their smart home through the speaker, including creating smart home automations using Siri, receiving smoke and carbon monoxide alarm notifications, and monitoring room temperature and humidity – all without lifting a finger. The new HomePod is available for purchase online and in the Apple Store app.
“With our audio expertise and innovation, the new HomePod produces natural mid-range, rich, deep bass, and clear, detailed highs,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Following the success of HomePod mini, we’ve noticed an increasing demand for even more powerful acoustics in a larger HomePod. We’re excited to introduce the next generation of HomePod to customers worldwide.”
The new HomePod features a stunning design that seamlessly integrates into any setting with its acoustically transparent mesh fabric and a backlit touch surface that illuminates from edge to edge. Available in white and midnight, the latter being a new color made entirely from 100 percent recycled mesh fabric, the HomePod comes with a color-matched woven power cable, which adds to its stylish look.
The HomePod boasts exceptional audio quality, producing deep bass and stunning high frequencies that create a powerful acoustic experience. Its custom-engineered high-excursion woofer, built-in bass-EQ mic, powerful motor that drives the diaphragm 20mm, and beamforming array of five tweeters all work together to achieve this remarkable sound.
Furthermore, the HomePod utilizes the S7 chip, combined with software and system-sensing technology, to offer advanced computational audio that maximizes the full potential of its acoustic system. The result is a groundbreaking listening experience that is sure to impress.
With room sensing technology, the HomePod can detect sound reflections from nearby surfaces, allowing it to determine if it is freestanding or against a wall, and adapt its sound in real-time. Its beamforming array of five tweeters provides precise directional control, separating and beaming direct and ambient audio to create crystal-clear vocals and rich instrumentation that immerse listeners in the music.
Users can enjoy a vast catalog of over 100 million songs with Apple Music, listen to Spatial Audio with a single HomePod or as a stereo pair, or create a captivating home theater experience with Apple TV 4K. With Siri, users can access a range of music knowledge and search for their favorite artists, songs, lyrics, decades, genres, moods, or activities.
By using two or more HomePod or HomePod mini speakers, users can unlock a wide range of powerful features. With multiroom audio and AirPlay, users can simply use the “Hey Siri” command or touch and hold the top of a HomePod to play the same song on multiple HomePod speakers, play different songs on different HomePod speakers, or use them as an intercom to broadcast messages to other rooms.
Furthermore, users can create a stereo pair with two HomePod speakers in the same space. This feature not only separates the left and right channels but also plays each channel in perfect harmony, resulting in a wider and more immersive soundstage than traditional stereo speakers. This creates a truly exceptional listening experience that stands out from the rest.
With Ultra Wideband technology, users can easily transfer their favorite songs, podcasts, or phone calls from their iPhone to their HomePod with just a simple handoff. For personalized song and podcast recommendations, anyone in the home can bring their iPhone close to HomePod, and suggestions will surface automatically. Additionally, HomePod can recognize up to six voices, ensuring that each member of the household can hear their personal playlists, set reminders, and create calendar events.
For a powerful home theater experience, HomePod pairs seamlessly with Apple TV 4K, and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) support on Apple TV 4K allows customers to make HomePod the audio system for all devices connected to the TV. Moreover, with Siri on HomePod, users can easily control what’s playing on their Apple TV without using their hands.
Using the Find My feature on HomePod, users can locate their Apple devices, such as their iPhone, by playing a sound on the misplaced device. Additionally, with Siri, users can ask for the location of friends or loved ones who share their location via the app.
HomePod is equipped with Sound Recognition technology, which allows it to listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and send a notification directly to the user’s iPhone if a sound is detected. Additionally, the built-in temperature and humidity sensor can measure indoor environments, allowing users to create automations that automatically close the blinds or turn on the fan when a certain temperature is reached in a room.
By activating Siri, customers can control a single device or create scenes such as “Good Morning” that simultaneously activate multiple smart home accessories, or set up recurring automations hands-free such as “Hey Siri, open the blinds every day at sunrise.” A new confirmation tone indicates when a Siri request is made to control an accessory that may not visibly show a change, such as a heater or an accessory located in a different room. The Home app has been redesigned to offer new categories for climate, lights, and security, making it easier for users to navigate, view, and organize their smart home accessories. The updated app also includes a new multicamera view. Additionally, ambient sounds like ocean, forest, and rain have been remastered and are now more integrated into the experience, enabling customers to add new sounds to scenes, automations, and alarms.
Last fall, the Matter standard was launched, allowing smart home products to work seamlessly across different ecosystems while ensuring top-notch security. Apple, along with other industry leaders, is a member of the Connectivity Standards Alliance that maintains the Matter standard. HomePod plays a critical role in this regard, as it connects to and controls Matter-enabled accessories, acting as a vital home hub that allows users to access and control their smart home devices even when they are away from home.
Apple has always prioritized the protection of customer privacy, and this value extends to their smart home products. All smart home communications are end-to-end encrypted, which means that Apple cannot read them. This includes camera recordings that use HomeKit Secure Video. Additionally, Siri requests are not stored by default, ensuring that users’ audio data is not being recorded or stored without their consent. These privacy features provide users with peace of mind, knowing that their personal information and activities within their homes are kept private and secure.
Apple is committed to reducing its environmental impact, and has set a goal to become carbon neutral across its entire manufacturing supply chain and all product life cycles by 2030. This means that every Apple device sold, from component manufacturing to recycling and material recovery, will have a net-zero climate impact. To achieve this goal, Apple is investing in renewable energy, transitioning to more sustainable materials, and implementing energy-efficient designs for its products.