Two years after its discontinuation, the Apple HomePod is back. The new model features changes to the speaker array and has gained temperature and humidity sensors. The second generation HomePod has the same 4 inch woofer as before. However, five new tweeters replace the seven of the original model. Apple has replaced the original model’s six microphones with four new, longer-range microphones. There is also an internal low-frequency calibration microphone for automatic bass correction.
Like the original model, the new HomePod can perform automatic spatial correction by listening to microphone feedback and calibrating itself. Processing is handled by an Apple S7 chipset that helps with computer audio and real-time tuning. The Apple HomePod 2 also supports stereo pairing: if you put two of them in a room, the speakers will ask you if you want to pair them. However, this only works with two speakers of the same generation. In addition to functioning as a stereo speaker, the HomePod can also play Dolby Atmos audio from an Apple TV 4K.
Apple HomePod 2 with temperature and humidity sensors
The new Apple HomePod also includes temperature and humidity sensors. These can report real-time information about the environment and automatically trigger certain functions. This includes, for example, switching on the air conditioning or closing the blinds when a preset temperature target is reached. The same sensors were also discovered in the HomePod mini some time ago. Apple hasn’t activated it there yet. It may come with a future software update.
The sound detection feature also picks up alerts from a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm and can send appropriate alerts to an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. This feature will also be enabled on the HomePod mini. The design is largely unchanged, but the new model is slightly shorter and slightly lighter. It is available in two colors – white and a new, light gray Midnight variant. It comes with color-matching power cords, which are now detachable.
The second-generation HomePod can now be pre-ordered for $299. Shipping starts on February 3rd.