Five years after the unique HomePod, Apple has lastly deemed it time to launch a successor. The second-generation HomePod breathes new life into the corporate’s good residence aspirations, boasting a brand new processor and improved sound high quality, together with a temperature and humidity sensor, less complicated good residence automation, and help for Matter—the usual that goals to make all good residence units interoperable.
However, this good speaker is almost as costly as the unique. Sure, it’s $50 much less, however it nonetheless prices $299. At least there’s nonetheless the HomePod Mini for $99. If the value doesn’t deter you, the second-generation HomePod is obtainable for preorder and formally hits cabinets on February 3.
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Wrapped in mesh cloth with a backlit contact floor on prime, the brand new HomePod seems an identical to its predecessor. There’s a brand new colour choice although—midnight, along with the standard white. You’ll get a color-matched woven energy cable, which is all the time a pleasant contact.
The extra notable enhancements are on the within. The new HomePod is powered by an S7 processor for computational audio—yep, the identical one contained in the Apple Watch Series 7—which is supposedly a large improve from the A8 chip on the unique. When it’s mixed with the high-excursion woofer, inner bass-EQ mic, and an array of 5 tweeters, Apple says you’ll get a “groundbreaking listening experience.” Par for the course on Applespeak, however the audio high quality was by no means certainly one of our points with the HomePod.
It now comes geared up with a brand new room-sensing know-how. With the flexibility to acknowledge sound reflections from close by surfaces, the HomePod can establish whether or not it’s towards a wall or freestanding and regulate the sound in keeping with its particular placement within the room for clearer audio. We’ve seen variations of this know-how from audio manufacturers earlier than, in addition to from good speaker producers like Google. For a extra immersive expertise, you may pair two HomePod audio system for stereo sound, and sure, you can too pair it with the HomePod Mini for multiroom audio.
This new mannequin additionally contains the Ultra Wideband know-how we first noticed on the HomePod Mini again in 2021, which lets you hand off media out of your iPhone to the HomePod. You can switch no matter audio is enjoying in your iPhone (like a podcast or cellphone name) to the HomePod when each units are close to one another, excellent for whenever you arrive residence and need to go hands-free. With Find My help, you can too use the speaker to find your iPhone by enjoying a sound on the misplaced gadget.
As for these improved good residence options, you’ll now be capable to use your HomePod to hear for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms utilizing its Sound Recognition characteristic (initially launched with iOS 14). Weirdly, this gained’t be out there at launch however will make its strategy to the speaker by way of a software program replace in June. If the HomePod detects these sounds, it’ll ship a notification to your iPhone instantly (these options are already out there in Google and Amazon good audio system as properly).
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