May 26, 2024

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Apple HomePod 2nd Gen available at $299

2 min read

Apple HomePod officially returns

Apple has announced the HomePod 2nd Generation – an update to the original smart speakers, which was discontinued in 2021.

There have been a lot of rumblings in the last few weeks about a return to a larger HomePod, joining the $99/PS99 HomePod Mini that was released in 2020. However, a new model is not expected to arrive until spring.

The new speaker, which costs $299/PS299, is now available for pre-order and will be shipped on 3 February. Most of the improvements are internal.

Apple Watch Series 7’s Apple S7 processor will power the new home automation experience, replacing the Apple A8 (from iPhone 6).

The speaker array is also slightly different. HomePod 2 features a four-inch subwoofer and five tweeters. This is a reduction from the seven Tweeters in the HomePod.

Apple returns to the HomePod - second-gen model available for $299

The U1 ultrawideband chips (also found in HomePod Mini), will allow features like Spatial Audio and Handoff from the iPhone.

Apple’s second-generation HomePod is also compliant with Matter, the new standard for smart homes. The speaker can also act as a matter controller. It will join the Mini and Apple TV.

Apple’s announcement does not make it clear whether the new HomePod has Thread Border Router capabilities, just like the Apple TV Mini and 128GB Apple TV.

If not, this would be a bizarre omission. However, the speaker will also not be able to stereo pair with first-gen HomePod. So, anything is possible. If you want to create stereo sound, you can pair at least two new-gen HomePods.

HomePod is almost identical to its predecessor, with the same fabric mesh exterior and touch-enabled upper. Only the height has changed by 0.2 inches and it’s weight has decreased from 5.5 to 5.16 pounds.

Apple claims that the iPhone 5S is available in the US and UK, Australia and Canada, China, France and Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain as well as 11 other countries. The colors available are the same greyish white and white from the previous generation.

Watch out for our full review in the next few weeks, which will include photos of the cable that matches the colors.

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