2nd generation Apple TV 4K supports ARC for TV audio passthrough to HomePods

HomePod (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's new Apple TV 4K comes with support for ARC.
  • ARC allows all TV audio to be passed through the Apple TV 4K to HomePods.

Apple's refreshed Apple TV 4K has a secret, and it's a good one. A new Apple support document explains that the new second generation Apple TV 4K supports ARC for sending TV audio through it and out to HomePods.

First noticed by 9to5Mac, the new feature is one that could be a huge deal for the few people who use HomePods as their Apple TV speakers. With ARC enabled on a compatible TV, all audio will be fired through the HomePods, regardless of the source.

Tvos14 Settings Video Audio Default Audio Output Homepod Over Arc

Tvos14 Settings Video Audio Default Audio Output Homepod Over Arc (Image credit: Apple)

With HDMI ARC or eARC turned on, your Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) can receive high-quality audio from a supported TV and then play that audio through your HomePod speakers.

Of course, the only problem here is that Apple recently discontinued the HomePod speaker, and the newer HomePod mini isn't supported. So yeah. That's just great.

You can still order a HomePod from Apple, but only in the white color. You might be able to find a black one for sale at a third-party outlet, though. Be sure to check out the best HomePod deals we've come across in the last few weeks, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.