Apple unveiled its brand new HomePod (2nd generation) on January 18, 2023. It looks just like the original HomePod from 2017 but boasts a few handy new features under the hood and a more agreeable $299 price tag. That includes support for Spatial Audio, and smart home features including a home temperature sensor, humidity sensor, and automation that can detect a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm and alert your iPhone. It also features the S7 chip.
HomePod 2 (2023): Our verdict
After hours of extensive testing, we can confirm that the new HomePod is an absolute slam dunk. It's brilliant. From our HomePod 2 (2023) review:
I absolutely love the new HomePod. It’s a triumph. I still can’t believe how Apple has managed to pull off the audio improvements it has, but it really is something. Whether it's listening to music or watching TV, this beats any smart speaker, Bluetooth, or otherwise that I’ve ever heard. In fact, the new HomePod is so good that I’d even recommend it as an upgrade from the original HomePod if you have one. It's the best smart speaker I've ever heard.
HomePod 2 (2023): Design
The new HomePod is identical in design to the old one. That means it is 6.8 inches high and 5.6 inches wide with a circular base. It weighs 5.16 pounds, but that shouldn't matter too much given this is not a portable device.
It also features a new detachable power cable, a big improvement over the previous one.
HomePod 2 (2023): Audio
The new HomePod has a 4-inch high-excursion woofer and five horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own neodymium magnet. Like the old one, it has a microphone to correct bass and real-time tuning, as well as room sensing to adjust the sound based on its surroundings.
The new HomePod features Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos for music and video, as well as a four-microphone design for picking up Siri requests from a distance.
It also supports multiroom AirPlay and stereo pairing, just like the old one. Interestingly, the new HomePod has fewer speakers and microphones than the old one, making it slightly lighter too.
HomePod 2 (2023): Content and audio sources
The 2023 HomePod can play content from Apple Music, and third-party services like Spotify via AirPlay. But only Apple Music will work through Siri. It can also play music from iTunes and iCloud Music Library, as well as Apple Music Radio. It can tune in to some radio stations like TuneIn and iHeartRadio.
It also supports Apple Podcasts and news briefings, as well as AirPlay from any other Apple device.
HomePod 2 (2023): Connectivity and Matter support
The new homePod features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, as well as support for Thread. One big new connectivity upgrade is Ultra Wideband, which will let you hand off music from your phone like you can with the HomePod mini.
It also supports Thread, a newer low-energy smart home connectivity technology for use with things like smart lights. Thanks to this, it also supports Matter, the new name in smart home connectivity standards.
HomePod 2 (2023): Smart home features
The new HomePod features a couple of cool new smart home features. It can listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and send an alert directly to your iPhone if the sound is identified.
It also features a new built-in temperature and humidity sensor, which can measure your home and interact with automations that close blinds or turn on fans automatically. You can, of course, use your HomePod with Siri to control all of your Apple Home and Matter-enabled devices.
HomePod 2 (2023): Price and release date
The new HomePod 2 is $299 from Apple, it's available for pre-order right now and its release date is February 3, which is when deliveries will start to arrive and it will appear in stores.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9