The nightmare is over – macOS 11.3 finally lets you use two HomePods as a stereo pair

Two white homepods sitting on a television stand
Two white homepods sitting on a television stand (Image credit: iMore)

Yesterday saw the release of macOS 11.3 and it was a good day. Sure, it brought support for things like AirTags and whatnot, but more importantly, it fixed a huge oversight. It brings support for stereo pairs of HomePods to Mac for the first time.

I ranted about this madness before. Up until yesterday, nobody could set a stereo pair of HomePods as the audio destination from within macOS. You could output music from the Music app, but you couldn't select a stereo pair from the macOS system settings. And that was, as I've said previously, madness. The fact that macOS 11 didn't support AirPlay 2 natively until macOS 11.3 still is, frankly. Especially with the $99 HomePod mini around.

But if you try and select that stereo pair of HomePod minis from a Mac's menu bar you're going to be stuck because the audio will instead come from one HomePod mini or the other. No stereo. No fun. No sense as to why.

And now it's fixed. Here's how to set that stereo pair up in the first place, by the way.

The incoming feature was first noticed that this feature was coming back in February and those not brave enough – or daft enough! – to run the macOS 11.3 betas have been waiting for it to arrive ever since. Now that it's here, selecting a stereo pair of HomePods works exactly the way you'd expect it to. In fact, you select your HomePods in the same way you'd select any out audio destination and that's exactly how it should be. Click the speaker item in the menu bar and then click your pair of HomePods.

You'll be bopping along to the sound of Slack messages and Zoom calls in no time at all!

Actually, maybe this isn't such a good idea after all!

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.