Apple's new HomePod is the company's answer to the high-fidelity and smart speaker market. It's a dedicated speaker that supports Siri for access to Apple Music and HomeKit-enabled devices. It's one hell of a sound system packed into a 7-inch tall package. It has a specially engineered audio design to produce quality sound throughout your entire room, even if it's set up in a corner. It's built with Siri inside, so you can use it to play tunes through Apple Music, send messages, make phone calls, and control your HomeKit enabled devices. In fact, Mobile Nations Editorial Director, Rene Ritchie, describes listening to HomePod as "Retina for your ears." It's bound to be a pretty impressive little speaker. You're not here to learn more about the HomePod, though (you can do that by reading our FAQ). You're here to help you decide whether you should buy more than one. Let's dig in!
Should I buy multiple HomePod speakers?
The short answer is no. When the HomePod launches, it's not going to have multi-room music functionality or stereo pairing. What, exactly does all that mean? It means if you buy two HomePods, they're going to work as completely separate speakers — you won't be able to create a synced stereo environment in your living room by placing the two speakers across from each other. Here's how Apple describes the feature that it says will be coming later this year:
Put another HomePod in the same room and they automatically detect and balance each other. With advanced beamforming capabilities, a HomePod pair is able to create a wider, more immersive soundstage than a traditional stereo pair.
Other than a nice stereo setup, the biggest benefit of multiple speakers is the ability to fill your home with the sound of music (both the musical and just the media in general). Unfortunately, AirPlay 2, the technology that enables multi-room listening, won't ship with the HomePod. It'll be coming later this year. Here's how Apple describes that feature:
When you add HomePod to more than one room, the speakers communicate with each other through AirPlay 2. Play the same music everywhere or play different songs in different rooms. You can also control any other AirPlay 2–compatible speakers.
So as you can see, there's no feature-based reason to purchase multiple HomePods right now. Added functionality will be coming later this year and when it does, that'll be all the reason you'd need to add to your setup. That said, there are a few reasons you might want to purchase multiple HomePods:
- Supply: If you're worried the new features could ship before Apple catches up on demand, you're probably going to want to pick up another HomePod. It took a long time for Apple to catch up to demand for AirPods. It's hard to say, but the HomePod could have the same issue.
- Multiple people: If you've got multiple people in your home who all have different music tastes (and Apple IDs), you may want to pick up another HomePod. That'll give everyone the opportunity to use their HomePod as they see fit.
- Gifts: If you'd like to give someone a HomePod as a gift, that's obviously a reason to purchase more than one.
If you're looking to learn more about HomePod before the January 26 order date, check out this guide from my colleague Serenity Caldwell — it should answer your questions!
Are you buying multiple HomePods?
Will you be among those buying multiple HomePods at launch? Share your thoughts and excuses in the comments or over on Twitter!
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