Early HomePod 2 reviews suggest it's just as good as the old one

Apple HomePod 2
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple announced the return of the HomePod earlier this week and it sure does look like the original. But HomePod 2 has some differences, and while none of them are huge, some had wondered what the new speaker would sound like.

While few people have listened to the HomePod 2, it turns out that it largely sounds just like the original. Who could see that coming?

The new HomePod 2 speaker is surely destined for many lists of the best smart speakers on the market, but we knew that as soon as it was announced.

 HomePod 2 - Sounds good 

According to The Verge’s Chris Welch, Apple has again been demonstrating its HomePod 2 using Hotel California by The Eagles. That’s a song that the company used to promote the first HomePod and it’s clearly one that sounds good on the speaker.

Welch says it sounded just as good on the HomePod 2, although this particular demo included two of the speakers in stereo mode. As they noted, “this was in a controlled demo environment where ear-pleasing results were guaranteed.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Apple has been keen to let anyone test the HomePod and HomePod 2 beside each other. Still, with the OG model packing seven tweeters and the HomePod 2 having just 5, that’s something many of us would like to hear.

Apple has also nixed two mics, but that’s something that we haven’t seen tested yet. But Welch’s hands-on confirms what we might have expected. “But even if the guts have changed some, the new HomePod still... very much sounded like a HomePod during Apple’s music demos.” That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course.

Those looking for a deeper dive into the HomePod 2’s performance can also check out a hands-on by the folks at TechRadar, where Lance Ulanoff says he was “totally blown away,” so maybe give that a read if you’re on the fence about picking one of these things up when they go on sale on February 3.

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.