The new Apple HomePod 2 is here, and the reviews have debuted with gusto. Looks like reviewers like the new speaker, but are a little confused as to why Apple has released it. It seems like an improvement to the old model, but doesn't offer enough new stuff to really justify its existence.
We've gathered together all the latest opinions of the HomePod 2, and whether you should get your hands on one. If you're looking to get your hands on the new HomePod, then here's where to preorder the HomePod 2.
HomePod 2 - video reviews
Marques Brownlee's review of the HomePod 2 details the various updates on the new speaker. He remains confused, however, as the new HomePod doesn't seem to offer enough new features to justify its release.
Dave2D compares the new HomePod with the old model, and tests the acoustic performance of the HomePod 2. He tests the HomePod for a little longer and even goes a little further with the technical specs of the speaker. He shows the physical differences between the two devices, but also goes on to talk about Siri's shortcomings.
Matthew likes the new HomePod, going on to say that it sounds incredible. He shows the physical differences between the two. He even goes to compare it to the HomePod mini, to show you what extra you get for the extra expense. He also uses specialist audio gear to measure the sonic experience. He also thinks it's too expensive.
The Engadget review compares the HomePod to the competition, putting it up against speakers from the likes of Google and Amazon. This is also one of the only reviews that says that the HomePod 2 is anything more than a slight improvement over the previous model.
HomePod 2 - reviews
The lovely What Hi-Fi team really liked the HomePod 2, giving it a five star review score. Impressed with the sound and the Atmos performance, they felt that it's still only suitable for dedicated Apple users. They also wanted more Siri support for the likes of Spotify and Tidal. Here's what they had to say:
"Importantly, there are upgrades, and the new HomePod is smarter and even more flexible in terms of placement than before. It also, crucially, sounds even better. Tighter, more solid, and better organised both spatially and rhythmically, it’s altogether more engaging, exciting and enjoyable to listen to.
It’s still not a sensible choice unless you’re already an avid Apple user and preferably an Apple Music subscriber. If you are, though, the HomePod 2 is arguably the best speaker of this type you can buy."
Our friends over at TechRadar like the new HomePod and its sound quality, but reviewer Matt Bolton doesn't think it offers enough new features. He also comments on how bass impact has been slightly reduced and talks about how having a pair with Atmos is spectacular.
"As it is, its value is a bit all-or-nothing. It's either a great buy for all-in Apple users, or a poor buy for everyone else. So the score below is for the people who actually should consider buying it – it's great value, but it'd be even better with some extra options."
Brian Heater of TechCrunch likes the new HomePod, and thinks that the return of the HomePod makes sense. He admits there are problems with the Apple ecosystem as a whole that might make some parts of the speaker harder to recommend, but ultimately thinks releasing the new HomePod is a very 'Apple' move.
"I have quibbles: Apple Music has its shortcomings, Wi-Fi 4 is ancient and the lack of backward stereo compatibility with the first-gen sticks out like a sore thumb. But the HomePod 2 works well, looks nice and sounds great. It’s going to fit perfectly for a select cross-section of consumers. It continues to not be for everyone, and there’s a part of me that strongly suspects that Apple wouldn’t have it any other way."
The Verge notes that the new HomePod is too similar to the old model. It's a solid speaker, and fits neatly into the niche the old one left behind, however. Although Chris Welch also wonders whether Apple has left itself open to its main competitors with a speaker that doesn't offer enough new features.
"More than anything else, its restoration in the lineup fills a self-inflicted gap and buys Apple a couple of years to work on more ambitious products destined for our homes. But with competitors like Sonos planning major new products for the coming months, I can’t help but wonder whether Apple played it too safe with this $299 speaker — no matter how good it may sound."
The Wall Street Journal
Nicole Nguyen likes the HomePod 2 but isn't such a big fan of the price.
"While the larger HomePod is nice—especially if you want fantastic, room-filling sound—the two Siri-powered devices now offer essentially the same smart features.
The new $299 HomePod, on shelves Friday, has built-in temperature and humidity sensors plus support for other smart-home technologies including the low-power networking protocol Thread. So does the mini: Apple unlocked the same sensors in the existing $99 HomePod Mini in a recent software update."
Ty Pendlebuty writing for CNET, again, likes the big sound but doesn't like the high price, even though it's $50 lower than the previous model. He also thinks it's too Apple-centric, and that it's not enough to persuade other users to get into the Apple ecosystem.
"Overall the HomePod sounds great, but its high price and Apple-centric features simply exclude too many potential users -- including Spotify subscribers and Android owners -- for broad appeal. And for Apple fans who want a Siri speaker, the Mini is probably big enough."
Apple HomePod 2 reviews - not particularly mixed
While sometimes looking at reviews can be a mixed bag, here they mostly say one thing - that the new HomePod is too expensive. Other opinions are mixed, however, with some liking the use of Siri and Apple Music, and others wishing the speaker were slightly less locked into Apple's ecosystem.
One of the biggest things is that it's too similar to the old HomePod. The new design isn't all that new at all, and it sounds too much like the old model to feel super new. Almost everyone loved the way that the speaker sounds, however, so if you pick one up you're still getting one of the best-sounding smart speakers around. Just be ready to spend a lot of money to get it.
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.