Apple is not done with announcing new devices. Following the unveiling of new MacBook Pros and Mac mini, the company has shown a new full-size HomePod, a successor to the original and highly overpriced smart speaker Apple discontinued in March 2021.
Apple says the second-generation HomePod is "packed with Apple innovations and Siri intelligence," advanced computational audio, and Spatial Audio support for a "groundbreaking listening experience." Visually, it is almost identical to the original model, with a backlit touch surface and two color options (white and midnight) made of 100% recycled mesh fabric.
HomePod delivers incredible audio quality, with rich, deep bass and stunning high frequencies. A custom-engineered high-excursion woofer, powerful motor that drives the diaphragm a remarkable 20mm, built-in bass-EQ mic, and beamforming array of five tweeters around the base all work together to achieve a powerful acoustic experience. The S7 chip is combined with software and system-sensing technology to offer even more advanced computational audio that maximizes the full potential of its acoustic system for a groundbreaking listening experience.
With room sensing technology, HomePod recognizes sound reflections from nearby surfaces to determine if it is against a wall or freestanding, and then adapts sound in real time. Precise directional control of its beamforming array of five tweeters separates and beams direct and ambient audio, immersing listeners in crystal-clear vocals and rich instrumentation.
Like the original HomePod and HomePod mini, users can pair two HomePods 2 to separate the left and right channels and create a wider and more immersive soundstage. Another new feature coming from the HomePod mini is Ultra Wideband technology that lets you hand off whatever you are playing directly to a HomePod.
The new HomePod also supports sound recognition and can listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Once detected, HomePods will send you a notification to your iPhone. There are also built-in temperature and humidity sensors for measuring indoor environments and creating home automation.
The second-gen HomePod is now available to order for $299, which is just $50 cheaper than the original version. Apple plans to ship the device on February 3, 2023.