Apple just announced the second generation of the its full sized HomePod. This comes as a surprise since Apple discontinued the HomePod back in 2021 due to poor sales.
The second gen HomePod does come packed with a couple of Apple innovations, including improved smart home features, temperature and humidity sensors, and more.
New Apple HomePod Design & Features
The design of the new HomePod is pretty similar to the previous-generation model. The biggest design change is that the touch surface on the top of the HomePod now illuminates from edge-to-edge, similar to what we see with the HomePod mini.
You can also get the new HomePod in two colors, white and midnight. From the images presented, the midnight colored one looks pretty similar to the previous den one space colored one but in Apple’s true fashion, they swears it’s a “new color made with 100 percent recycled mesh fabric, with a color-matched woven power cable.”
Specs wise, the new HomPod comes with a speaker that houses a custom-engineered high-excursion woofer, a motor that drives the diaphragm 20mm, a built-in bass-EQ mic, and a beamforming array of five tweeters.
It’s powered by the S7 chip, an upgrade over the A8 chip in the original HomePod and the S5 in the HomePod mini.
The mic array has also dropped from six microphones down to four microphones. Apple says that the drop in the number of microphones will not affect sound quality.
The new HomePod supports Sound Recognition, a feature also supported by other Apple devices. On the HomePod, this feature can listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and send a notification directly to your iPhone if a sound is identified.
This feature, however, will launch later with a software update.
Apple has also added a U1 chip to the full-size HomePod for the first time.
The fruit named company says this chip is used for more advanced and reliable Handoff features when transferring music from your iPhone to your HomePod.
The Apple HomePod Now Supports The Latest Matter Standard
For smart home fanatics, the new HomePod includes support for the latest Matter standard. “HomePod connects to and controls Matter-enabled accessories, and serves as an essential home hub, giving users access when away from home,” Apple said.
There’s also a built-in sensor for temperature and humidity.
Price & Availability
If you want to get your hands on one, it will cost you $299. Apple states it is accepting orders from apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app starting today for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, the US, and 11 other countries and regions.
But the device won’t actually be available until February 3, 2023.