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Apple launches HomePod (2nd Gen) with support for Apple TV 4K pairing

18 Jan 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

When paired wirelessly to Apple TV 4K, HomePods can become the audio system for all devices connected to your TV with the help of HDMI eARC / ARC. HomePod (2nd Gen) also supports Matter.

Apple is bringing back the larger HomePod as a more potent alternative to the meager HomePod mini. It will still cost $299 but includes a number of improvements in hardware and software over the original HomePod that Apple discontinued due to slow sales.

- "Leveraging our audio expertise and innovations, the new HomePod delivers rich, deep bass, natural mid-range, and clear, detailed highs," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing. "With the popularity of HomePod mini, we’ve seen growing interest in even more powerful acoustics achievable in a larger HomePod. We’re thrilled to bring the next generation of HomePod to customers around the world."

Besides being a music speaker with Siri voice control, a touch control surface and AirPlay 2 compatibility, a pair of HomePods (2nd Gen) can – like the existing HomePods – be set to the default audio system for Apple TV 4K. In addition, Apple TV 4K (2021) and Apple TV 4K (2022) can use HDMI 2.1 eARC to pull all audio from the TV and all of its connected devices, including game consoles, and wirelessly transmit audio in up to Dolby Atmos to the HomePods. This does not work with Apple TV HD.

It is a solution that can serve as an alternative to soundbars such as those from Sonos, although Sonos has a more complete ecosystem of speakers. There are no news about rear speaker capabilities with HomePods.

HomePod (2nd Gen) is equipped with a 4" high-excursion woofer, five horn-loaded tweeters, and an internal calibration microphone. Like the first generation, it has "room sensing" meaning that it can automatically optmize in real-time its sound to your living room by measuring reflections and more. It supports multi-room audio over AirPlay 2.

HomePod Apple TV

HomePods (2nd Gen) can pair wirelessly with Apple TV 4K. Photo: Apple

New features

HomePod (2nd Gen) is powered by Apple's S7 chip and is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Thread, and an Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip to detect nearby Apple devices. It now has a built-in temperature and humidity sensor to "measure indoor environments, so users can create automations that close the blinds or turn on the fan automatically when a certain temperature is reached in a room", said Apple. HomePod mini has had this sensor inside the whole time and it will be activated with an upcoming software update. It also supports Matter and HomeKit. An upcoming 'Sound Recognition' feature will allow it to "securely listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms" and send a notification to an iPhone. Apple's HomePod (2nd Gen) is available to order for $299 starting today in black and dark grey in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, the US, and 11 other countries and regions starting today, with availability beginning Friday, February 3.

Apple HomePod (2nd Gen) – specifications

Size and Weight 5.6 inches wide (142 mm) 6.6 inches high (168 mm) Weight: 5.16 pounds (2.3 kg) Audio Technology 4-inch high-excursion woofer Array of five horn-loaded tweeters, each tweeter with its own neodymium magnet Internal low-frequency calibration microphone for automatic bass correction Advanced computational audio with system sensing for real-time tuning Room sensing Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos for music and video Four-microphone design for far-field Siri Multiroom audio with AirPlay Stereo pair capable Audio Sources Apple Music iTunes music purchases iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription Third-party music services Apple Music Radio or episodes on demand Radio stations from TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Audacy Apple Podcasts News briefings Remastered ambient sounds AirPlay to share other content to HomePod from iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Mac Sensors Sound Recognition Temperature and humidity Accelerometer Accessibility Accessibility features help people with disabilities get the most out of HomePod. Learn more Features include: Touch Accommodations Siri VoiceOver Home app and HomeKit Intercom transcriptions Wireless 802.11n Wi-Fi Peer-to-peer discovery for easy guest access Bluetooth 5.0 Thread Ultra Wideband chip for device proximity

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