The first-generation HomePod has returned, albeit in a second-generation form, two years after it was discontinued. The latest version has updated speakers and environmental sensors for controlling climate. The new HomePod retains the original model’s high-excursion 4-inch woofer. The original model’s seven tweeters have been replaced with five new horn-loaded tweeters. New far-field microphones have replaced the old model’s six microphones. To further facilitate the automated adjustment of bass, a low-frequency calibration mic has been included within.
The new HomePod, like the original, can calibrate itself by listening to input from its microphones to do automated room correction. Apple’s S7 system-on-a-chip enables real-time fine-tuning and computational audio processing.Like previous HomePod models, the new HomePod may be paired with another to create a stereo effect. HomePod can stream Dolby Atmos audio from an Apple TV 4K in addition to stereo sound. To make a stereo pair, you’ll need two of the same HomePod model, since the first and second generations are incompatible.
The new HomePod also has sensors for tracking temperature and humidity. These may provide real-time data on your environment and can be programmed to do things like close the curtains or turn on the air conditioner when a specific temperature is reached. Similar sensors were uncovered on the HomePod mini a while ago, but they were never activated. It seems that Apple will soon enable them on the HomePod small through software update.
If you have a smoke or carbon monoxide detector installed in your home, you can use Sound Recognition to secretly monitor it and get notifications on your iOS device. The smaller HomePod will also have this capability. Overall, the look is the same, but the new version is a hair shorter and lighter. Available in White and a new, lighter shade of gray called Midnight, both models come with detachable power cords that match the design of the device.