Apple Announces Second-Generation HomePod with New Capabilities

BY Dave Johnson

Published 18 Jan 2023

Second-Generation HomePod

Earlier today, Apple announced a second-generation HomePod that promises excellent audio quality, enhanced Siri capabilities, and an improved smart home experience. 

Apple discontinued its full-size HomePod model two years ago without releasing an obvious replacement — until recently. However, several reports suggested that the Cupertino-based tech giant could launch a larger smart speaker to fill that space.

Well, it’s official. Starting today, users can buy a new full-size HomePod for $299. However, deliveries and in-store availability will begin on Friday. 

“Leveraging our audio expertise and innovations, the new HomePod delivers rich, deep bass, natural mid-range, and clear, detailed highs,” says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the popularity of HomePod mini, we’ve seen growing interest in even more powerful acoustics achievable in a larger HomePod.”

Let’s delve a little deeper. 

Features of the Second-Generation HomePod

Here’s everything you should know about the new smart speakers 

Same HomePod Design

The second-generation HomePod’s design is essentially identical to its predecessor. It’s a 6.6 inches tall cylindrical speaker with a mesh fabric exterior and backlit touch surface. 

The HomePod is available in white and midnight. Although the new midnight color looks like the first-generation smart speaker in grey, Apple claims the color is new. 

Computational Audio

The new HomePod’s interior has significantly improved compared to the original. 

It now has an S7 chip for advanced computational audio that promises to deliver a groundbreaking listening experience. There’s also a new U1 chip for Ultra Wideband features such as handing off music from iPhone and spatial audio capability. 

The smart speaker features four microphones, five tweeters, and a four-inch high-excursion woofer. While you can pair two second-generation HomePod for stereo sound, it won’t work if you try to pair the speaker with the original version. 

Smart Home Capabilities

Apple’s press release shows that the second-generation HomePod has enhanced Siri capabilities, Matter support for HomeKit, and other smart home functionalities. For example, the speaker now has a sensor to measure temperature and humidity in indoor environments. 

Also, a software update will bring Sound Recognition, a feature that allows the HomePod to listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Then it’ll send a notification to a user’s iPhone if a sound is identified. 

Availability and Release Date

The new HomePod will launch in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, the US, and 11 other countries. While you can order the speaker online and in the Apple Store app starting today, availability will begin Friday, February 3.