For the second day in a row, Apple continues to update its devices without much fanfare. Today, good news came to fans of the big Apple HomePod, which first appeared in February 2018, and in March 2021 it disappeared from sale altogether. But the company still revived this model of a home “smart” speaker.
“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,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing.
The design of the speaker has not changed much, only the size of the display has been increased. The new model did not have a wider range of colors and the choice is still Midnight (formerly Space Gray) and White. From the outside, the body covers a familiar fabric pattern, and the dimensions of the device are 168×142 mm with a weight of 2.3 kg.
In the middle there is a 4-inch subwoofer and 5 tweeters (there were 7), which HomePod independently calibrates to the properties of the room. There’s support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, as well as multi-room and stereo pairing (the latter requires identical HomePod models).
At the same time, the new speaker received more integration into the “smart” home. There are 5 microphones for communication with Siri (there were 7). They are also used for detection of fire sensor signals and gas leak detection. HomePod itself has learned to determine the temperature and humidity of the room. There is a UWB sensor for synchronization with the iPhone. And in addition to the company integration, support for Matter was also added, which, in combination with all of the above, will allow better interaction with other gadgets of the “smart” home.
The device can already be pre-ordered, and sales will begin on February 3. The price of the new model is $299 (previously it was $329).