It’s been quite a few years since Apple launched the (now defunct) HomePod, but the old smart speaker has been given a renaissance. The second generation HomePod It retails for $299, and offers some serious improvements over the original. Not only does it bring improved audio quality, but there are plenty of other upgrades that make it much better than its older sibling. Here’s a closer look at all the differences (and similarities) between the original HomePod and the HomePod 2023.
In a side-by-side comparison, you won’t notice much difference between the two HomePods. The new HomePod is 200 grams lighter than the original model and a couple of millimeters shorter, but overall the two are very similar. The touchpad on top of the HomePod 2023 is also slightly larger and now extends almost to the edge of the device. Beyond these minor differences, both have an elongated design and come in multiple colors.
The original HomePod sounded good, and the successor sounded even better. With a 4-inch high-excursion woofer, five horn-loaded tweeters, and support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, Apple is positioning itself to be one of the best-sounding smart speakers on the market. It’s also running the S7 chip, which should help it use room-sensing technology to optimize its performance.
Matter It’s a technology to watch in 2023, and Apple made sure the new HomePod supports the interoperability standard. That means you’ll be able to connect your HomePod to anything else that supports Matter, a list that’s growing every week.
Like the outgoing HomePod, this one also offers Siri support. You can give it various commands to carry out, and since the smart speaker is built with four powerful microphones, it will hear your commands loud and clear. It can also sound for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms and send notifications to your phone. And like the cheaper HomePod mini, the HomePod has a temperature and humidity sensor.
Rounding out the list of notable features is support for Ultra Wideband, which allows the HomePod 2023 to detect and quickly sync with your smart home.
The new HomePod is compatible with Apple TV, and can share content with other products in the Apple library, such as iPhone or iPad. So if you have any of these devices in your home, getting a HomePod can be a great option as it will easily integrate with your existing setup.
The original HomePod is no longer for sale. Theit goes on sale on February 3rd and retails for $299.