It’s been quite a few years since Apple first launched the (now defunct) HomePod, but the old smart speaker has had a revival. The second-generation HomePod retails for $299, and it offers some serious improvements over the original. Not only does it bring improved sound 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 HomePod 2023.
When comparing side-by-side, you won’t notice many differences between the two HomePods. The new HomePod is about 200 grams lighter than the original model and is a few millimeters shorter, but overall the two are very similar. The touchpad on the top of the HomePod 2023 is also a bit larger and now extends almost all the way to the edge of the device. Besides these minor differences, they both have an elongated design and come in several colors.
Speakers and sound
The original HomePod sounded great – and its successor sounds even better. With a 4-inch high-excursion woofer, five horn-loaded tweeters, and support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, Apple is positioning this to be one of the best-sounding smart speakers on the market. It also runs on the S7 chip, which should help it use room-sensing technology to optimize its performance.
Siri and smart functions
Matter is the technology to watch in 2023, and Apple made sure that 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 keeps growing bigger every week.
Like the outgoing HomePod, this one also has Siri support. You can give it a wide range of commands to perform, and since the smart speaker is built with four powerful microphones, it will hear your commands loud and clear. It can also hear smoke or carbon monoxide alarms and send notifications to your smartphone. And like the cheaper HomePod mini, the HomePod comes with a temperature and humidity sensor.
Rounding out its list of notable features is support for Ultra Wideband, which allows the HomePod 2023 to detect and quickly sync with the rest of your smart home.
Apple TV compatibility
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 lying around your home, picking up the HomePod could be a good choice as it can easily integrate with your existing setup.
The original HomePod is no longer for sale. Thatgoes on sale February 3rd and retails for $299.