In 2021, Apple stopped selling the first generation HomePods from 2018 and has since focused on the much smaller smart speakers in the HomePod Mini series. Now a big brother is coming onto the market again: From February 3rd, the second generation of the HomePods will be on the shelves for a proud 349 euros. The news agency spot on news had the opportunity to put the new speakers through their paces in advance.
Little has changed in terms of the external appearance of the new devices. Apple continues to go for an oval, rounded appearance with transparent mesh fabric in black (dubbed Midnight) and white. The backlit touch surface known from the predecessors also remains part of the speaker. The new HomePod is only four centimeters smaller and a little lighter. Also new is the detachable power cable, which was previously permanently installed on the device. Of course, the new device supports Siri voice recognition and can be easily integrated into the Apple environment.
The most notable innovation: the even better sound experience. In contrast to some competitors, the first generation also convinced with a high-quality and powerful sound. However, the current version still makes a leap here - especially if you connect two speakers in series as a stereo pair. Thanks to a sophisticated interaction of hardware and software, the new Homepods provide an amazing sound that doesn't need to hide.
For example, the HomePod also recognizes whether it is standing free in the room or has been placed in front of a wall and automatically adjusts the sound in real time. The integrated temperature and humidity measurement of the rooms, which can be called up via iPhone, is also practical.
Apple users who already use HomePods and are planning to install them in other rooms or want to expand their sound experience cannot avoid the new HomePod. Users who are thinking about a new purchase should also think twice: A HomePod mini for 109 euros can in principle do the same as its big brother, but offers a much more limited sound experience. Anyone who plans to use the HomePod as a real speaker for music or their TV via AppleTV should get used to the new device.
However, anyone who does not own a more modern iPhone or iPad is ruled out as an interested party from the outset: The HomePod needs an Apple device in order to be able to be set up at all. Apple's HomePod also sets itself apart from competitors such as Amazon Echo Studio (199.99 euros) or Google Nest Audio (99 euros) in terms of price and is significantly more expensive. In short: An expensive premium product for Apple lovers with extremely high sound quality.