Home Uncategorized Apple HomePod 2nd Generation Review: The Ultimate Smart Speaker Experience

Apple HomePod 2nd Generation Review: The Ultimate Smart Speaker Experience

Apple HomePod 2nd Generation Review: The Ultimate Smart Speaker Experience

Apple HomePod (2nd Generation) is the latest iteration of Apple’s smart speaker, designed to offer unparalleled audio quality and a seamless smart home experience.

This review aims to provide an in-depth look at the HomePod (2nd gen), exploring its design, sound quality, features, and functionality.

Apple entered the smart speaker market late when it unveiled the HomePod in 2018. Yes, the business has never been concerned about tardiness, preferring to concentrate on being the best. Unfortunately, with its initial attempt, that wasn’t the case.

The HomePod had a nice sound, but it lacked many of the essential features and voice assistant skills that companies like Amazon and Google provided. HomePod and HomePod mini have been improved over the course of the last five years by Apple, who also included features like multi-room audio, multi-user support, and an intercom tool.

Apple stopped making the original model in 2021 in favor of the $99 HomePod mini. The larger version has since reappeared with a recognizable exterior but many interior changes. Like the original, those who have already committed to Apple’s ecosystem will benefit most from the new HomePod ($299). I can understand if you don’t want to continue if that’s not you.

If so, just be aware that the company has given the speaker a lot more tools than it did at its launch five years ago, including more capable Siri assistance and more smart home capabilities. In addition, the new HomePod is $50 less expensive than the first model was when it first launched.

A well-known design updated

Apple surely let you down if you were expecting the new HomePod to be a complete redesign. However, a closer look reveals some distinct modifications. First, just like the HomePod mini, the touch panel on the speaker has been slightly recessed.

The panel in the original version is flush with the top rim. Now that Siri is activated, the panel’s lighting extends all the way to its edge. The power cord is now also removable. This implies that it should be simpler to obtain a replacement if you experience a problem with that crucial component (via Apple Care).

But Apple changed a lot of things internally. Both versions feature a woofer that faces upward and a cluster of tweeters around the bottom.

Apple changed the tweeters’ angle from nearly perfectly side-firing to slightly upward for the second generation, cutting the number of tweeters from seven to five.

The business reduced the number of voice microphones from six to four as well. The A8 chip from the iPhone 6 was replaced by the much more advanced S7 chip, which also powers the Apple Watch series 7. This was perhaps the most significant internal change.

Features and Functionality

The HomePod (2nd gen) offers a range of features and functionality that make it a smart home powerhouse. With Siri integration, users can control their smart home devices, set reminders, make phone calls, send text messages, and stream music, all with just their voice. The speaker also supports Apple Music, which offers over 60 million songs, playlists, and podcasts, as well as AirPlay 2, which allows users to stream music from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

The HomePod (2nd gen) also integrates with Apple’s HomeKit platform, which allows users to control their smart home devices using their voice or the Home app. With HomeKit, users can set routines, automate their devices, and control multiple devices with just one command.

Setup and Software

The second-generation HomePod is a better speaker even though there haven’t been any external changes because Apple has been enhancing it and the HomePod mini over time. A few months after the first generation model was released, the company introduced AirPlay 2 along with stereo pairing and multi-room audio. The intercom feature debuted in 2020 before the HomePod mini, while multi-user support and audio handoffs were added in 2019.

And starting in 2021, HomePod will be able to play any TV audio through an Apple TV 4K over eARC, spatial audio, and lossless Apple Music streaming. Apple has been gradually introducing many of the key features it is touting for the new HomePod since 2018.

Apple’s Home app has all the tools you need to configure and manage the HomePod. As with any other smart home device, you must first add a new speaker using this software by giving it a room or location in your house. With the help of the app, you can configure how you want to communicate with Siri as well as Automations and Scenes.

The HomePod’s touch panel’s long press to activate the assistant can be turned off, as can voice cues (both are enabled by default). When using Siri, you have the option of having the speaker play a sound and light up, or just one or the other. You can use Siri for Personal Requests through the Home app, and as long as your iPhone is nearby, the speaker will be able to recognize your voice for things like messages, calls, and reminders. Should you prefer not to use the intercom feature of the HomePod, the software enables you to turn it off.

The HomePod 2023 model has room calibration, just like the original. In order to set up the sound for the best performance, this detects reflections off of walls and other surfaces. When you play music for the first time, the HomePod does this, but it isn’t ongoing surveillance. Instead, the system uses an accelerometer, just like it did on the previous generation, to detect when it has been moved. If so, when music is played, the speaker will restart the room sensing procedure.

HomePod with Siri

The limited capabilities of Siri were one of our main complaints when we reviewed the first HomePod in 2018. Although the speaker had good audio quality, the voice assistant’s lack of polish gave the impression that it was still a work in progress. Over the past five years, Apple has made significant improvements to Siri, so many of the problems with the original version have been resolved.

First off, the HomePod has the same multi-user recognition capabilities as Siri on your iPhone. In response to your requests, Personal Requests can peek into your Calendar, Notes, Reminders, Messages, Find My, and more. Additionally, each member of your family (up to six people) can receive personalized responses from specific iPhone apps thanks to HomePod. Siri can even automate your home on a regular basis without you having to pick up your phone and open the right app.

The new Apple HomePod doesn’t experience any performance issues even though there are fewer microphones to pick up your voice. Even in a noisy room, it is still able to recognize your voice. And while Apple Music was the only service that could be controlled by voice commands in the past, Siri now allows access to services like Pandora, Deezer, and many others.

Some Photos of New Apple HomePod

A smart home hub, HomePod is also simple to pair with Matter and HomeKit accessories. Temperature and humidity sensing are built into the new model, and the Home app prominently displays this information. You can, of course, use that information to develop automations with other smart home appliances. Although I don’t have a smart thermostat that works with the HomePod, I was able to successfully activate a smart plug when the HomePod sensed a particular temperature in my living room.

The most noticeable new feature that Apple is introducing with the new HomePod is probably sound recognition, but it isn’t quite ready yet. It can listen for smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and notify an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch when one is detected. Additionally, a camera or audio feed will let you “check in” on what’s going on. We’ll have to wait until later this spring to test Sound Recognition, so we’ll have to do without.

Sound quality of HomePod

The first-generation HomePod’s audio quality wasn’t a problem, and it’s still excellent here. Apple’s tuning decision won’t please everyone, just like with the first iteration. Voice is still being emphasized, so vocals in music and dialogue in TV shows and movies take center stage. It’s okay sometimes, but with some genres and content, it makes for a rather mediocre experience.

Don’t get me wrong; compared to other smart speakers, HomePod generally has excellent sound quality. Due to the fact that many of those don’t sound very good at all, Apple continues to produce devices with excellent audio quality and clever features. While Sylvan Esso’s No Rules Sandy has enough low-end for its synth-heavy rhythms, RTJ4 has plenty of bass to support its bombastic hip-hop beats. Jazz and bluegrass, which are both intricate genres, shine on the HomePod’s superb clarity. Sometimes the bass is a little too quiet for metal (Underoath’s Voyuerist) or full-band country (Zach Bryan’s 2022 live album), and the vocals are a little too forward, but overall, it sets the bar for smart speaker sound.

The software asks you if you want to use both HomePods when you add the second one in the Home app. The app completes the setup for you by allocating the proper channel to each speaker after you tell it which side the additional unit is on (left or right). Now, wherever there was a single HomePod icon before, there will now be two, constantly reminding you of the stereo setup. For music, the double speaker option is fantastic. The two-speaker setup on Béla Fleck’s My Bluegrass Heart gives each track a lot more depth. The music already had a spatial quality, but using two HomePods intensifies the effect and places you closer to the musicians as they record each song.

With a HomePod and an Apple TV, dialogue is more prominent than vocals are. When viewing things like live sports, it occasionally seems a little muffled. Other than that, Formula 1: Drive to Survive or Slow Horses has excellent audio quality, good clarity, and nice bass. However, a soundbar and sub are a better choice if you want to enhance the audio in your living room. The driver configuration in those speakers does a better job of evenly and fully filling a room. Additionally, the majority of businesses allow you to adjust or set presets for how much you want those speakers to emphasize dialog, allowing you to customize the situation to your preferences.


The Apple HomePod (2nd gen) is an excellent smart speaker that offers unparalleled audio quality and a range of smart home features and functionality. With its compact design, powerful sound, and seamless integration with Siri, Apple Music, and HomeKit, the HomePod is the perfect choice for anyone looking to upgrade their smart home. Whether you’re streaming music, controlling your smart home devices, or simply listening to the news, the HomePod (2nd gen) delivers a premium audio experience that is second to none.


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