Apple Launches HomePod 2nd-Gen with Room Sensing

Image: Apple

Apple today announced the second-generation HomePod with an S7 chip and “breakthrough” sound, all in the same iconic design. The new model succeeds Apple’s original Siri-based smart speaker from 2017.

Packed with Apple innovations and Siri intelligence, HomePod offers advanced computational audio for a groundbreaking listening experience, including support for immersive Spatial Audio tracks.

The new HomePod features a custom-engineered high-excursion woofer, a powerful 20mm driver, a dedicated bass-EQ mic, and a beamforming array of five tweeters, all of which come together to deliver what Apple calls “next-level acoustics.”

Image: Apple

What’s more, the second-gen HomePod comes with room-sensing technology, allowing it to adapt its soundstage to the specific layout of the surroundings. Apple says the HomePod “recognizes sound reflections from nearby surfaces to determine if it is against a wall or freestanding, and then adapts sound in real time.”

The company went on to tout the convenience of managing everyday tasks and controlling your smart home using HomePod, as well as hands-free smart home automation with Siri and notifications for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.

All of this is powered by the same S7 chip found in the Apple Watch Series 7. While previous reports that pegged the second-generation HomePod for a 2023 launch expected it to sport an S8 chip, Apple appears to have settled on its predecessor from 2021 instead.

In addition, the new HomePod also gets an Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip, enabling features like Handoff. Like all of Apple’s products, it boasts seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem.

Image: Apple

“Leveraging our audio expertise and innovations, the new HomePod delivers rich, deep bass, natural mid-range, and clear, detailed highs,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“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.”

HomePod comes with support for the Matter smart home standard, which Apple launched for its devices last year. The new HomePod can connect to and control Matter-enabled accessories, and serve as an essential home hub to give users access to their devices when away from home.

Image: Apple

HomePod comes in two colourways — white and midnight, a new colour made with 100% recycled mesh fabric that also includes a colour-matched woven power cable.

Apple says the new HomePod is available to order today for $399 CAD on the Apple Store app and Apple.ca. That’s $50 less than the 2017 HomePod’s launch price of $449. Deliveries and in-store availability are due to begin Friday, February 3.

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