Apple unveils new full-sized HomePod with spatial audio and Matter support

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Apple HomePod

TL;DR

  • Apple announced the launch of a new full-sized HomePod.
  • The second-generation HomePod introduces a host of new features.
  • Preorders start today for $299, but won’t be available until February 3, 2023.

Apple discontinued the original HomePod back in 2021 after poor sales, instead deciding to move forward with the more affordable HomePod mini. Now Apple is taking another shot at a full-sized HomePod.

Today, the Cupertino juggernaut unveiled a brand new, revamped full-sized HomePod. The second-generation smart speaker is said to be packed with Apple innovations and Siri intelligence.

One of these innovations appears to be an upgrade to the device’s audio equipment. According to the company, the speaker houses a custom-engineered high-excursion woofer, a motor that drives the diaphragm 20mm, a built-in bass-EQ mic, and a beamforming array of five tweeters. This hardware is also joined by Apple’s S7 chip it says offers more advanced computational audio that maximizes the full potential of the system.

A feature the tech giant has added to the device is room sensing which reportedly allows the HomePod to recognize sound reflections to tell if a wall is next to it or if it’s freestanding. Apple says this allows HomePod to adapt the sound in real-time. Additionally, the system is capable of spatial audio and can link up with other HomePods or HomePod mini speakers.

On the intelligence side, Apple says its new HomePod can use Siri to enable smart home automations. Some examples the company gave include checking the temperature and humidity of your home and getting smoke or carbon monoxide alarm alerts.

The smart speaker has also been designed to support the smart home standard Matter. This means it will work with other smart home gadgets using the Matter standard like light bulbs, doorbells, and cameras.

If you want one for yourself, it will cost you $299. Apple states it is accepting orders from apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app starting today for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, the US, and 11 other countries and regions. But the device won’t actually be available until February 3, 2023.



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