The differences between the first and the second HomePod are not obvious. We take stock of the news that the second generation HomePod brings.
Apple will have taken the time. More than five years after the announcement of the first generation of HomePod connected speakers, the US manufacturer unveiled its second generation, the HomePod 2, on Tuesday. The speaker had had a long life, with the release of ‘a variation’ in the meantime. mini and even a break in sales, given the low commercial success experienced in 2021.
If this new HomePod 2 seems to rise from the dead since it was released years after the first version, it nevertheless brings some new features. If these are not obvious at first glance, they are nevertheless very noticeable. In this article, therefore, we will take stock of the differences between the first and second generation HomePods.
A lighter and lower HomePod 2
At first glance, the two generations of HomePod appear identical. However, on closer inspection, the HomePod 2 is slightly lighter and more compact than the first version. Although it may seem trivial, we are now dealing with a 168 mm tall speaker -against the 172 mm of the first version- and a heavy 2.3 kg -against 2.5 kg.
However, at the top we will find the same touch surface for both models with controls to pause the music or change the track, and sensitive buttons to increase or decrease the volume. However, as long as the surface was at tissue level mesh in the first version, here it is located a little further down, in a hole.
None of the speakers are battery powered, so you’ll need to power them from mains for them to work.
A more sober acoustic architecture in the new model
Apple has rearranged its cards for the acoustic architecture of its HomePod from one generation to the next. If the 2017 version took advantage of seven tweeters and a long-throw woofer, the new version is more sober. Apple took over for a 4-inch woofer for bass, but settled for five horn tweeters for treble.
On the side of the microphones too, it is the end of abundance. The new HomePod integrates four for the Siri voice assistant, against six in the first version. We will also find the same analysis functions of the room by beam formation and audio. multiple room with AirPlay. This is also the case with stereo pairing, already available in the first version and again in the HomePod 2.
However, the HomePod 2 stands out from its predecessor by supporting Dolby Atmos formats. It must be said that Apple has been putting the package in spatial audio for several months. This integration should not only allow you to enjoy better spatialization for movies and series, but also support for spatial audio in Apple Music.
Features designed for the connected home
Requires connected speaker, the first generation of HomePod obviously supported HomeKit. However, the second generation goes further as HomePod 2 also benefits from full compatibility with the open standard Matter. So this will allow you to manage the speaker in ecosystems other than Apple.
Also, as already happened with the HomePod mini released in 2020, the HomePod 2 benefits from several sensors that could allow it to take pride of place in a connected home. In addition to the sound aspect, the enclosure incorporates temperature and humidity sensors. If Apple hasn’t yet communicated on the uses related to these sensors, we can well envision in the long term thermometer functions linked to a connected thermostat to automatically regulate the heating in your home.
Finally, Apple indicates that the sound recognition of the new HomePod will allow it to recognize certain characteristic sounds. This is particularly the case for alarming smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. The speaker will be able to notify you through the Home app on your iPhone.
For its launch, the HomePod 2 is available at a price of 349 euros in France. This is the same price that was announced in 2017 at the launch of the first generation. What pushes our colleagues tonumeralto state that “Apple did not understand the price problem“Remember that if Apple ended the marketing of the first HomePod in 2021 it was because it was not selling well enough. Above all, the firm now offers a much cheaper speaker, the HomePod mini, available at a price of 109 euros.
Still, the differences between the two generations are quite small and still struggle to justify a price tag as high as the one that caused the failure of the first generation. The HomePod mini is still there, it’s still at the same price, and it also offers certain features identical to those of the HomePod 2 such as the temperature sensor, sound recognition, or stereo and multiroom audio.
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