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Apple HomePod is back!

After being pulled from the market two years ago, Apple's HomePod connected speaker is back in an improved version.

Without warning -as usual- Apple releases a new product, or rather an update of an existing product. Finally, not so existing as that since the HomePod connected speaker marketed in 2018 had been withdrawn from the market in 2020, replaced by the little sister HomePod Mini. Short. All this to tell you that the rumors of last summer were right: Apple is indeed releasing its second generation HomePod.

New HomePod, Thread and Matter certifications

Among the new features of this new version, we note compatibility with the Thread wireless protocol and the Smart Home Matter standard, for better integration into the connected home ecosystem. The speaker also benefits from the new S7 chip, introduced in the Apple Watch Series 7.

New HomePod, acoustic package and main specifications

The HomePod is equipped with a 4'' (10.16 cm) woofer, five tweeters (against seven previously) and five microphones (seven also before). The speaker can detect its position in a room and adjust the sound according to surrounding walls and obstacles. As with the first HomePod, two units can be paired for stereo rendering (be careful, however, it is impossible to associate a first generation HomePod with the new model), or act as speakers for the Apple TV 4K. Also note the Dolby Atmos compatibility once the eARC option has been activated on the "headed" box, and the latter is connected to the appropriate HDMI input on the television.

New HomePod, new security features

Another novelty is the presence of temperature and humidity sensors to trigger device scenarios in the Smart Home ecosystem. The new HomePod can even act as a fire alarm by detecting the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide. The voice assistant Siri is of course present, it can recognize up to six different voices to provide personalized answers.

Slightly smaller than the first version (within 4 mm) and lighter (2.34 kg instead of 2.5 kg), the new HomePod will coexist with the Mini version and will be available from 3 february.