Apple has announced the second generation of the HomePod – its smart speaker.
It was pretty quiet around Apple’s smart speaker(s) for a while. The original HomePod was withdrawn and replaced with a cheaper and smaller one. The ‘mini’ enjoyed considerable popularity. And so Apple seems to be following up on the HomePod after all, in the form of the announced second-generation HomePod. Equipped with a touch surface and – obviously – seamless integration into the Apple ecosystem (including Siri), it should be a solid allrounder. The specially developed bass driver can move the diaphragm up to 20 mm, while five tweeters in a ring-setup provide 360 degree sound.
Apple’s S7 chip is the hart of the speaker and delivers “computational audio”. Space recognition allows reflections to be detected; the HomePod deduces whether it is near a wall or free-standing. It then adjusts the sound accordingly. It’s possible to pair multiple HomePods and HomePod Minis for even more flexibility. The newcomer will be available starting Feb. 3, with a choice between a black or white version. Price: $349.