Home News Apple launches new HomePod speaker for $299

Apple launches new HomePod speaker for $299

Apple announced the launch of its second generation HomePod smart speaker devices. The new full-size HomePod comes in shades of white and midnight and is priced at $299. The new HomePod however continues with the same basic shape and size as its predecessor which was discontinued in March 2021. That includes the same exterior finish comprising of mesh fabric as well as a backlit touch interface at the top.

There have been some changes introduced in the interior though, which include the integration of the S7 chip this time for computational audio. The first gen HomePod featured an A8 chipset, the same that powered the iPhone 6. Instead, the S7 chip has been borrowed from the Apple Watch Series 7. Accompanying the S7 chip is the U1 chip that offers support for Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio.

The new second gen HomePod otherwise features an excursion woofer that stands four inches tall, five tweeters, and four microphones. Apple said two of the latest HomePod speakers can be paired to produce stereo sound effects but won’t be compatible with the first gen model. Apart from these, the Apple smart speaker is compatible with Siri digital assistant, besides having Matter support that allows for integration with HomeKit and other smart home accessories. Then there is a new sensor onboard too for measuring humidity and temperature.

Dimension wise, the new HomePod is however shorter and lighter than its predecessor while having the same width. It measures 6.6 inches in height and weighs 5.1 pounds. In comparison, the first gen HomePod stood 6.8-inch tall and weighed 5.5 pounds even though both models had the same 5.6-inch width. The number of tweeters and mics on the latest HomePod is also less than the first gen model.

Apple said the new HomePod is going to be compatible with all iPad Pro models, fifth gen iPad and later models, third-generation iPad Air and later models, fifth-generation iPad mini and later models. For iPhones, it is the iPhone 8 or later models that would be compatible with the HomePod. A new Spring update will enable the HomePod to accurately listen and identify smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and send a notification to the user’s iPhone if needed.

The new HomePod is already on pre-order with deliveries and in-store availability set to commence on February 3. Apple said the smart speaker will initially be available in the US, Canada, China, the UK, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Japan, along with 11 other countries.