Apple has just launched the new and improved version of the HomePod, the HomePod 2. The new model comes with "breakthrough sound and intelligence" according to Apple, and it's definitely an upgrade from the original HomePod that was launched in 2017 and discontinued in 2021.
Design-wise, the HomePod 2 looks very similar to the original one. It's just slightly smaller and lighter, measuring 16.8 cm (6.6 inches) high and 14.2 cm (5.6 inches) wide, and weighing 2.3 kg (5.16 lb) compared to the original's 2.5 kg (5.5 lb). Both HomePods are encased in an acoustically transparent mesh fabric and feature a backlit touch surface on the top.
The new HomePod has an updated speaker system. It comes with a 4-inch high-excursion woofer and an array of five horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own neodymium magnet. This is a change from the original HomePod, which had a high-excursion woofer and seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom amplifier. Apple claims that the new model delivers "a groundbreaking listening experience, including support for immersive Spatial Audio tracks."
The HomePod 2 also has updated microphone system. It has a total of five mics, four for far-field Siri and an internal low-frequency calibration microphone for automatic bass correction. This is a change from the original HomePod, which had a total of seven microphones.
The HomePod 2 is powered by the S7 chip, the same chip found in the Apple Watch Series 7. The original HomePod was powered by an A8 chip, which first appeared in 2014’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The new HomePod also comes with several new features such as room sensing, temperature and humidity sensors, and a "Sound Recognition" sensor which will enable smoke and carbon monoxide alarm detection with a software update coming later this Spring. It also comes in a new Midnight colorway, made with 100% recycled mesh fabric and accompanied by a color-matched woven power cable.
Overall, the new HomePod 2 is a solid upgrade from the original one, with improved sound and features that make it more intelligent. It's definitely worth checking out if you're in the market for a smart speaker.
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