HomePod's Multi-Room Audio and Stereo Features Will Not Be Available at Launch

Within the HomePod's pre-order date and launch announcement today, Apple confirmed that the smart speaker's multi-room audio and stereo features won't be making it into the device at launch. Instead, users will be able to activate these features sometime "later this year" in a free software update.

Multi-room audio with Apple's AirPlay 2 protocol will be aimed at customers who purchase more than one HomePod, and will let them play music throughout their home.

The feature allows for different songs to be played simultaneously in different rooms, or the same song can be played in each room "perfectly in sync," and the speakers communicate with one another through AirPlay 2.


Stereo sound is created when two HomePods are placed in the same room, after which they automatically notice one another and become a "stereo pair" to provide a "more immersive" listening experience.
Coming this year in a free software update, users will be able to play music throughout the house with multi-room audio. If HomePod is in the kitchen, users can ask Siri to play jazz in the dining room, or play the same song in each room — perfectly in sync. If there's more than one HomePod set up in the same room, the speakers can be set up as a stereo pair for an even more immersive sound experience.
Of course, right now it's unclear exactly when Apple's free software update for these features will go live in 2018. Ahead of that, users will be able to pre-order HomePod on Friday, January 26, and then the speaker will officially launch two weeks later in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia on February 9.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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15 months ago
Product was announced too early.
Rating: 30 Votes
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15 months ago
So, still not ready for prime time. Big miss here.
Rating: 23 Votes
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15 months ago
Honestly, what is wrong with Apple? A near Trillion Dollar company can't make a speaker.
Rating: 22 Votes
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15 months ago
seriously what is up with apple not being able to launch their big features lately? seemed like almost half of the advertised features of high sierra weren't avail at launch, like iMessage sync is still missing, AFS for fusion drives still missing.... but I'll still order one... I think I'm the problem....
Rating: 16 Votes
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15 months ago
Yet another Apple fail with a product released well before it's fully functional.

Cue those defending Apple in 3..2..1..
Rating: 14 Votes
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15 months ago

Why didn't they buy Sonos? It is actually an honest question, may I add... instead of buying Beats, i.e.


I'm glad they didn't. The thing I like about Sonos is that they are platform agnostic - no music service is prioritized over any other.
Rating: 12 Votes
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15 months ago
In other news: Sound reproduction also coming later this year.

Until then: enjoy your new home decor item.
Rating: 11 Votes
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15 months ago
Or you could just buy Sonos five years ago and have both of these features.
Rating: 8 Votes
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15 months ago

Sonos does not support either of these features.


Yes they do. And have for years. You can send different audio streams to different Sonos devices or link devices to play the same stream in different rooms. And you can pair Sonos speakers in the same room to create true stereo.

Have you ever used Sonos? Maybe next time wait to comment until you do?
Rating: 7 Votes
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15 months ago

Sonos does not support either of these features.


Yes it does - I am listening to 2 Play:1 speakers in a stereo pair right now and I can group any of my Sonos speakers together in a multi-room configuration.

It's been supported since they launched
Rating: 7 Votes
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