Apple Releases New 11.4 Software for the HomePod Enabling Stereo Support, Multi-Room Audio Through AirPlay 2

Alongside iOS 11.4, watchOS 4.3.1, and tvOS 11.4, Apple today released a new 11.4 software update designed for the HomePod, which introduces major new features for Apple's smart speaker.

This is the second update that's been released for the HomePod since it became available for purchase back in February.

homepoddesign
The new HomePod software will be installed automatically on the HomePod after you update to iOS 11.4, but you can also manually update and check your software version by following the instructions in our HomePod software how to.

As Apple announced this morning, the new HomePod software, paired with iOS 11.4, introduces support for AirPlay 2 and HomePod stereo pairing.

AirPlay 2 is an updated AirPlay protocol that's simpler, more advanced, and more robust, enabling multi-room audio capabilities. With AirPlay 2, you can play music in any room to any room, move music from one room to another room, or play the same song in multiple rooms using an iOS device through an app or Control Center, the Apple TV, the HomePod, or Siri voice commands on any of the aforementioned devices.

airplay2homepod
AirPlay 2 controls can be accessed within any app and in the Control Center on an iOS device running iOS 11.4. In the Control Center, you will see a list of all of the available AirPlay 2 devices in your home, and you can effortlessly send audio to a single device, to multiple devices, or switch audio between devices.

The HomePod is the first AirPlay 2 device and one of the only AirPlay 2 devices on the market right now, but Apple plans to allow third-party speakers from companies like Sonos, Bose, Libratone, and more to add support for AirPlay 2.

siriairplay2 1
Today's update also allows two HomePod speakers to be set up as a stereo pair, which is ideal for larger rooms as the arrangement offers up more room-filling sound. When paired, each HomePod is able to automatically adjust audio to take into account the other HomePod, for excellent sound from each device.

The HomePods are able to take advantage of the built-in A8 chip in each speaker to play a left or right audio channel while also separating out ambient and direct energy for what Apple says is an almost three dimensional soundstage.

Stereo pairing uses an Apple-designed wireless peer-to-peer direct link to allow the HomePods to communicate with one another and play music in sync. The two speakers will act as one when paired, and just one will respond to incoming Siri requests.

Setting up stereo sound is as simple as turning on a second HomePod. Whenever a second device is set up, you'll be prompted to form a stereo pair with a popup interface, with this information also available in the HomePod's settings in the Home app.

The new HomePod software also introduces one other small but important change -- it will allow users to check calendar appointments on the HomePod using Siri voice commands.

The HomePod is currently available only in the United States, the UK, and Australia, but Apple will expand availability to Canada, France, and Germany on Monday, June 18. While the HomePod is not launching in Canada, France, and Germany until mid-June, new languages, including Canadian English, French, and German are available on the HomePod starting today and are accessible through the HomePod settings in the Home app on an iOS device.

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

Top Rated Comments

Macwick Avatar
33 months ago
Why would you balance your phone on a plant tho?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Keirasplace Avatar
33 months ago

How can it possibly be 9 months late when the HomePod hasn’t even been on sale for 4 months?

Its the "bitching factor" added to everything Apple.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dan9700 Avatar
33 months ago
10.13.5 isnt out
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iGeek2014 Avatar
33 months ago
Glad it’s finally launched; can’t quite verbalise it but audio sounds much better again-especially in stereo mode.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Craiger Avatar
33 months ago

Huh...say what, all sound is three dimensional.:confused:

Well, not if you don't wear the glasses while listening.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
33 months ago

I am not saying the sound isn't very good but I doubt it come even close to what my system sounds.

I can’t attest to what you have, and I know the HomePod is not a cheap alternative by any means, but for a “Smart speaker”, in excels well past my expectations of what I thought it was going to sound like, given how large my living room is with vaulted ceiling‘s, it literally *is* room filling.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

maxresdefault

Italy Fines Apple $12 Million for Misleading iPhone Water Resistance Claims

Monday November 30, 2020 3:10 am PST by
Apple has been slapped with a 10 million euro ($12 million) fine by Italy's antitrust watchdog for unfair commercial practices related to its iPhone marketing in the country. One of the Apple ads cited in the Italian watchdog's proceedings (credit: setteBIT) Specifically, Apple is being charged for misleading claims in promotional messages about how deep and how long iPhones can be submerged...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Apple Cyber Monday 2020: Discounts on iPads, Macs, AirPods, and More [Updated]

Monday November 30, 2020 6:25 am PST by
Today is Cyber Monday, a shopping event that sees many of the same deals from Black Friday bleed over into a new week, along with a few brand new offers on everything from Apple products to related accessories. In this post we'll highlight the best online discounts that you can find on Apple devices today. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
Top Stories 38 Feature

Top Stories: Black Friday Deals, Redesigned MacBooks, Hands-On With Apple's M1 Macs

Saturday November 28, 2020 6:00 am PST by
With Apple's holiday hardware lineup seemingly all set, attention this week turned to the shopping end of things with Apple and other retailers rolling out their Black Friday deals. That wasn't the only news this week, however, as we've continued to learn more about Apple's new M1-based Macs and we've even heard some fresh rumors about redesigned Mac notebooks coming next year, so read on...
16 inch MBP Mini Led

Mini-LED M1 MacBook Pro and Mini-LED iPad Pro Models Coming First Half of 2021

Monday November 30, 2020 2:24 am PST by
Apple is widely reported to be embracing mini-LED display backlighting technology for some products next year, and a new report today by DigiTimes has named several of Apple's partners in the supply chain that are expected to benefit from the switch. According to the report, Apple is set to launch its first mini-LED iPad Pro in the first quarter of 2021 and mass produce mini-LED MacBook Pro...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iphone 12 colors

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last month in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 are ...
ipadairdesign

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...