PSA: You Can't Output Mac System Audio to Stereo-Paired HomePod Minis, But There Is a Workaround

If you were thinking of buying two HomePod mini speakers to use as a stereo pair with your Mac, you might want to think again. As some users undoubtedly found with the original HomePod, it's not possible to AirPlay to multiple speakers from the menu bar on a Mac.

homepod mini stereo pair mac
The inability to select stereo-paired ‌HomePod‌ speakers as your Mac audio output device is a glaring omission in Apple's ‌AirPlay‌ rollout, and the situation unfortunately remains the same in macOS 11 Big Sur. You can only use them with certain Apple apps like Music and TV – all other Mac audio must be output to one speaker or the other, but not both at the same time.

While it's frustrating that Apple's own apps let users select stereo-paired HomePods as a single device, this does provide a workaround, although it's a kludge that has its drawbacks. The following steps show you how it's done.

  1. Launch the Music app on your Mac and select your stereo-paired ‌HomePod‌ minis as the audio output.
    homepod stereo pair music mac

  2. Now, minimize the Music app (don't close it), then launch the Audio MIDI Setup app located in the Applications -> Utilities folder.
    audio midi setup app

  3. In the Audio MIDI Setup app, click the + button in the bottom-left corner of the interface and select Create Aggregate Device from the dropdown.
    create aggregate audio

  4. Select the Aggregate Device in the sidebar and check the Use box next to AirPlay.
    airplay audio midi setup

  5. Close the Audio MIDI Setup app, then select the Aggregate Device from the volume dropdown in the menu bar.
    aggregate device audio device

As for the caveats to this workaround, using it means you can only change the volume by tapping the physical ‌HomePod‌ controls themselves – you won't be able to adjust it from your Mac's menu bar. You also have to keep the Music app open at all times, otherwise you'll lose your audio and you'll have to repeat the steps.

Another thing to consider is that this is only ‌AirPlay‌ 1, so there's a delay in the sound output between playing/pausing, and audio will be slightly out of sync when watching videos, although checking the Drift Correction option (circled in green above) in the Audio MIDI Setup app can compensate for this.

As mentioned, the solution is far from ideal, but until Apple brings system-wide ‌AirPlay‌ 2 support to Macs, it's the only way to pipe your Mac's audio through stereo-paired HomePods, short of purchasing a third-party app like Airfoil.

Update: As MacRumors reader B4rbelith points out, if you play something in the Music app, you can then right-click AirPlay in the Audio MIDI Setup app's sidebar and select Use this device for sound output. This lets you control the volume from the menu bar, but the other caveats still apply.

Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini

Popular Stories

iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature Purple

These 5 Features Will Make the iPhone 17 the Biggest Update in Years

Monday July 22, 2024 4:02 pm PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 16 models that we're expecting to see in September are going to be quite similar to the iPhone 15 models, but rumors suggest that Apple is making big changes in 2025. We've been hearing hints of an all-new device in the iPhone lineup, and it may be the most expensive iPhone Apple has offered to date. New 'Slim' Design Rumors have taken to referring to the new iPhone 17...
iPhone SE 4 Thumb 1

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Launch Early Next Year With OLED Display, 48MP Camera, and More

Monday July 22, 2024 7:22 am PDT by
The fourth-generation iPhone SE will offer a series of major upgrades over the current model, the leaker known as "Ice Universe" claims. The information was listed in a post on Weibo, which also detailed the specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup. As previously rumored, the fourth-generation iPhone SE is expected to feature Face ID and USB-C, marking a major upgrade from current and previous ...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...

Top Rated Comments

GadgetBen Avatar
48 months ago
This is ridiculous, come on Apple sort it out.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hellosil Avatar
48 months ago
Baffled by the fact that this needs a workaround to work.

For me its a reason not to buy a HomePod (Mini) yet.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Quu Avatar
48 months ago
"It just works"

I actually have two Homepods (not the Mini kind) and Big Sur still doesn't support sending audio to them when they're grouped, just one or the other. So lame.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
B4rbelith Avatar
48 months ago
You don't need to create an aggregate device. Just play something from Apple Music to your stereo HomePods, then open 'Audio Devices', right click on Airplay, and select 'Use this device for sound output'.
It's not ideal, and media players like IINA and VLC lag. Youtube through Safari works fine though, as it buffers the video to keep in time.


Attachment Image
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
foobarbaz Avatar
48 months ago

Latency. All your system sounds and time critical audio would be 3-4 seconds out time. Not an enjoyable experience.
But that's only a problem because they chose that to be a problem.

The HomePod has Bluetooth. Bluetooth can transfer sound with a reasonable latency. They just didn't implement it.
Also they could have just added a line-in. (With USB-C in the mini they could still do it with a custom cable or power brick.)

So the question stands: What's the reason they didn't do it?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
foobarbaz Avatar
48 months ago
We don't need cables anymore, we can do everything over the air! ;)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)