macOS Big Sur 11.3 Beta Adds Support for HomePod Stereo Pairs
Apple today released the first beta of an upcoming macOS 11.3 update to developers for testing purposes, and among other features, the new software adds an option to set a pair of stereo-paired HomePods as the default sound output.
In current versions of macOS, HomePods set up as a stereo pair can be used in the Music app or for AirPlay content, but it's necessary to select them manually through the AirPlay interface.
With the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta, a HomePod stereo pair is displayed as a single option in the sound output list rather than displaying each HomePod as separate as before. Selecting a pair of HomePods as an audio option plays audio in stereo mode by default.
Support for stereo-paired HomePods was first noticed by 9to5Mac, and the site says that the feature is not yet working consistently, so Apple still has some work to do. Using paired HomePods in this way works for music and videos in apps, but system sounds will continue to play on the built-in Mac speakers.
Stereo-paired HomePods can already be set as an audio output option on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, so the update brings the same functionality to the Mac. Stereo pairing is available with two HomePods or two HomePod minis, but the HomePod and HomePod mini can't be paired together.
There are several other new features in the macOS Big Sur 11.3 update, including new customization options for Safari, optimizations for using iOS apps on M1 Macs, new features for Reminders, Apple Music, and Apple News, and support for the latest console controllers. More details can be found in our macOS Big Sur 11.3 article.
Top Rated Comments
But stereo is nice. One step at a time.
When the iPhone first came out, it required the latest version of iTunes.
when the Apple Watch came out, it required iOS 8.2. You couldn’t connect your watch to a device running 6.1 just because you weren’t a fan of the new updates, you had to be on 8.2 or later.
The AirPods required iOS 10.1, the HomePod required 11.2.5, and yes, for this “new” functionality to be available, you have to be on the “latest” software update.
they can only have backwards compatibility for so long. You can’t connect your HomePod to a Mac running Mountain Lion, now can you?
Mojave came out in 2018. you want new features? You have to upgrade to the 2021 updates. that’s just how computers work
It's far more than 'left and right sounds'. Soundstage, depth and overall immersiveness happens on another level with great stereo sound.
Good for you though if you enjoy mono, it's always going to be cheaper for you to enjoy your music!