Hands-On With Apple's Second-Generation HomePod

Today is the official launch day for the second-generation HomePod that was introduced in January, and we picked one up to compare it to the original ‌HomePod‌ that Apple discontinued in 2021.


Design wise, the second-generation ‌HomePod‌ looks a lot like the first-generation model, featuring the same rounded design and acoustic mesh fabric. It's ever so slightly shorter, and the main external change is the swap to a new recessed edge-to-edge touch display.

The display makes a notable aesthetic difference as it feels more integrated into the speaker, but it has the same general function as the display on the original ‌HomePod‌. It lights up and changes with Siri requests, and various tap gestures can be used for play/pause, volume adjustments, and swapping songs.

With the S7 chip (which is an Apple Watch SoC), ‌Siri‌ activates quicker on the new ‌HomePod‌ model, but you probably won't notice much else in terms of performance differences. As for sound quality, it's remarkably similar to the original ‌HomePod‌ even though Apple has cut down on the number of tweeters. There are five beamforming tweeters inside, down from seven tweeters, and there are also just four microphones instead of six. Despite that, the new ‌HomePod‌ seems to respond just as quickly to ‌Siri‌ commands.

Apple says that it remade the HomePod after discontinuing the first model because it started seeing customer interest for the "acoustics of a richer larger speaker" and because the ‌HomePod‌ team loves the shape and form factor of the original.

For those who want something that outperforms the HomePod mini, the second-generation ‌HomePod‌ is worth picking up, and Apple has priced it at $299, the same price as the former ‌HomePod‌ before it was discontinued.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

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Top Rated Comments

djcerla Avatar
18 months ago
Got it today.

It really sounds fantastic. On smart speakers, you often get the impression of a sub bass via an hyped, resonant & boxy lo-mid (150-300 Hz), Bose-style, but boy we do have genuine subs here.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BGPL Avatar
18 months ago
Fewer tweeters, fewer mics, and a shorter power cable... but overall it's largely unchanged. Sounds like a Tim Cook special "upgrade". Does it come with a Tim Cook baseball card with the smirk? Not to be confused with the "employees are giving out my secrets" frowny face.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zoozx Avatar
18 months ago
Hey Siri, Play Jeff Beck cause we ended as lovers
Siri- Kentucky fried Chicken is 3 miles to your west , do you want me to call them

Hey Siri, Play Stevie ray Vaughn Dirty Pool
Siri, I can't find a pool anywhere near you

Hey Siri, play John Lee Hooker Crawling Kingsnake
Siri, Kingsnakes are colubrid New World members of the genus Lampropeltis, which includes 26 species
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
18 months ago
“and get one soon because it could be discontinued next year”
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
18 months ago
It sounds phenomenally amazing. ???



Attachment Image
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HMI Avatar
18 months ago
I have “consumer interest” in a new AirPort Extreme.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)