Apple Reintroduced the HomePod a Year Ago Today

Apple relaunched the HomePod one year ago today, debuting a second-generation model almost five years after the original model's introduction.

HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Blue Orange
The ‌HomePod‌ was announced at WWDC in 2017 and launched in 2018 after a heavily delayed launch. The device was met with mixed reviews; critics praised its outstanding sound quality but pointed out its high price, missing features, and limited functionality compared to rivals.

Apple dropped its price from $349 to $299 in April 2019 and, in March 2021, the company announced that it was discontinuing the first-generation ‌HomePod‌, instead shifting its focus to the HomePod mini, which launched the previous year. The decision left a gap in Apple's product lineup for a full-sized smart speaker until the company introduced the second-generation model via a press release on January 18, 2023.

The second-generation ‌HomePod‌ looks virtually identical to the original, although it is 0.2 inches shorter and has a larger edge-to-edge LED touchscreen on top. It also boasts a range of upgrades and changes compared to its 2018 predecessor:

‌HomePod‌ (second-generation, 2023) ‌HomePod‌ (first-generation, 2018)
Refined design with acoustically transparent mesh fabric Design with acoustically transparent mesh fabric
Larger backlit touch surface that illuminates from edge to edge Backlit touch surface
S7 chip from 2021's Apple Watch Series 7 A8 chip from 2013's iPhone 6 and ‌iPhone‌ 6 Plus
U1 ultra wideband chip
Five horn-loaded tweeters Seven horn-loaded tweeters
Four far-field beamforming microphones Six far-field beamforming microphones
6.6 inches tall 6.8 inches tall
Weighs 5.16 pounds Weighs 5.5 pounds
Removable power cable Fixed power cable
Wi-Fi 4 connectivity (802.11n) Wi-Fi 5 connectivity (802.11ac)
Thread support
Temperature and humidity sensor
Sound Recognition
Available in White and Midnight Available in White and Space Gray

While Apple's potential plans for a third-generation ‌HomePod‌ are unclear a year after the current model was introduced, there are a multitude of rumors surrounding a ‌HomePod‌ with an LCD touchscreen display arriving as soon as 2024.

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

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Top Rated Comments

JTK Awesome Avatar
22 weeks ago
Replaced a few failing 1st-gen HomePods with the new models. You can hear the price cut in the sound quality. The old ones had a rich, warm sound while the new ones have a more sterile sound.

Another minor nit is going from glossy to matte plastic for the display/control top. Looks and feels cheap compared to the originals.

Not enough negatives to consider alternatives plus, y'know, Apple ecosystem lock-in and all that.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bodhisattva Avatar
22 weeks ago
Still loving mine. Have several across the house and have yet to find anything that beats them for price and convenience.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unggoy Murderer Avatar
22 weeks ago

The WiFi section of the chart needs a second look.
It's correct, the 2nd generation does have an older Wi-Fi spec.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OMGwtfBBQwings Avatar
22 weeks ago
got my first one last feb. love everything about it.

...except how stupid Siri is
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unggoy Murderer Avatar
22 weeks ago

Once again another year passed where I really thought I’d buy one but then I don’t. It’s something I want, but I just never pull the trigger.
I have a stereo pair with my Apple TV and love them.

The ARC feature appearing on the Apple TV was what really made it brilliant, I can run my PS5 and Xbox audio out through the HomePods too which is great. Audio on par with a good quality soundbar.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dominiongamma Avatar
22 weeks ago
I wish we can buy the first generation still
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)