With the arrival of macOS Big Sur 11.3, it is now possible to use a HomePod stereo pair as your Mac's system audio output. This article explains how to set up two HomePod speakers as a stereo pair and then connect them to your Mac.

homepod mini stereo pair mac
Dedicated stereo speakers are always going to provide a better listening experience than relying on your Mac's built-in speakers for audio, so it makes sense that some people will be interested in using two HomePods as a stereo pair to create a wider soundstage for richer, more enveloping sound.

In previous versions of macOS Big Sur, such a setup had a glaring limitation: HomePods set up as a stereo pair could only be used in the Music app and other apps that support AirPlay. In other words, it was only possible to select separate HomePod speakers from the menu bar on a Mac, which meant using stereo-paired ‌HomePod‌ speakers as your Mac's audio output device was a non-starter.

homepod stereo pair music mac
Fortunately, Apple has fixed this omission in macOS Big Sur 11.3, and it's now possible to use a HomePod stereo pair as you default audio output on a Mac. Note that system sounds will remain playing only on your Mac's built-in 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. Note that stereo pairing is available with two HomePods or two ‌HomePod‌ minis, but the ‌HomePod‌ and HomePod mini can't be paired together.

You can join two ‌HomePod‌ speakers as a stereo pair when you initially set up ‌HomePod‌, or you can later join two speakers that you’ve already set up using the Home app. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

How to Create a HomePod or HomePod Mini Stereo Pair

  1. Launch the Home app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Make sure both HomePod speakers are in the same room.
  3. Touch and hold one of the HomePods.
  4. Swipe up and tap the cog icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  5. Tap Create Stereo Pair....
    home

  6. Select the other HomePod that you want to use.
  7. In the last screen, tap a HomePod to identify it via a tone, and swap the and right channels if needed.
    home

Once you've paired the two HomePod speakers, you'll see a single pane in the Home app representing the stereo pair.

How to Select a HomePod Stereo Pair As Your Mac's Audio Output

This is the easy part. Once you've set up your stereo pair in the Home app, you should be able to select them as your Mac's default audio output, just like any other speaker.

There are two ways to do this. You can click the sound icon in the menu bar and select your paired HomePods from there.

homepod stereo pair big sur menu bar
Alternatively, launch System Preferences, click the Sound pane, and select your HomePods in the ‌AirPlay‌ section of the devices list.

sys prefs
It's worth bearing in mind that when two ‌HomePod‌ speakers are joined, only one responds to Siri requests, plays alarms, and acts as a speakerphone.

Tip: If you own an ‌Apple TV‌ 4K and two HomePod speakers, you can create a theater experience with Dolby Atmos or surround sound right in your home.

Related Roundup: HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

sirozha Avatar
14 months ago
And what about a 2-3 second lag between the video and audio on FaceTime or Zoom calls? Why is there no mention of this “feature,” which renders a stereo pair of HomePods useless as computer speakers? Yes, this is still happening with macOS 11.3 and the HomePod Minis running 14.5.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dinosrk Avatar
14 months ago
What a hassle!
If you enjoy Music then get yourself some good Bookshelf Speakers and an AMP to drive it! (Additionally you don't have to deal with compressed Audio via AirPlay)
Even with you watch Youtube and skip the timeline, you will always have the 2-3 seconds sync delay!

Cable is Cable!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SatchNZ Avatar
14 months ago
It mustn’t be much of a view out of that window…
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icymountain Avatar
14 months ago
While I am enthusiastic about the sound quality of my Homepod mini (I really did not expect this out of a $100, smallish speaker), there are many small issues that makes them almost impractical.
First, there is the 2 or 3 seconds lag that makes them useless for any real-time task (video conferencing, video, and probably gaming). As a consequence, I move back and forth between computer output (for meetings) to Homepod mini (for music while working).
Second, the connection also takes about 5 to 10 seconds and often just does not work so I have to try again. And recently, while playing the connection just stopped and would not come back until I reboot the laptop.

This is a very promising device when considering sound quality, form factor, and price point. But a lot of work remains to be done to make it really practical.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sirozha Avatar
14 months ago
Once I tested a pair of HomePod Minis running 14.5 with macOS 11.3 and confirmed that the 2-3 second lag with audio is still present, I ordered a pair of Pebble V3 speakers by Creative for $40. The speakers have Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, and analog Aux inputs. The reviews are great. I will test them with Bluetooth to see if there’s a lag in audio. If there is, I will use USB-C or Aux cable.

I’m returning my HomePod Minis and I’m done with HomePods. From now on, it’s wired or Bluetooth speakers for me to be used as computer speakers, and it’s Sonos for high-quality music. Apple has screwed up another one of their promising product lines. It’s no wonder Sonos was completely unphased by Apple when the HomePod was first released. They knew that Apple would screw up the HomePod and were not threatened by the HomePod at all.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
getheo Avatar
14 months ago
From the iphone (youtube or safari), the stereo homepods work without lag. From the macbook, there is lag. Maybe it is not hardware limitation and they can fix it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

homepod lossless spatial audio

iOS 15.1: How to Enable Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio and Apple Lossless on HomePod

Monday October 25, 2021 2:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 updates for iPhone and iPad, Apple has introduced a new 15.1 software update that's designed for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. The ‌HomePod‌ update introduces Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio to Apple's smart speakers, bringing them in line with other devices that have supported the features since early 2021. The spatial audio...
2018 2018 macbook pro battery

How to Show Battery Percentage in Your Mac's Menu Bar

Wednesday March 2, 2022 8:09 pm PST by
If you're the sort of person who likes to know exactly how much battery life your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air has left, then you'll want macOS to show the percentage next to the battery level icon in the menu bar. This article explains how. If you look at the right-hand side of the menu bar in macOS Monterey, you'll notice a battery level icon indicating the amount of charge your Mac has...
HomePodandMini feature orange

How to Turn Off Location Services on HomePod and HomePod Mini

Tuesday May 25, 2021 4:41 pm PDT by
Apple has designed HomePod and HomePod mini with privacy in mind. For example, nothing you say is sent to Apple servers until HomePod recognizes "Hey Siri." Moreover, all communication between your HomePod and Apple's servers is encrypted and anonymized. Even so, Apple provides the ability for you to turn off "Hey Siri" on HomePod. Simply say, "Hey Siri, stop listening." When "Hey Siri" is ...
macbook air facetime camera

How to Enable Wide Spectrum Audio in FaceTime on Mac

Thursday February 17, 2022 3:19 pm PST by
In macOS Monterey, Apple brings several enhancements to its FaceTime video and audio calling platform, including new visual and audio effects to improve your call experience. One of the audio features is Wide Spectrum mode. This microphone mode brings every single sound into your call, making it ideal for when you want the other person to hear everything that's happening in the space you're ...
magicmouse2 1

How to Make Your Mac's Cursor Bigger

Wednesday March 2, 2022 8:12 pm PST by
In macOS, Apple allows you to easily increase the size of the mouse or trackpad cursor on the screen, which is great if you find it difficult to keep track of. Keep reading to learn how. If you're having a hard time working out when the cursor on your Mac's screen moves or changes to an insertion point, crosshair, hand, or other shape, it's worth making it bigger. Making the on-screen...
apple studio display blue

How to Use Siri on Apple's Studio Display

Wednesday March 23, 2022 7:20 pm PDT by
Apple's Studio Display comes with three built-in microphones that allows it to recognize "Hey Siri" voice commands and respond to spoken queries, and the connected Mac doesn't even have to officially support Siri for it to work. Keep reading to learn how. While Siri support has been available on most recent Macs for some time, some Macs such as the 2019 Mac Pro and Mac mini (2018 and later)...
PS5 AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Apple TV 4K: How to Stream Audio From Your TV's Inputs to HomePod (eARC)

Friday May 21, 2021 5:33 am PDT by
The new second-generation Apple TV 4K is capable of relaying audio from a compatible TV to a HomePod – even when you're not using your Apple TV. This allows you to stream audio from a TV-connected game console or other set-top box straight to Apple's smart speakers. Keep reading to learn more and how to set it up. The new Apple TV 4K supports two additional connection standards, called ARC ...
Universal Control Colored Feature

How to Use Universal Control Across Macs and iPads

Monday February 7, 2022 1:04 pm PST by
As of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, Apple has introduced support for Universal Control, the long-awaited feature that's designed to allow multiple Macs and iPads to be controlled with a single mouse and keyboard. Thanks to Universal Control, you can use the same cursor and keyboard on any nearby Mac or ‌iPad‌ that's signed into your iCloud account. So, for example, if you have a...

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...