Some of the more interesting types of smart home devices are thermostats, which can help save energy by optimizing scheduling, automatically sensing when the home is occupied or vacant, and more. One of the early entrants into the field on the HomeKit side is Honeywell, which has introduced several different smart thermostats, starting with the second-generation Lyric Round, which debuted early last year.

honeywell lyric round contents
I've been using a Lyric Round for quite a while now, and I've come to appreciate its integration with HomeKit and its ease of use, while Honeywell has continued to improve its function and stability over time.

Installation

As with any hardwired electrical accessory, installation takes a little bit of work and patience, although thermostats are generally pretty straightforward. Depending on your type of heating and cooling system, you'll find a variety of wires that need to be attached to the back of thermostat.

If you're replacing an existing thermostat, it's pretty easy to get everything hooked the same way on the new thermostat, as long as you make sure to keep track of which wire is which. And of course, it's always good practice to turn off power to the thermostat at the circuit breaker when performing the installation.

The thermostat itself comes in two pieces, a wall plate and the thermostat body. The wall plate screws directly to the wall and contains the hookups for the wiring, as well as a handy built-in level to make sure everything is lined up as you mount the plate. The body of the thermostat then snaps onto the wall plate.

Depending on the form factor of your existing thermostat, you may also need to use the optional wall cover included with the Lyric Round in order to fully cover the hole in the wall, as I had to do in replacing a rectangular style thermostat. The wires feed through a small hole in the cover and the Lyric Round simply snaps onto the cover. The wall cover does detract from the sleek look of the Lyric Round itself, but there's only so much you can do in trying to cover a hole in the wall unless you want to take on a drywall patching job.

I actually had a fair bit of difficulty with my installation, as the wiring for my existing thermostat terminated in a junction box, whereas typical thermostat wiring simply exits through a relatively small hole in the wall as junction boxes are generally not required due to the low voltage of the systems.

thermostat junction box

Junction box that caused some difficulties in installing the Lyric Round

The presence of a junction box not only required the use of the wall cover to hide the large hole in my wall, but also interfered with the mounting of the new thermostat, as the large hole left no drywall where I needed to attach the Lyric Round to the wall. Some sort of standardized adapter plate for junction boxes would have been handy, but Honeywell was unable to assist me in that regard, so I fashioned my own box cover that I was then able to screw the Lyric Round wall cover to.

Setup

Once I had the Lyric Round mounted to my wall and the power turned back on, setup was simple. Thermostat functions are managed through the Lyric app on iOS, which walks you through step-by-step to get you registered for a Honeywell account and let you specify details of your heating and air conditioning system such as type of heating system, fuel source, compressor stages, backup heat, and more.

lyric setup
Finally, the Lyric app allows you add your thermostat to HomeKit, integrating with the rest of your smart home devices and performing tasks like charging the temperature using Siri and controlling simple settings from Apple's centralized Home app on iOS.

lyric homekit

Lyric controls in Apple's Home app for iOS

Interface

The Lyric Round itself has a simple and intuitive interface consisting of several components, with the simplest being a chrome ring around the edge of the thermostat that you turn left or right to adjust temperature, very similar to Nest's iconic thermostat design. Subtle backlighting behind the thermostat in blue or orange gives you visual feedback when you've adjusted the settings cooler or warmer, while there are optional audible bleeps as you rotate the ring for additional feedback.

The Lyric Round also includes some touch sensitive buttons on the front, including a small screen at the top that lets you switch among heating, cooling, and off, with animated icons for heating and cooling when the system is running.

lyric main screen
To the left of the main temperature display is a Weather button that brings up the current outdoor temperature and humidity, as well as forecasts for 6 and 12 hours into the future to help you make decisions about setting your thermostat.

lyric weather
To the right is a Home/Away button that lets you manually tell the Lyric Round you're going to be away from the house for a period of time, and it will adjust the thermostat to your Away settings to reduce energy usage.

lyric away
The Lyric Round also includes a basic motion sensor that allows the display to dim to a customizable level when not in use but then brighten and light up its buttons when it detects a person in the vicinity.

Lyric App

While basic controls are available at a touch on the Lyric Round, more advanced functions are managed in the Lyric app, which is a fairly slick-looking app with a simple main screen that displays the current temperature in a large font and a dial at the bottom of the screen to make it easy to adjust the temperature. Outdoor weather and indoor humidity are also displayed on the main screen, as are quick access icons for accessing fan mode, heating/cooling mode, and scheduling.

lyric app main

Main screen (left) and setting menu (right)

A menu button in the top left of the screen gives you access to a host of other features including home setup, multiple user management, HomeKit settings, and alerts and notifications.

Geofencing

The Home/Away function also supports geofencing, allowing you to set a customizable radius around your home. Once you leave that radius, the Lyric Round will automatically switch to your Away settings, reducing energy usage. When you reenter the geofenced radius, it will return to normal settings.

lyric geofence

Sleep Settings and Scheduling

In addition to separate Home and Away settings, the Lyric app also lets you turn on Sleep settings for a different comfort levels at night, simply setting the desired sleeping temperatures or heating and cooling and choosing the times you want them to be in effect.

lyric scheduling
Those looking for more customization can use schedules, setting temperature and times for Wake, Away, Home, and Sleep. You can apply the settings on an everyday basis, separated into weekdays and weekends, or on a single-day basis.

Adaptive Recovery and Fine Tune

With adaptive recovery, Lyric learns how quickly your system is able to heat and cool, adjusting its timing to optimize comfort as your schedule changes. Fine tuning capabilities also allows Lyric to take into account the humidity and outdoor weather to adjust its settings for maintaining comfort.

Temperature Alerts and Filter Reminders

The Lyric app lets you set up several different types of alert notifications, including high and low indoor temperature and humidity limits that can alert you to problems with your heating and air conditioning system.

lyric alerts
You can also set up push notifications to remind you to change your air filters, with customizable time frames ranging from one to eleven months.

Wrap-up

Thermostats are proving to be one of the more popular HomeKit accessories with third-party manufacturers, due in large part to the usefulness of including smart home technology in these products. Scheduling, geofencing, intelligent monitoring and comfort adjustments, and other features make for nice upgrades over more traditional thermostats, even those that have for many years supported basic scheduling functions.

The Lyric Round is a quality entrant into this market, with its attractive design meshing nicely with many home decors and offering some of the same benefits of a Nest thermostat but with HomeKit support. The classic round design originally made famous by Honeywell decades ago has been updated with the smooth ring to make manual temperature adjustments simple. Scheduling and geofencing functions make it easy to "set it and forget it" and let the thermostat maintain your comfort level and save energy.

The Lyric Round was originally priced at $249 last year, but Honeywell has since reduced the price to $199 and it is available from a variety of retailers including Amazon. Be aware that some retailer including Apple are still selling the Lyric Round for $249, so be sure to check pricing before you buy.

Note: Honeywell provided the Lyric Round to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review, and it was returned to Honeywell after publication. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

Top Rated Comments

ActionableMango Avatar
48 months ago
I've had one for a very long time now. The plastic materials do not look as nice as Nest metal and glass. However, it looks better in real life than in the pictures. I've received multiple compliments on how it looks. There are color shifts to indicate mode and the display automatically lights up if it senses you in front of it, with fade in/out effect.

Beware that there are Lyric Rounds out there that are not Homekit compatible. They look exactly the same and have exactly the same name but are old stock. The only difference is the part number. I have an old one. They cannot be upgraded for Homekit compatibility. Buy from any major retailer and you are fine. If you buy from some random seller on Ebay or Amazon, you might be getting old stock.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryanide Avatar
48 months ago
I would hardly call this one a Nest-like design! The only thing remotely similar is that it is round. It's ugly and the display is like a clock radio from 1980! WTF get with the times.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ikm19 Avatar
48 months ago
Its looks too white and plasticky.. Plus also lack of remote sensors. I don't know why someone will choose them over ecobee.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
seanmcbay Avatar
48 months ago
I would hardly call this one a Nest-like design! The only thing remotely similar is that it is round. It's ugly and the display is like a clock radio from 1980! WTF get with the times.
It's a thermostat. Who gives a crap how that looks.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yg17 Avatar
48 months ago
I’ve fallen out of love with Nest. They are not very long lived, and warranty replacements (even for reoccuring problems) is limited. Not to mention no native HomeKit support.

A Honeywell HomeKit compatible thermostat sounds great. Unfortuantely this one us FUGLY!
I've had a Nest for 4 years and never had an issue. And I couldn't care less about HomeKit support.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
48 months ago
I’m about to join the HomeKit party with a new thermostat. This was very informative.
All you really need to know is Ecobee. Fantastic thermostats and great customer support.
[doublepost=1503600091][/doublepost]
I'd rather have more local temp sensors that engage something like fans to cool specific areas.
How do you cool specific areas without a multi-zone HVAC system. No thermostat can regulate vents in a zone individually. It's all or nothing for every vent on that zone. All the sensors do is average out the temp.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...