The history of the HomePod must be analyzed in detail. In early 2021, Apple announced that it was stopping manufacturing the original HomePod. Thanks to that, it began to market the HomePod mini, a speaker that had more or less the same characteristics but with a smaller size. Nevertheless, the original HomePod, the largest, has returned with a 2nd generation a few days ago. Now we will analyze what are the characteristics of the three HomePods that have existed to date but we already announced that the characteristics are not as differential as many expected.
Apple says goodbye to the HomePod
The HomePod 2 is reborn with little news compared to the rest of Apple speakers
Outside they are identical. The 1st generation HomePod and HomePod 2 At first glance it seems that they are the same product. However, Apple assures that inside they have modified the technology and made the new product more powerful and the sound result is even better than the previous one. It must be taken into account that the 1st generation was stopped selling in March 2021, so its design and production began years before. So, regarding technology, we are sure that there will be news. Especially considering that integrate Apple Silicon chips, something unthinkable years ago.
Let’s talk about the relevant: sound characteristics
The most relevant aspect in a loudspeaker is sound and its interior characteristics that allow the sounds to be reproduced. In the case of the HomePod 2 there is not much difference from the original. In fact, the only novelty that Apple comments is a new advanced computer audio system with system detection to adjust sound in real time. If we compare it with the first generation, this system is not “advanced” so it has been renewed.
Compared to the HomePod mini, the new speaker features high-excursion woofers, five beamforming tweeters, spatial audio, and space sensor as differential aspects. Above all highlight spatial audio and space sensor, something characteristic of the large HomePod compared to the mini.
A relevant aspect about the operation of the HomePod is that in order to integrate stereo sound by pairing several speakers, it is necessary that the two to be paired are of the same type and generation. That is, either two HomePod mini, or two 1st generation HomePods or two 2nd generation HomePods. Mixtures between generations or different products are not valid.
A look at the connections and sensors
Another differential aspect, clearly, around all the speakers are the sensors, the connectivity and the management of the Casa app. The new HomePod 2 integrates compatibility with the Matter and Thread standards. In addition, it integrates a S7 chip and a U1 chip, plus a humidity and temperature sensor. As for the touch panel located on the top of the HomePod 2, it seems to be similar to the original but it seems to have been integrated much more inside and not so much on the surface. In addition to the fact that it seems that all of it lights up as in the case of the mini and not in the original.
On the other hand, the connectivity The new HomePod carries the WiFi chip 802.11n, it’s somewhat less modern than the chip in the original HomePod. Experts say that it was necessary to be able to use the Thread system correctly and carry chips from the Apple Silicon S series and not from the A series. In addition, Bluetooth connectivity is improved to Bluetooth 5.3, but obviously this connection is only used to pair and start the product for the first time.
“Hello? Hello? Testing, testing… »: speakers and microphones
We cannot forget a key aspect of the HomePods and it is their speaker function and interaction with Siri through the microphones. In fact, the HomePod mini has 4 microphones, some speakers with a full range transducer but with no woofer, some specific speakers for low frequency sounds.
In contrast, the 1st generation HomePod does have a high-quality woofer in addition to six microphones and 7-row horn-loaded tweeters. The new HomePod 2 reduce the microphones by two, leaving only two, and reducing the tweeter dedicated to 5 rows, also including the 4-inch woofer.
Apple, in fact, highlights the power of its new speakers in the HomePod 2 by highlighting deep, rich bass sounds which can be obtained in addition to the array of tweeters used. In this case, it highlights how the voices are going to be shown more crystalline.
Prices, colors and sizes
Finally, a little comparison with the availability in terms of price, sizes and colors of the three products. The HomePod 2 has a weight of 2.3 kg, a height of 16.8 cm and a width of 14.2 cm. On the other hand, the 1st generation weighed a little more, about 2.5 kg, and although the width was maintained, it was slightly higher with 17.2 cm. Finally, the HomePod mini was the smallest of all with just 345 grams, 8.43 cm high and 9.79 cm wide.
As for the color availabilities, the HomePod mini stands out for its 5 colors available, while the large HomePod is only available in space grey/black and white. Finally, in terms of price, the HomePod mini is priced at €109, while the HomePod 2 is priced at €349, the same price as the 1st generation HomePod when it was removed from the market in March 2021.