The unique HomePod arrived in 2018 and was discontinued in favor of the $99 HomePod Mini in 2021, however Apple brought it back earlier this yr as a second technology mannequin with upgraded audio and new sensible residence instruments. Now, it is on sale for the primary time at B&H Picture Video for $279 in white and $289 in black by way of an instantaneous rebate, saving you $20 and $10 respectively.
The design of the second-generation mannequin is far the identical, aside from particulars like the marginally recessed contact panel, a removable energy twine and a barely shorter profile. Inside, although, there are a bunch of modifications. Apple lowered the variety of tweeters from seven to 5, angling them barely upward as a substitute of side-firing as earlier than. The variety of voice microphones was lowered from six all the way down to 4 and, most significantly, Apple swapped the iPhone 6’s A8 chip for the way more trendy S7.
The brand new mannequin cures certainly one of our greatest gripes with the unique HomePod, specifically Siri’s restricted talents. Now, it may possibly acknowledge a number of customers, create recurring residence automations with out an iPhone and play music from voice instructions by way of providers like Deezer and Pandora and never simply Apple Music. Most significantly, efficiency and responsiveness is far improved.
Sound high quality is excellent, with wonderful readability, although bass can often be too subdued for sure sorts of music. It really works particularly properly as a stereo pair, one thing that is straightforward to arrange by way of the app. It can be arrange to be used with Apple TV and has particularly good voice readability. The most effective half, although, is the lowered worth in comparison with the earlier mannequin, and B&H Photo Video’s discount of as much as $20 makes it a very good purchase — simply you’ll want to act by midnight ET on Might 14th.
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