July 18, 2024
Apple HomePod 2 Review Roundup [Video]

Apple HomePod 2 Review Roundup [Video]

Posted January 31, 2023 at 4:12pm by iClarified
Early reviews of the new HomePod 2 have surfaced ahead of its release this week. Apple says the smart speaker offers advanced computational audio for a groundbreaking listening experience, including support for immersive Spatial Audio tracks.

Check out the review roundup below and click here to pre-order HomePod 2 ahead of its February 3, 2023 release.

Apple has been preparing for a new HomePod for five years, constantly improving both the original version and the HomePod mini. And the fact that the company has made Siri a more capable companion certainly helps. Plus, there's more smart home abilities than before. Apple hasn't strayed from its emphasis on the spoken (or sung) word for HomePod's sound profile, but that's okay. It's clear that the company is focused on expanding the toolbox for its smart speakers after their debut, so I'd expect that much like the original HomePod, this is just the beginning for the second generation.

Marques Brownlee
The second generation HomePod is really good. And really bad.

Overall the HomePod sounds great, but its high price and Apple-centric features simply exclude too many potential users -- including Spotify subscribers and Android owners -- for broad appeal. And for Apple fans who want a Siri speaker, the Mini is probably big enough.

Apple might call the second-gen HomePod "all-new," but in reality, this product had to be an easy lift for the company. More than anything else, its restoration in the lineup fills a self-inflicted gap and buys Apple a couple of years to work on more ambitious products destined for our homes. But with competitors like Sonos planning major new products for the coming months, I can't help but wonder whether Apple played it too safe with this $299 speaker — no matter how good it may sound.

The first HomePod sounded great, but was limited in some of the smart aspects. At the time, I figured this was less important, as that can be upgraded on Apple's servers, but the audio hardware wouldn't change. Now, with a faster processor to future-proof it for what it needs to do on-device, Apple has improved the audio capabilities. The result is the best-sounding smart speaker—again.

Digital Trends
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