It’s been a few years since Apple launched the (now defunct) HomePod, but the old smart speaker has had a makeover. The second-generation HomePod retails for $299 and offers some serious upgrades over the original. Not only does it bring improved audio quality, but there are many other improvements that make it much better than its older sibling. Here’s a rundown of all the differences (and similarities) between the original HomePod and the 2023 HomePod.

    Design

    Two Apple HomePods (second generation).
    Apple

    When compared side-by-side, you won’t notice much difference between the two HomePods. The new HomePod weighs about 200 grams less than the original model and is a few millimeters shorter, but overall the two are very similar. The touchpad above the HomePod 2023 is also a bit larger and now extends almost to the edge of the device. Beyond these minor differences, they both sport an oblong design and come in multiple colors.

    Speakers and sound

    Diagram of the internal components of the second and first generation Apple HomePods side by side.
    A diagram of the second-generation Apple HomePod internals (left) seen alongside those of the first-generation HomePod.

    The original HomePod sounded great – and its successor sounds even better. With a 4-inch high-excursion woofer, five horn tweeters, and support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, Apple positions it as one of the best performing smart speakers on the market. It also runs the S7 chip, which should help it use coin detection technology to optimize its performance.

    Siri and smart features

    Apple HomePod 2023 model.

    Matter is the tech to watch in 2023, and Apple has made sure the new HomePod supports the interoperability standard. This means you’ll be able to connect your HomePod to anything that supports Matter – a list that continues to grow each week.

    Like the outgoing HomePod, this one also supports Siri. You can give it a wide variety of commands to perform, and since the smart speaker is built with four powerful microphones, it will hear your commands loud and clear. It can also hear smoke or carbon monoxide alarms and send notifications to your smartphone. And just like the cheaper HomePod mini, the HomePod comes with a temperature and humidity sensor.

    Rounding out its list of notable features is Ultra Wideband support, which will allow the HomePod 2023 to quickly detect and sync with the rest of your smart home.

    Apple TV compatibility

    Second-generation Apple HomePod in a stereo pair.
    Apple

    The new HomePod is compatible with Apple TV and can share content with other Apple library products (such as iPhone or iPad). So if you have one of these devices lying around your house, picking up the HomePod could be a great choice as it will easily fit into your existing setup.

    Availablity

    The original HomePod is no longer for sale. The HomePod 2023 goes on sale Feb. 3 and costs $299.

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