The unique HomePod arrived in 2018 and was discontinued in favor of the $99 HomePod Mini in 2021, however Apple introduced it again earlier this 12 months as a second era mannequin with upgraded audio and new good dwelling instruments. Now, it is on sale for the primary time at B&H Photograph Video for $279 in white and $289 in black through an instantaneous rebate, saving you $20 and $10 respectively.
The design of the second-generation mannequin is far the identical, other than particulars like the marginally recessed contact panel, a removable energy twine and a barely shorter profile. Inside, although, there are a bunch of adjustments. Apple diminished 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 diminished from six right down to 4 and, most significantly, Apple swapped the iPhone 6’s A8 chip for the far more trendy S7.
The brand new mannequin cures one in every of our greatest gripes with the unique HomePod, particularly Siri’s restricted skills. Now, it will probably acknowledge a number of customers, create recurring dwelling automations with out an iPhone and play music from voice instructions through companies 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 forms of music. It really works particularly effectively as a stereo pair, one thing that is straightforward to arrange through the app. It will also be arrange to be used with Apple TV and has particularly good voice readability. The perfect half, although, is the diminished value in comparison with the earlier mannequin, and B&H Photograph Video’s low cost of as much as $20 makes it a very good purchase — simply be sure you act by midnight ET on Could 14th.
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