HomePod 2nd gen vs HomePod 1st gen vs mini: A detailed comparison

HomePod-2nd gen-vs-HomePod-1st gen-vs-mini-A-detailed-comparison

After the Apple HomePod was discontinued in 2021, no one expected to get a new full-fledged HomePod 2nd gen. But Apple has dropped another surprise by launching this potent smart speaker with next-level acoustics, an iconic appearance, and jam-packed modern technologies. Let’s find out what’s new in HomePod 2nd gen and the difference between HomePod 2nd gen, 1st gen, and HomePod mini. 

HomePod 2nd gen vs HomePod 1st gen vs mini – Spec comparison

HomePod 1st gen was unable to fulfill the users’ expectations at $349. Later the HomePod mini somehow provided a better listening experience, but that was not up to the mark.

Apple has now infused multiple technologies, especially machine learning to enhance functionality. So, is the new HomePod worth it? Let’s find out by comparing the specs first.

SpecsHomePod (2nd gen)HomePod (1st gen)HomePod mini
Height (inches)6.6 6.83.3
Width (inches)5.65.63.9
Weight (pounds)5.165.50.76
ProcessorS7A8S5
Speakers5 horn-loaded tweeters7 horn-loaded tweetersFull-range driver and dual passive radiators
Microphone Array464
SensorsAccelerometer,
Temperature and humidity sensor,
System sensor
AccelerometerAccelerometer,
Temperature and humidity sensor
Connectivity802.11n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0
Thread with Matter
Ultra Wideband
802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0
802.11n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0
Thread with Matter
Source: Apple

HomePod 2nd gen vs HomePod vs mini – Key differences

Apple stopped making the original HomePod for poor market performance and focused more on the HomePod mini. But it also lacked Dolby Atmos compatibility, powerful bass, room sensing, etc. So, Apple took all the inputs and revamped the HomePod. A minor height adjustment and appearance tweaks are the only external changes. It also got a new speaker arrangement, sensors, chipset, and much more.

1. Design and aesthetics

Asthetic Design of Homepod 2nd gen

Apple has kept the design and colors (white and midnight) almost the same as the original HomePod. The height is 0.2 inches less, and the weight is 0.35 pounds less for HomePod 2nd gen because of the reduced number of tweeters and mics. Besides, the top portion is a little flatter and has a dynamic backlit touch surface.

The best part is Apple has used recyclable resources to create the mesh fabric and extended the waveform to the edge. Another change is you will get a detachable color-matching power cable which now has a woven fabric look. The cable of the old HomePod was theoretically detachable, but it wasn’t recommended for the user. 

2. Technology

Apple has incorporated the latest S7 chipset with U1 in HomePod 2nd gen to integrate software, machine learning algorithm, and system-sensing technologies. It is almost a decade newer than the A8 of the original HomePod and two generations newer than the S5 in the HomePod mini. So, you can now enjoy Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos

Moreover, the new HomePod will output advanced computational audio using the full potential of its acoustic system sensing. Therefore, you will be able to enhance stereo effects and get a massive listening experience with real-time tuning. The other features, like beamforming, room sensing, auto bass correction, etc. are similar to the old HomePod.

3. Audio quality

Improved audio quality of Homepod 2nd gen

The 2023 HomePod 2nd gen offers significant improvement in audio quality. It has a relatively larger 4-inch high-excursion woofer and bass‑EQ mic that dynamically tunes low frequencies. Besides, Apple has reduced the built-in speaker count and kept 5-array horn-loaded tweeters. Also, there are only 4 far-field microphones for taking voice commands.

Though the hardware was reduced, Apple claims to add a brand-new system sensor that performs tuning algorithms in real-time. So, the audio can adjust to the dynamic range by detecting where it’s located and improving acoustic performance. Also, the audio tuning optimizes spoken content for even better clarity.

But Apple has not mentioned if the new HomePod supports high-resolution lossless audio. As the HomePod 1st gen got issues with crisp mid-tones, the new one got advanced volume controls to adjust volume granularly at lower volumes. Therefore, high-fidelity ambient sounds will feel more immersive.

4. Smart home, sensors, connectivity

built-in temperature and humidity sensor in Homepod 2nd gen

As I mentioned before, HomePod 2nd gen has Siri integration for better productivity and security. Apple has also made it compatible with Homekit. So, you can control and automate your smart home devices using Siri commands. Additionally, the built-in temperature and humidity sensor helps to know and adjust the room’s temperature.

The original HomePod and HomePod mini also had Siri features. But the CPU and software enhancement, especially thread and Matter support in the new one provide a better user experience. Moreover, the new HomePod and mini will get updates to include better sound recognition.

So, now your HomePod 2nd gen can listen for smoke and fire alarms. If it detects alerts, you will get a notification on your iPhone. Also, the thread radios support will enhance the signal of other thread-enabled devices and manage them simultaneously. In an odd move, Apple switched from 802.11ac to 802.11n Wi-Fi protocol.

Also, the multi-HomePod experience has improved. Same as the HomePod 1st gen, the new HomePod can be stereo paired with another one. So, left and right audio channels will be played separately for an exceptional Home-theater listening experience. Besides, you can place one HomePod in each room and control them, thanks to multi-room audio with AirPlay2.

5. Price

You can pick a HomePod 2nd gen with a hefty $299 price tag, whereas the HomePod mini is placed at $99. The OG HomePod struggled because of the high price point. However, Apple again took a bet to launch the new one at the same price. Let’s see if there are any price cuts in the future, like the HomePod 1st gen!

What’s new in HomePod 2nd gen?

Apple has focused highly on enriching the user experience with the new HomePod. So, they fine-tuned the software and added new features, especially automation in the Home app. According to Apple,

“Leveraging our audio expertise and innovations, the new HomePod delivers rich, deep bass, natural mid-range, and clear, detailed highs. With the popularity of HomePod mini, we’ve seen growing interest in even more powerful acoustics achievable in a larger HomePod. We’re thrilled to bring the next generation of HomePod to customers around the world.”

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing

Matter support

Matter allows smart home appliances to function together in various ecosystems while preserving the greatest levels of security. So, homeowners can access and manage their devices even if they are not home. But to implement the Matter standard, you must have a central hub. Therefore, as the new HomePod now has Matter support, you can connect and manage your devices.

Improved ecosystem integration

Now you can sync your music, podcasts, calls, etc., from your iPhone to HomePod directly, thanks to the Ultra Wideband technology. You just need to just bring your iPhone close to your HomePod 2nd gen to effortlessly control what is playing. It also offers tailored music and podcast recommendations.

Another best part is you can add up to six voices to your new HomePod. So, everyone can listen to their own playlists, request reminders, and schedule activities on the calendar. Besides, if you have Apple TV, pair it with your HomePod to get a powerful home theater experience.

Moreover, Apple TV has a feature called eARC that enables HomePod to be the primary audio system for all connected devices. Also, using Siri on HomePod, you may use your Apple TV hands-free, find your Apple devices via Find My, and locate friends or family members. So, an ultimate smart assistant!

So, that’s all for today, Music lovers!

After going through this detailed comparison of the new HomePod vs the old, what do you think? Is the HomePod 2nd gen worth it, and it can stand against competitors? Let me know in the comments. As for me, I am looking forward to enjoying rich Dolby Atmos while watching 4K content!

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