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 era mannequin with upgraded audio and new good house 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 immediate 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 number of modifications. Apple decreased the variety of tweeters from seven to 5, angling them barely upward as an alternative of side-firing as earlier than. The variety of voice microphones was decreased from six all the way down to 4 and, most significantly, Apple swapped the iPhone 6’s A8 chip for the far more fashionable S7.
The brand new mannequin cures one in every of our largest gripes with the unique HomePod, specifically Siri’s restricted talents. Now, it may possibly acknowledge a number of customers, create recurring house 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 sometimes be too subdued for sure varieties of music. It really works particularly properly as a stereo pair, one thing that is simple to arrange through the app. It will also be arrange to be used with Apple TV and has particularly good voice readability. The most effective half, although, is the decreased 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 make sure to act by midnight ET on Could 14th.
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