Hey there! Today, we'll discuss the Apple HomePod 2, the latest version of Apple's smart speaker. This cool gadget comes packed with new features and promises to deliver an even better listening experience than its predecessor.
We'll be taking a closer look at the HomePod 2's design, sound quality, features, and overall value, so you can decide whether it's the right smart speaker for you. So sit back, relax, and let's dive into our review of the Apple HomePod 2!
Pros and Cons of the HomePod 2
- The sound quality is fantastic! It's crystal clear and really brings out the details in every song you play.
- The Dolby Atmos & Spatial Audio features take the listening experience to a whole new level. It's like you're in the middle of the action!
- The microphones work really well and quickly pick up your voice, even from across the room.
- You can enjoy lossless streaming with the HomePod 2, which means you hear your music with the highest possible quality.
- Unfortunately, Siri still needs some work. It's only sometimes beneficial and sometimes needs to understand what you're saying.
- You can only use voice commands with Apple Music. So if you're a fan of another music streaming service, you'll need to control it manually.
- There's no line-in port, which means you can't connect other devices directly to the speaker.
- The EQ options are limited, so you may be unable to fine-tune the sound to your preferences.
If you're an iPhone user and prefer to stick with Apple's products, getting one or two HomePods is an intelligent choice for your home audio needs. They work great for playing music and setting up your TV audio system.
Price and Availability
The HomePod 2 is available for purchase at $299/£299/€349. While it is priced at the higher end of the smart speaker market, it's exceptional sound quality and advanced features make it worth the investment for many music enthusiasts.
For those interested in purchasing the HomePod 2 in Bangladesh, the current price is around BDT 28,000. Availability may vary, so checking with Apple retailers or Apple directly for the most up-to-date information is best.
Design & Build
The HomePod 2 comes in either black or white fabric and has a 360-degree design that's covered in mesh. The flat circular screen on the top lights up with the Siri orb when you talk to it and has plus and minus symbols for volume control.
I really like the HomePod's design, especially in white. It looks clean, and the simplicity reminds me of the classic Apple design. The power cord matches the speaker's color and is detachable, but there's no line-in port.
The build quality is excellent and feels premium. The speaker is quite heavy (2.3kg), so you must place it on a sturdy surface. Unlike the first-gen HomePod, neither color left a mark on my wooden surface.
The speaker uses recycled materials, including rare earth elements in the magnet and plastic in the Midnight mesh fabric. Unfortunately, only 30% of the white mesh is made from recycled materials.
Apple markets the HomePod as a music-first Bluetooth speaker, and I understand why. Siri can be frustrating to use, especially when it comes to playing specific songs or albums. However, it's quick and works smoothly with Apple's S7 chipset for simple queries like weather forecasts.
Controlling music on the HomePod can be done through the Apple Music or Home apps on your iPhone or iPad. Handoff works well with iPhones with a U1 chip, letting you transfer music to the HomePod by hovering your phone over it. The HomePods can also quickly link to make a stereo pair or create a network of several HomePods for features like Apple's Intercom.
The newer HomePod model has built-in temperature and humidity sensors, which accurately give readings that can be viewed in the Home app or asked about with Siri. It also has sound recognition for fire alarms, alerting you when you're not home.
The HomePod has two ways to play audio: Siri and Apple Music or Podcasts or AirPlay 2 for any other app, including Spotify. Unfortunately, you can't connect to the HomePod via Bluetooth or use an auxiliary input, so you can't connect to audio sources such as turntables.
To use the HomePod, you need an iPhone or iPad, but if you have an Apple TV, you can use two HomePods as stereo speakers. This is great for upgrading your home entertainment system and works with any app on your Apple TV. If your TV is compatible with the ARC standard, you can route audio from other hardware, like a games console. However, two HomePods can be expensive, so consider a soundbar instead.
It's important to note that you can't create a stereo pair with the first-gen Apple HomePod mini. You'll need two second-gen units to use this feature. If you're a music lover with an Apple Music subscription and an iPhone or iPad, the HomePod is an excellent choice for your home audio needs.
So, to the main point, it could be a more innovative or more platform-inclusive smart speaker, but it sounds perfect. It has a 4-inch woofer and five tweeters that create a well-rounded soundstage.
Apple has done a phenomenal job creating a well-rounded soundstage, and the HomePod 2 tends towards a very bass-heavy character, though it’s less bassy than the first-gen HomePod.
This implies that the Apple HomePod 2 is excellent for throwing loud parties, but at lower volumes, the overpowering bass can drown out some finer details in the music mix. This is particularly evident in rap and hip-hop tracks with prominent bass.
However, this feature is off by default, and the toggle to turn it on is sowed in the Home app settings.
Should You Buy the HomePod 2?
If you are an Apple user looking for a premium speaker with exceptional sound quality, the HomePod 2 is worth considering. Its impressive bass response and spatial audio support make it an excellent choice for music lovers, and its ability to double as a TV speaker system is a bonus.
However, if you rely on Spotify or other non-Apple services for your music, you may find the HomePod 2's lack of support frustrating. Additionally, while Siri has some valuable features, it still lags behind other voice assistants in terms of overall functionality.
Overall, if you are invested in the Apple ecosystem and are willing to pay a premium for a high-quality speaker, the HomePod 2 is an excellent choice. But if you are looking for a more affordable option or want greater flexibility in music services, consider an alternative one.