Apple has announced the launch of its second generation HomePod smart speaker priced at $299. The speaker features support for the wireless protocol Thread and the smart home standard Matter, support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, and support for handing off music. It is designed using an upgraded S7 chip, a single four-inch woofer paired with five tweeters, and five microphones.
In addition to these impressive features, the HomePod also has the capability to detect its positioning in a room and adjust its sound depending on that. The design of the speaker also incorporates built-in temperature and humidity sensors. Moreover, the voice assistant Siri within the speaker is capable of recognizing up to six different voices and providing personalized responses.
The HomePod’s potential doesn’t end here. Apple has also announced that the speaker will be updated with a software that allows it to listen for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms through its built-in microphones and notify the user about it via an iPhone.
The second generation HomePod weighs 5.16 pounds and will be available in white or gray colors, along with a power cable of the same color. Like the original HomePod, this model can also be arranged in a pair of two as a stereo or as speakers for the Apple TV 4K.
Apple’s new smart speaker is available to order starting today and its shipping will begin on February 3rd, alongside the HomePod Mini. Countries where the speaker will be sold include the US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and 11 others.