Apple has announced the release of its second-generation HomePod smart speaker, nearly two years after discontinuing the first. The new HomePod features a slightly refined design and promises exceptional audio quality. Because of Apple's Siri voice-based personal assistant and S7 processor, it can reproduce tracks encoded with spatial audio and integrate with compatible smart home products. It comes in White and a new Midnight colour option. The second-generation HomePod costs Rs. 32,900 in India and is now available for pre-order through authorised Apple retailers. It will be available for purchase on February 3.
In terms of sound quality, Apple claims that the HomePod's custom high-excursion woofer delivers exceptional bass. An array of five tweeters around the device's circumference provides immersive audio. According to Apple, the HomePod can perform its own computational operations to maximise its potential thanks to built-in sensors and an EQ microphone, as well as Apple's in-house S7 processor. The device can detect sound reflections and adjust itself based on its placement in a room. Beamforming is a technique for directing ambient audio and providing spatial audio experiences.
The new HomePod, like its predecessor and the smaller HomePod mini (Review), has a mesh exterior made of 100 percent recycled fabric, according to Apple. The Siri voice assistant can be activated via the backlit touch surface on the top of its cylindrical body. The HomePod can also be used as an intercom system in the home to broadcast messages. Two HomePods can be configured as a stereo pair, or multiple units throughout a home can be synchronised, and users can send whatever is playing on their iPhone to the nearest speaker. When set up with an Apple TV, one or more HomePod speakers can take over all audio output and also let users control what's playing with voice commands.
The second-generation HomePod can detect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and notify users on their iPhones when they are away. Smart home routine integrations such as toggling appliances based on environmental conditions are made possible by integrated temperature and humidity sensors. The Matter smart home integration standard should improve interoperability with a wide range of IoT products and accessories.