Admittingly, I am all in with Apple. I have an iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple TV 4K 2022, Mac Studio, 3rd gen iPad Pro and a Studio Display. I have five Alexa speakers spread across my house, but never bothered with the HomePod speaker, until now. I just purchased the HomePod 2 in white from Apple and received it on release day. I have it in my bedroom right now, where there was an absence of sound. This is a deadly speaker, the main reason I went with it, is because of support for Dolby Atmos and Spacial Audio.
Setting up the HomePod 2 was super easy, it paired with with the Apple Home app, which I actually uninstalled, but it needed it to install again in order for it to work. It does not pair with Bluetooth or anything else, which is refreshing. I often use Apple Music for my day to day, but also Spotify and Audible audiobooks, which I can just offload to the HomePod 2, instead of my phone speakers. The audio quality is really good, however I don’t really use the whole Siri voice assistant thing. The only reason I use Alexa, is to control all of the lights in my condo.
The HomePod 2 has a few tricks up its sleeve. You can buy two of them, and the software will convert them to stereo, giving you better sound quality when watching videos on Apple TV. This is kind of a moot point for me, because I have a Sonos Arc soundbar, bass speaker and two smaller Sonos speakers, providing superior 5.1 surround sound for my living room setup. My home office, is where I spend the most time, I have the Edifier S350DB bookshelf speakers with two speakers a subwoofer. It doesn’t support lots of the Dolby audio, but I find for my needs, the power of these speakers are good for my needs, they also look really stunning. However, I am the type of person that needs things to be quiet when I am researching story ideas for Good e-Reader, or writing.
Why did I spend $399 Canadian on the Apple HomePod 2? Mainly, I wanted something that would play nice with my existing Apple products, such as my iPad, which is always in my room. However, so far I am just offloading Apple Music to play on the speaker, right now I am using to Apple Music One and some Friday night Dj mixes, I find the audio is stellar. Alexa has the most support for companies who need voice controls, but Alexa speakers really don’t sound that great, no matter how much you spend on them. I have found Alexa is mainly for voice controls, and less about the quality of the overall audio experience.
It does have support for Scenes that you can setup. Some of the defaults allow you to automatically turn the music off when you are leaving and outside of the WIFI area, which is nice. It also has a humidity sensor and when you click on it, it will tell you the current %, mine is currently 35%, the side effect of living in Vancouver, which is basically a rainforest. It also displays the current temperature. If you have a few different Home Pods you can talk to people in other rooms with the intercom feature. I live by myself, so this feature isn’t for me!
Apple Home Pod 2023$399.99
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.