Friday, Jan 20, 2023, 10:57 Hardware

HomePod Stereo Sound Requires Identical Counterpart – No Cross Generation Compatibility

Apple caused quite the surprise when it announced the new HomePods: Hardly anyone foresaw the device's return, especially not two years after the end of the original HomePod. Another surprise was the price – previously believed a limiting factor for many, has remained completely unchanged. US$299 in the United States and €349 in Europe. The reintroduction of a previous product, deemed too expensive by many, at the exact same price has also raised the eyebrows of many market analysts and potential customers. There are several differences between the first and second series – which also aren't fully compatible with one another.

HomePod 2 Incompatible With HomePod 1 For Stereo Sound
Although a relatively unsuccessful product, the 2018 HomePod still operates in many households and is still far from a toss in the scrap pile. Owners of the original device now considering a purchase should be aware of one limitation: The establishment of a HomePod stereo pair requires two identical HomePod models – meaning two HomePod minis or two 2023 HomePods, as per Apple. Thus, it's not possible to couple a 2023 HomePod with its predecessor to set up immersive surround sound. Due to the differences in built-in components, Cupertino's statement seems entirely in order: The HomePod 2 relies on five tweeters, whilst its predecessor possesses seven. Additionally, both devices are equipped with different chips.

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Some Functions Cross Compatible Between Different Series
Other features performed in connection with other HomePods remain unaffected by this limitation. For example, the HomePod 2 can be integrated for features such as the intercom or for playing music in different rooms simultaneously. The new smart speaker is already available on the Apple Online Store in two different color variations (midnight and white). According to the site, deliveries start on the 3rd of February. Any purchase of a HomePod includes a six-month trial for Apple Music.

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