Apple may have a HomePod 2 within the works, because it tries to shift previous HomePod inventory earlier than probably gearing up for a second-generation good speaker launch.
At the least that’s the logic of Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who tweeted that Apple workers should buy as much as 10 HomePod audio system on their firm low cost. Beforehand they have been restricted to 2 HomePod audio system, so this dramatic improve is a sign that the HomePod could also be on its manner out.
On the similar time, the HomePod may be picked up at reasonably closely discounted costs, with Finest Purchase promoting it for $200, down from its beginning worth of $299. That’s a reasonably good worth for a sensible speaker that we praised soundly for its aural skills, although we weren’t so offered on its Siri smarts.
Provided that Apple appears to be clearing home of HomePod items, it could be quietly engaged on a sequel whereas iPhone 12, AirPods Studio, and Apple Glasses rumors and leaks seize the headlines. And it’s received us considering what we’d prefer to see from a HomePod 2.
A brand new design
The HomePod has a horny design that stands out from the likes of the Sonos One and different audio-centric good audio system. However we’d nonetheless prefer to see Apple combine issues up somewhat with the HomePod 2.
Extra shade choices can be begin, however another type components can be appreciated as properly. How a few HomePod 2 mini for a bedside or workplace desk, just like the Amazon Echo Dot? Or maybe a HomePod 2 soundbar to go alongside an Apple TV setup, particularly now that Apple TV Plus has made its debut.
Whereas the HomePod has class-leading sound for a sensible speaker, the ‘good’ half was reasonably lacklustre. Siri simply couldn’t maintain tempo with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant in our testing, often getting requests incorrect, in addition to solely having the ability to recognise one Apple account at a time.
Siri has improved since 2018, however we’d prefer to see Apple make sure the HomePod 2 faucets into Siri’s new capabilities and might higher distinguish between its person’s voices and background voices, together with these of a close-by TV.
Higher sound controls
Organising the HomePod is trivially simple, with the good speaker routinely calibrating itself for the room it’s in. However some folks won’t just like the sound steadiness the speaker comes up with; that’s powerful luck, as there’s no simple approach to tweak the audio equalisation.
We’d prefer to see the HomePod 2 permit for extra granular person management, very like the Sonos One and Google Residence Max do. Whether or not this implies higher controls in Apple Music or a devoted HomePod app, extra controls can be appreciated.
Extra music companies
We recognize Apple likes to maintain its product and repair ecosystem reasonably closed. However the HomePod solely got here with Apple Music integration at launch, which actually restricted its use. Now you can entry the likes of Spotify utilizing the AirPlay perform on an iPhone, however you’ll want your telephone useful if you wish to management the music settings.
This makes utilizing third-party music companies with the HomePod a clunky affair; Apple Music is respectable, however for those who’ve spent years curating Spotify playlists you won’t wish to abandon the service. So we’d just like the HomePod 2 to be somewhat extra open to accepting integrations with third-party music companies.
This one is an apparent request, however higher sound high quality is at all times anticipated from a next-generation speaker. The HomePod produces wonderful sound, however there’s nonetheless room for enchancment; for instance, some would possibly discover the punchy bass the HomePod produces takes somewhat away from the vocal performances of artists.
All that being stated, we now have no sturdy indication that Apple is engaged on a HomePod 2. But it surely appears to be busying itself with numerous audio tech and has captured our consideration with the AirPods Professional. So it wouldn’t be shocking to see it additionally create a information good speaker to go alongside its audio tech lineup.