The HomePod smart speaker will finally finish what Apple promised nearly a year ago that it would be able finish: play in multiple rooms simultaneously and in stereo mode.
The feature was notably lost from the Siri-powered, voice-controlled device when it was released in February. HomePod’s closest competitors — the Amazon Echo and Google domestic — offer multi-room audio, while the Sonos One with Amazon Alexa has both multi-room and stereo mode capabilities.
nowadays, nearly four months after the HomePod’s release, HomePod users can access the original features through a software update available through the domestic app in iOS 11.4, which includes AirPlay 2, Apple’s wireless audio technology that enables HomePod pairing. HomePods can now sync with other HomePods or third-party, AirPlay-2-enabled speakers, and play music throughout your domestic. Bose, Sonos, Beats, Bowers & Wilkins, and Libratone are some of the companies that possess announced AirPlay 2 compatibility for current and upcoming speakers.
The original AirPlay 2 update allows users to play any audio (including podcasts, music, and audio from videos) from their Apple devices through multiple speakers or Apple TVs.
Previously, only Mac computers could control multiple speakers through AirPlay. With the AirPlay 2 update, iPhones now possess that capability, too. You can see/set up/control utter of their AirPlay 2 speakers (including HomePod) using the domestic app you probably never knew existed on your iOS device. AirPlay works similarly to the Sonos wireless audio system and app.
HomePod’s AirPlay capability is the only way Spotify, Pandora, and other non-Apple Music subscribers can play music through the speaker. “Hey Siri” voice commands for music only work for Apple Music currently. Playing podcasts through the HomePod does not require a subscription.
You’ll also be able to pair two HomePod speakers for improved stereo sound in one room.
For fuller, immersive sound, you can save two HomePods together to create a real left/right stereo speaker system, but it’ll cost you. One HomePod costs $349, while two Alexa-enabled Sonos Ones costs $379.
Apple also announced that HomePod will be available in Canada, France, and Germany on June 18.