Are HomePod 2 really that good?

maverick786us

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I am looking for portable wireless speakers that I can connect with my iPhone and MacBook Pro. Though my MacBooks speakers are already good, I would say best speakers on a laptop. But sometimes more loudness and details is always good while watching movie and listen to music. Are Home Pod 2 really that good in terms of sound quality, loudness, details, bass and ease of use that I should consider them over Sonos Roam?
 
I would like all things wait for reviews.

I will make this one comment though: I would make the general assessment that it's very likely that these will perform better than HomePod v1. There are a lot of (ignorant) people talking about having less tweeters and mics, but I'm certain that Apple has optimized. The tweeters are larger, and I would more or less guarantee the sound quality will be better. Good enough to consider over other options? That's a whole other story.

I'll put it like this: unless you want VERY SPECIFICALLY Homekit or Siri integration/integration with other Apple devices, then considering any other option is more than okay. The primary customer for this will ALWAYS be people that want Apple ecosystem products.
 
It looks like the HomePod 2 is quite large, I wouldn't really call it a portable speaker. Looks like it's about the size of a gallon of milk.
 
I would like all things wait for reviews.

I will make this one comment though: I would make the general assessment that it's very likely that these will perform better than HomePod v1. There are a lot of (ignorant) people talking about having less tweeters and mics, but I'm certain that Apple has optimized. The tweeters are larger, and I would more or less guarantee the sound quality will be better. Good enough to consider over other options? That's a whole other story.

I'll put it like this: unless you want VERY SPECIFICALLY Homekit or Siri integration/integration with other Apple devices, then considering any other option is more than okay. The primary customer for this will ALWAYS be people that want Apple ecosystem products.

The video in its website itself is good enough to convince that these will perform a whole lot better than HomePod v.1. I might probably buy a pair to experience stereo sound and a lot more. Compared to other good Portable speakers like Sonos Roam, HomePod 2 will cost 100$ more and if I buy a pair, I will be spending 200$ extra. Yes I will connect it with my iPhone, 2 of my MacBooks, so keeping the luxury of Apple Eco system aside, will the sound quality, loudness, ease of use are those speakers much better than Sonos Roam, to justify extra 100$ that I will spend on it?
 
The video in its website itself is good enough to convince that these will perform a whole lot better than HomePod v.1. I might probably buy a pair to experience stereo sound and a lot more. Compared to other good Portable speakers like Sonos Roam, HomePod 2 will cost 100$ more and if I buy a pair, I will be spending 200$ extra. Yes I will connect it with my iPhone, 2 of my MacBooks, so keeping the luxury of Apple Eco system aside, will the sound quality, loudness, ease of use are those speakers much better than Sonos Roam, to justify extra 100$ that I will spend on it?
That isn't really a determination that anyone can make for you. Again, I think it's more than possible to get speakers that "sound better" for less. The reason isn't for "just sound" it's for ecosystem + reasonably good sound. At $300 you could buy some entry level studio monitors which will sound better but have zero other utility other than being monitors. So you have to decide whether or not that mix of features is what you want or not.
 
I am looking for portable wireless speakers that I can connect with my iPhone and MacBook Pro. Though my MacBooks speakers are already good, I would say best speakers on a laptop. But sometimes more loudness and details is always good while watching movie and listen to music. Are Home Pod 2 really that good in terms of sound quality, loudness, details, bass and ease of use that I should consider them over Sonos Roam?
The HomePod isn't really a portable speaker. It'll blow away the Roam in sound quality, but you will have to plug it into a wall outlet. I'd look to the Sonos Move if you want a high-quality speaker that can still operate on battery power.

I'll say this: there are times when I want to replace my Sonos 3/5 speakers with HomePods. Sonos has an appealing sound, but having to use Alexa (and thus get frequent sales/feature pitches) is getting to me.
 
I guess I don't understand why you wouldn't just homehub/homekit an AppleTV instead. It's substantially cheaper, and you can connect whatever audio you want to it.
 
I guess I don't understand why you wouldn't just homehub/homekit an AppleTV instead. It's substantially cheaper, and you can connect whatever audio you want to it.
only audio out of an Apple TV is via HDMI and Bluetooth, and you need a display to see what is going on. Not sure how this would work for the OP.
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It looks like the HomePod 2 is quite large, I wouldn't really call it a portable speaker. Looks like it's about the size of a gallon of milk.


I guess I don't understand why you wouldn't just homehub/homekit an AppleTV instead. It's substantially cheaper, and you can connect whatever audio you want to it.
That's a good idea, only if I had Apple TV. I haven't touched TV for decades. :(
All the streaming channels I watch in my MacBook or iPad
 
I'm expecting the Home Pod 2 to sound very good. Apple has always been very good about audio (value aside). If you are in the ecosystem it is hard to go wrong with one. If I didn't have something set up in every room already I'd look to get one (have combination of Sonos, Airport Express, and direct connection to Macs).
 
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I'm expecting the Home Pod 2 to sound very good. Apple has always been very good about audio (value aside). If you are in the ecosystem it is hard to go wrong with one. If I didn't have something set up in every room already I'd look to get one (have combination of Sonos, Airport Express, and direct connection to Macs).


I hope they sound better than its predecessor. Specially after hearing what this gentleman said.

NEW HomePod (2023) - 15 Things You NEED to KNOW!

That they reduced the number of speakers in the new HomePods .
 
I hope they sound better than its predecessor. Specially after hearing what this gentleman said.

NEW HomePod (2023) - 15 Things You NEED to KNOW!

That they reduced the number of speakers in the new HomePods .
Yes. However even as this guy acknowledges they don't know how it sounds. I literally brought up both the speakers and mics in my first post in this thread (post 2). Having less tweeters only matters if it's a sound downgrade. Use your head, how could that "not" be the case?
Well first they are likely using tweeters that are totally different. They could be larger. They are definitely not arranged the same way. The entire internal structure looks entirely different (despite the outside looking largely the same). There also could be changes to its algorithms to enhance the audio in ways that the original could not do.

In other words, there are a myriad of reasons why the changes could've taken place that could either not affect sound quality or potentially improve sound quality. We will not know until it's tested. That's why it's kind of a waste of time to get hyped about anything until it's in someone's hands. Anyone who is either hyping or doom-and-glooming the new HomePod is full of garbage unless they've actually listened to one, and turns out no one has.
 
Here's people who got to listen to an Apple demo, but haven't been able to do independent testing yet:
https://appleinsider.com/articles/23/01/20/early-previewers-praise-new-homepods-just-wow-audio

The impression I get is that the sound quality is likely slightly improved from the previous generation.

Albany Herald: "higher-end experience"​

Krol also continued in a different publication, the Albany Herald. For this, he specifically compared the new HomePod to the old one.
"As someone who owns the original HomePod," wrote Krol, "it's clear the first-generation and the new one can both outpace an Echo or Echo Dot, but they both do provide quick access to either virtual assistant."

"First impression? Just wow," wrote Lance Ulanoff in TechRadar.
"Listen, I would go to more concerts if it wasn't for the expense, crowds, and rigamarole involved with getting to the venue," continued Ulanoff. "Now, though, after an all-too-brief listening session with the new Apple HomePod 2, maybe I don't need to go anywhere."
"The music experience is that good," Ulanoff said.

The Street: "sounds great"​

"The new HomePod sounds great with clear, rich playback," goes the headline on the predominantly financial publication, The Street.
"[It's] fair to say that it can roll with the punches of other higher-end smart speakers like the original HomePod," said previewer Jacob Krol, "along with competing options from Bose, Sonos, or even Amazon."
"I'd still stand by that two of these paired together could outperform sound bars as well with crisp, room-filling sound," continued Krol.


The Verge was less impressed:

The Verge: "hard to justify"​

"I had a brief amount of listening time with Apple's second-generation HomePod speaker this morning," continues the publication's Chris Welch. "There were numerous demos of its capabilities, but I'm only permitted to share details with you on what I heard in one specific room."
"[Even] if the guts have changed some, the new HomePod still... very much sounded like a HomePod during Apple's music demos," says Welch.
 
Yes. However even as this guy acknowledges they don't know how it sounds. I literally brought up both the speakers and mics in my first post in this thread (post 2). Having less tweeters only matters if it's a sound downgrade. Use your head, how could that "not" be the case?
Well first they are likely using tweeters that are totally different. They could be larger. They are definitely not arranged the same way. The entire internal structure looks entirely different (despite the outside looking largely the same). There also could be changes to its algorithms to enhance the audio in ways that the original could not do.

In other words, there are a myriad of reasons why the changes could've taken place that could either not affect sound quality or potentially improve sound quality. We will not know until it's tested. That's why it's kind of a waste of time to get hyped about anything until it's in someone's hands. Anyone who is either hyping or doom-and-glooming the new HomePod is full of garbage unless they've actually listened to one, and turns out no one has.

And not to forget Spatial Audio in HomePod 2. practically i don't know how the spatial audio effects the listening experience, though my MacBook Pro does support spatial audio, maybe with something big like HomePod 2, I might be able to actually experience the effect of Spatial Audio. If I buy these HomePods, I will buy it in pair for stereo sound and I hope with 2 speakers, the overall effect is Quadrupled.
 
And not to forget Spatial Audio in HomePod 2. practically i don't know how the spatial audio effects the listening experience, though my MacBook Pro does support spatial audio, maybe with something big like HomePod 2, I might be able to actually experience the effect of Spatial Audio. If I buy these HomePods, I will buy it in pair for stereo sound and I hope with 2 speakers, the overall effect is Quadrupled.
I have the Air Pod Pros and the spatial audio effect is amazing. When I am watching something on my Apple TV4k, the dialog sounds like it is coming from the screen and not being injected into my ears.
If I stand up and turn around, the dialog will sound like it is coming from behind me, as if the sound was coming from a center channel under my screen. Standing with my back to the screen for 10 or so seconds will reset the spatial audio and the sound will come from in front of me again, I think the system recalibrates and thinks I am looking at the screen again..
 
I have the Air Pod Pros and the spatial audio effect is amazing. When I am watching something on my Apple TV4k, the dialog sounds like it is coming from the screen and not being injected into my ears.
If I stand up and turn around, the dialog will sound like it is coming from behind me, as if the sound was coming from a center channel under my screen. Standing with my back to the screen for 10 or so seconds will reset the spatial audio and the sound will come from in front of me again, I think the system recalibrates and thinks I am looking at the screen again..

I have first generation AirPods Pro, I did connect them with my MacBook Pro, and never paid attention on where the sound was coming from, next time I will pay close attention. Perhaps with medium sized speakers like Home Pod 2, the effect of Spatial Audio will be different.
 
I hope they sound better than its predecessor. Specially after hearing what this gentleman said.

NEW HomePod (2023) - 15 Things You NEED to KNOW!

That they reduced the number of speakers in the new HomePods .

I want my couple of minutes back. That was a terrible video, almost no useful content. Just a lot of maybe, possible, ok.

We all know the new Homepod could sound worse, that is a possibility. Just as it could be better.

I bought one from BestBuy because they make returns so much easier.
 
How loud are these Home Pod 2, specially when used in pair? Are these loud enough for a party in a mid sized room?
 
How loud are these Home Pod 2, specially when used in pair? Are these loud enough for a party in a mid sized room?
Let's put it this way: people say even the HomePod mini can get surprisingly loud (75 percent volume may be too much!). The full-size HomePod is only going to be more powerful still, and a pair won't have any problem with a house party.
 
Finally I got a chance to read the reviews.

https://www.imore.com/smart-home/ho...re-here-and-everyone-is-saying-the-same-thing
https://www.techradar.com/reviews/apple-homepod-2

I am happy with the review, and I will prefer them over Echo Studio, despite the fact that Echo Studios are louder.

What I do not understand is....

https://www.apple.com/homepod-2nd-generation/specs/

In the product home page, it has Bluetooth 5.0 but TechRadar says No Bluetooth or aux-in. OK I can understand these speakers aren't meant for portability. But once in a while if I carry them to some other place for party. Do I need to carry some portable Wi-Fi router and configure the settings for connecting it with MacBooks and iPhones?
 
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Finally I got a chance to read the reviews.

https://www.imore.com/smart-home/ho...re-here-and-everyone-is-saying-the-same-thing
https://www.techradar.com/reviews/apple-homepod-2

I am happy with the review, and I will prefer them over Echo Studio, despite the fact that Echo Studios are louder.

What I do not understand is....

https://www.apple.com/homepod-2nd-generation/specs/

In the product home page, it has Bluetooth 5.0 but TechRadar says No Bluetooth or aux-in. OK I can understand these speakers aren't meant for portability. But once in a while if I carry them to some other place for party. Do I need to carry some portable Wi-Fi router and configure the settings for connecting it with MacBooks and iPhones?
HomePod isn't meant to be a portable party speaker. There are FAR better options for a bluetooth portable speaker, and if that is what you want you're wasting your money on a HomePod.

I believe it lists having bluetooth because Apple uses bluetooth for the initial sensing/pairing for the thing where you can transfer from a iPhone to the speaker just by holding it near the device, etc.
 
HomePod isn't meant to be a portable party speaker. There are FAR better options for a bluetooth portable speaker, and if that is what you want you're wasting your money on a HomePod.

I believe it lists having bluetooth because Apple uses bluetooth for the initial sensing/pairing for the thing where you can transfer from a iPhone to the speaker just by holding it near the device, etc.
What would be your recommendation? I know JBL PartyBox 320 is a perfect party speaker. I am primarily need speakers for Movies and Music, and on special occasions for party.
 
If you just need one for all use cases just get the JBL PartyBox 310 or 320. Otherwise you’re going to compromise for one or the other use case and won’t be happy.
 
I would like to set up my HomePod 2 as an Alexa replacement. For automation and such. I have NO IDEA where to start, but I will be getting the HomePod 2 (it shipped).

So, I’ll find out. If you know of a guide, please link it.
 
If you just need one for all use cases just get the JBL PartyBox 310 or 320. Otherwise you’re going to compromise for one or the other use case and won’t be happy.

A pair actually, I like stereo sound over mono. But I will consider your suggestion. Try JBL PartyBox 320 for party and HomePods for movies and music.
 
That does work but I thought you were looking into a one solution fits all, which the PartyBox will do.

I’ve been thinking about getting a new HomePod to replace my Zeppelin OG which I got at an auction but I’m waiting until I can listen to one in person.
 
That does work but I thought you were looking into a one solution fits all, which the PartyBox will do.

I’ve been thinking about getting a new HomePod to replace my Zeppelin OG which I got at an auction but I’m waiting until I can listen to one in person.
PartyBox will do if I buy it in pair so that I can both to experience stereo sound instead of mono from a single party box.
 
My take so far.

I like the Apple ecosystem and was looking for a speaker with an Alexa replacement for basically everything that the Amazon Alexa does. For the remainder, ill compare the HomePod 2 to the Amazon Alexa Studio.

The speaker has some mass to it, much like the Studio, but more dense. Sound quality is about the same too. I think the Studio gets the highs better and the mid and lows go to the HP2. I do not know if this is EQ management, but I haven’t touched the Studio’s EQ either. In all personal reality, they are about the same to me.

The HP2 really integrates with Apple Music very very well, as expected. I have the Studio set to Apple Music to default, but sometimes it will go to Amazon Music, and that is annoying. I’ve read that the Studio really shines with Amazon high def music, and I’m fairly certain the HP2 is streaming the highest quality music available, Whereas the Studio most likely will not stream the highest quality (lossless) audio from Apple. I do not think this is a factor for me. This speaker is nice, but I will not be able to tell the difference between lossless and normal streaming via this device (nor do I care).

I have my iPhone on me and the HP2 in the same room. I say “hey siri” play 80s music and then repeat the same and ask for 90s music. Now the HP2 is playing 90s music and my phone (via the built in speaker) is playing 80s. Everything is updated and this happened repeatedly. Annoying. I really dont want to handle my phone to get the speaker to work properly.

I live in Texas with a Texan woman. The HP2 could understand her from the start, the Studio struggles with her accent. It’s just the way it is. I am sure if she did some voice training with the Studio it would be better, but personally I do not care. That is on her.

I have a lot of “smart” switches and plugs made by Kasa (TP Link) and they are phenomenal. Their Kasa app works really well too. I have all of them programmed into Alexa. All the current hardware I own, NONE of them are HomeKit compatible. I literally bought them all in 2022. It wasn’t hard to do, but I do not want to do that again. They are about $20 a pop for the light switches and those are the painful ones to replace. Kasa / TP Link make HomeKit compatible hardware, but I’d have to replace everything.

Then comes the cost. For one Apple HomePod 2 ($300) I can get a Studio ($199) and an Alexa subwoofer ($129). In my case, I already own one Studio, I could create a stereo pair with a sub for $30 more.

For me the effort in replacing all my Kasa gear for marginal improvements is NOT worth it. My desire to leave Amazon Alexa and only have one service in the house is not worth the hassle.

I will be returning the HP2, just doesn’t bring enough to table to justify switching.
 
In fact today the Amazon Studio is $175. So for $5 more I got another Studio and the Sub.
 
I read a Wired article over the weekend that panned the HomePod 2's midrange as muddled. Is this something you experienced? Based on what you wrote above, I'd say no but would prefer your confirmation that midrange seemed to be fine.
 
My take so far.

I like the Apple ecosystem and was looking for a speaker with an Alexa replacement for basically everything that the Amazon Alexa does. For the remainder, ill compare the HomePod 2 to the Amazon Alexa Studio.

The speaker has some mass to it, much like the Studio, but more dense. Sound quality is about the same too. I think the Studio gets the highs better and the mid and lows go to the HP2. I do not know if this is EQ management, but I haven’t touched the Studio’s EQ either. In all personal reality, they are about the same to me.

The HP2 really integrates with Apple Music very very well, as expected. I have the Studio set to Apple Music to default, but sometimes it will go to Amazon Music, and that is annoying. I’ve read that the Studio really shines with Amazon high def music, and I’m fairly certain the HP2 is streaming the highest quality music available, Whereas the Studio most likely will not stream the highest quality (lossless) audio from Apple. I do not think this is a factor for me. This speaker is nice, but I will not be able to tell the difference between lossless and normal streaming via this device (nor do I care).

I have my iPhone on me and the HP2 in the same room. I say “hey siri” play 80s music and then repeat the same and ask for 90s music. Now the HP2 is playing 90s music and my phone (via the built in speaker) is playing 80s. Everything is updated and this happened repeatedly. Annoying. I really dont want to handle my phone to get the speaker to work properly.

I live in Texas with a Texan woman. The HP2 could understand her from the start, the Studio struggles with her accent. It’s just the way it is. I am sure if she did some voice training with the Studio it would be better, but personally I do not care. That is on her.

I have a lot of “smart” switches and plugs made by Kasa (TP Link) and they are phenomenal. Their Kasa app works really well too. I have all of them programmed into Alexa. All the current hardware I own, NONE of them are HomeKit compatible. I literally bought them all in 2022. It wasn’t hard to do, but I do not want to do that again. They are about $20 a pop for the light switches and those are the painful ones to replace. Kasa / TP Link make HomeKit compatible hardware, but I’d have to replace everything.

Then comes the cost. For one Apple HomePod 2 ($300) I can get a Studio ($199) and an Alexa subwoofer ($129). In my case, I already own one Studio, I could create a stereo pair with a sub for $30 more.

For me the effort in replacing all my Kasa gear for marginal improvements is NOT worth it. My desire to leave Amazon Alexa and only have one service in the house is not worth the hassle.

I will be returning the HP2, just doesn’t bring enough to table to justify switching.
The HomePod makes the most sense for someone like me. My only smart home devices (apart from speakers) are a few Hue bulbs that will work with virtually everything. I'd maintain functionality, and anything I'd buy now I could check to be sure it works with HomeKit or Matter. But for folks like you, who've invested heavily in Alexa (or for other people, Google Assistant/SmartThings/etc.) devices? Not really.

I'm a bit confused about audio quality, since numerous reviews say it's great while others complain. My hunch is that it's due to different music tastes or even firmware.
 
The speaker sound is fine for what it is. Let me explain my perspective.

Physically it’s a small speaker. It doesn’t have the cabinet volume that a traditional speaker will have to give the full sound. The drivers they employ are not large either.

It’s designed as a single speaker with a bunch of microphones to be used primarily as a home automation device. It’s a speaker secondarily.

These devices are in no way sonically comparable to traditional, quality box speakers. Same can be said that traditional speakers can not compare with the automation of these devices.

If your primary purpose is sound fidelity, you may need to get something that was designed as a speaker primarily. If you spend the same amount of money on active bookshelf speakers, the sound will be significantly better. However, no automation (of course).

If you want home automation (like I do) and then want a speaker as a secondarily concern then these are ideal. In this realm of automation first and speaker second, I think the Amazon Studio is better for me (reasons stated above) plus the cost is 1/3 less.
 
The speaker sound is fine for what it is. Let me explain my perspective.

Physically it’s a small speaker. It doesn’t have the cabinet volume that a traditional speaker will have to give the full sound. The drivers they employ are not large either.

It’s designed as a single speaker with a bunch of microphones to be used primarily as a home automation device. It’s a speaker secondarily.

These devices are in no way sonically comparable to traditional, quality box speakers. Same can be said that traditional speakers can not compare with the automation of these devices.

If your primary purpose is sound fidelity, you may need to get something that was designed as a speaker primarily. If you spend the same amount of money on active bookshelf speakers, the sound will be significantly better. However, no automation (of course).

If you want home automation (like I do) and then want a speaker as a secondarily concern then these are ideal. In this realm of automation first and speaker second, I think the Amazon Studio is better for me (reasons stated above) plus the cost is 1/3 less.
Yeap, basically what I said in post #5. I don't know why this would be surprising to anyone. It's about what you're prioritizing, it's obvious that there is no way a $300 speaker that has to do 2-3 things (depending on how you measure) is going to sound better than something dedicated to that purpose.
 
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