Apple HomePod 2 Review: I’m Confused

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foreign [Music] [Applause] [Music] look who we have here Mr shiny and new hey what's up uh why do you sound sarcastic no no we're we're just joking it looks just like Greg welcome back we were wondering if we'd see you again what do you mean again I'm brand new I just came out look at this what is he talking about I think it was that software update Craig we know it's you no I said I'm brand new my my name is Tim what are you oh God you got me there Craig very funny very good he still loves me who is Steve still loves me Steve still loves me Steve still loves me oh my God new homepod old homepod okay new homepod got it so this new home pod the second generation homepod that's just come out is one of the most confusing new Apple products I've seen in a long time we just reviewed the 10th generation iPad which was already pretty weird but this one is incredible so just a little history recap for context so the original homepod came out in 2018.

It was a 350 dollar Siri enabled smart speaker with excellent sound really impressive engineering Rock Solid build quality and a non-removable cable it kind of flopped and not a lot of people bought it Apple then decided to lower the price a bit from 350 to 300 which they almost never do so that's a pretty good sign of how well things were doing apparently it peaked at around six percent of Home Smart speaker market share which honestly is higher than I would have thought and eventually they caved and came out with a homepod mini a much smaller version of basically the same exact thing but now it's 99 bucks this one started selling much better for obvious reasons and eventually the big homepod was just deleted from their site in 2021 it was discontinued but now it's back it's new and improved it's but it's it's like didn't you try this already I mean I should say this is to be fair it is a better product in a couple small ways it's kind of hard to tell just by looking at it from the outside but here's what's actually new fundamentally it's the same layout in almost the same size you can see slightly different proportions here the new one is a little bit more Stout I guess you could say and while we're at it this is actually a new color which is called Midnight instead of the original space gray you might remember the name from The Midnight iPhone color which is mostly black but with the tiniest hint of blue and that is here too then up top the touch surface is roughly the same size but it's inset a little bit this time and the display covers the whole circle instead of just a small portion in the middle so anytime you're talking to it or adjusting the volume or talking to Siri a little it's just a little more vibrant up there and then they've also clearly listened to some of the feedback because the power cable is now fully removable designed to be removed unlike the last one so you can feed it up behind a desk or a table or something when you're setting it up but also do you remember that weird story where the original homepods white plastic bottom was staining wooden tables we confirmed it with our own it would only take like one to two minutes of sitting on a wooden table doing absolutely nothing for it to leave a permanent white ring on that table naturally we tried the same thing with the new one which does have a bit of a redesigned base to spread out that surface area and it takes longer but it actually still does stain with a slightly different pattern but it does in fact still stain wooden tables this is your PSA if you get the white home pod do not expect it to not stain your table what else oh inside there are two new sensors there's a temperature sensor and a humidity sensor which is nice to have hey Siri what's the temperature it's currently 49 degrees that's outside hey Siri what's the temperature in here it's 71 degrees Fahrenheit in the office and so you can sort of like calibrate that to sync up with our smart home actions let's say the humidity gets below a certain number you turn on your smart humidifier or your temperature gets over 75 degrees you turn on your fan your AC stuff like that it's cool to have it built in instead of needing a separate sensor like I have with my Google home setup and there's also a new sound recognition feature so if homepod with its microphones here's an alarm or a smoke detector or something like that it'll send a notification to your phone which obviously doesn't make sense if you're home but if you're away and a smoke detector goes off and you get a notification on your phone you will now know to check the cameras in your home or something like that to see what's going on good to know I should also mention though that the 99 homepod mini that I mentioned earlier also already secretly had those sensors and they're being activated by the latest homepod software update along with the sound recognition feature and matter support it's the new homepod and mini actually have a thread radio which means they can be used as a matter hub but there is now that matter support across the board really the biggest change though is actually what they've removed so we talked about the homepod being a feat of audio engineering in this little compact package if you took a cross section of the original homepod you'd see a woofer on Top seven tweeters all the way around the outside playing in every direction and then six far-field microphones in this new homepod this midnight homepod here you'd actually have the same woofer but you now have five tweeters around the outside and four far-field microphones so they removed two tweeters removed two microphones and removed fifty dollars from the price tag so on one hand I guess I should be impressed that it still sounds every bit as good to me as the original despite lesser internal Hardware now typical disclaimer I'm no audio file but I've listened to a lot of good speakers in my time and after some quality time with the homepod yeah it still sounds really good it still has this super crisp and balanced and not distorted sound in a variety of environments and a variety of volumes which is really important you still get that satisfying thump from the woofer and the low sub bass Rumble even at lower volumes which is awesome and it uses computational audio to adjust the sound based on how close it is to a wall so if you're plugging it into an outlet you're probably kind of close to a wall it figures out its location with the shape shape of the room is and adjust from there and you can put two together for a stereo pair that puts out sound much bigger than it looks like it's supposed to it can even actually give you full Dolby Atmos setup here they actually they keep showing these setups of it being your TV speakers and every time I see this it looks silly because it's like okay you got these you got six hundred dollars of speakers here for a 300 TV and I'm not sure if this is a real setup that exists anywhere but honestly they sound good enough that in a smaller room you really could get away with this and no subwoofer they sound that good so it's impressive it's a feat of audio engineering like I said but on the other hand so is the last one and this is basically the same exact proposition that flopped on its face before it's still an expensive premium audio product with Siri I got we were just talking about ratings on the waveform podcast recently I'll link that episode below the like button if you want to watch it but basically the the thing about products like this is It's hard to give it like a number rating because it is a really good product and a really bad product at the same time like both are true like if you're just buying it to be a speaker for your iPhone and Apple music it's really good it's it's the best one clearly it's got incredible sound quality the versatility of going anywhere in the room and still sounding good the quick pairing and beaming feature with your iPhone the far field mics can hear you pretty much at any volume from across the room but this is still a bad smart speaker like it still won't set Spotify as its default music app it still cannot pair to anything that's not an iPhone or something with AirPlay and it cannot be used as a pure Bluetooth speaker there's still no audio jack it still doesn't have a screen that can actually tell you anything or display background things like running timers and at the end of the day it's still a Series Speaker which means I mean I did a whole video on Siri versus Google Assistant versus the others but just to keep it simple Siri is still very limited and pretty bad so it's the same as the it's going to flop again right like is fixing the non-removable speaker going to be the reason why this doesn't flop no is the larger better display on the top going to be the reason the homepod is suddenly a success no is the 50 price drop Gonna Save it it's it's good but it's not massive it's still super expensive the thing that we learned with the homepod when it came out and we kind of knew this already but as people don't really for the most part like paying a huge premium just for sound quality and that's why the mini came out and was functionally the same product but didn't sound as good and that sold way more because it was cheaper maybe Apple just doesn't care anymore they spent the money developing it they might as well like they they're ignoring the sunken cost fallacy and they're just like we gotta just try again maybe we were too early we'll just ship the thing now and see if people want it this time I don't know tough to say here's a conclusion if you are such a fan of Apple products and sound quality that you want to hear exactly how bad Siri is and Crystal Clear high definition Dolby Atmos even then this is a smart speaker for you but for everyone else there's still the homepod mini and for everyone else there are other options from Google and Amazon that are frankly much better smart speakers not Samsung though that Bixby smart speaker straight up never came out don't think I forgot about that Samsung so you know we know Siri sucks but at least Siri sucks seamlessly on a smart speaker that sounds pretty sweet thanks for watching catch you the next one foreign [Music]

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