How to Connect Apple HomePod to a TV

Play TV audio through a HomePod speaker with Apple TV

Apple's HomePod is a voice-controlled smart speaker that's designed to deliver clear, room-filling sound with ease, just like its competitors Google Home and Amazon Echo. As a standalone speaker, HomePod can be an audio source for a digital television. However, HomePod has a few limitations that are worth noting.

In this guide, we provide instructions for connecting a HomePod to a TV.

What You Need to Connect HomePod and a TV

Overhead view of homepod with siri
Apple, Inc.

In order to connect HomePod to a TV, you'll need the following:

The HomePod cannot be connected directly to a TV. As a wireless Bluetooth device, HomePod must connect to an Apple TV device via AirPlay in order to play audio from a television.

Playing Apple TV Audio Through the HomePod

Once you've set up your HomePod, you'll need to make it the audio output source for the Apple TV. This allows audio from Apple TV content to play on your HomePod instead of your television.

  1. On the Apple TV, open Settings.

    Apple TV Settings
  2. Select Video and Audio.

    Apple TV Video and Audio settings
  3. Select Audio Output.

  4. Select the name of your HomePod. A checkmark will appear next to it, indicating that audio from Apple TV will be sent to the HomePod.

    Audio Output screen on Apple TV, set to HDMI

A Shortcut for Playing Apple TV Through HomePod

There's another, easier way to send audio to the HomePod, although not every Apple TV app supports this shortcut.

  1. Start playing content on a compatible app.

  2. Swipe down on the Apple TV remote to reveal the Info Subtitles Audio menu. (If you don't see this menu when you swipe down, the app is not compatible with this option, and you should use the other instructions.)

  3. Select Audio.

    Apple TV Audio
  4. In the Speaker menu, select the name of your HomePod so that the checkmark appears next to it. The audio will start playing through the HomePod.

    Apple TV speaker selection

The Limitations of HomePod and Apple TV

While connecting the HomePod to a TV is fairly easy, it is not ideal for home theater sound. That's because HomePod is designed primarily for audio and does not support surround sound features.

For the best audio experience with TV and movies, you want a speaker arrangement that offers surround sound or multi-channel audio, which can play audio from multiple directions. This delivers a more immersive audio experience, with sound moving in all directions like in a movie theater. This can usually be accomplished with a speaker on each side of the TV, or with a soundbar that has independent left and right speakers.

HomePod does not support multichannel audio, but with AirPlay 2 it does support stereo sound. That means it can deliver two channels of audio (left and right). This is great for music but is still not ideal for a home theater system, which should have at the very least a 5.1 channel system.