How to Use Apple AirPlay With HomePod

Stream content from non-Apple audio sources

Apple's HomePod has built-in support for listening to music and playlists from the Apple universe, including Apple Music, Beats 1 Radio, and your iCloud Music Library, as well as podcasts from Apple Podcasts. While there's no native support for other audio sources, it's possible to set up AirPlay so you can enjoy Spotify, Pandora, and other audio sources from your HomePod. Here's how.

The information in this article applies to Apple's HomePod used with iOS devices running AirPlay or AirPlay 2, as well as newer Macs.

When to Use AirPlay With HomePod

AirPlay, along with its latest incarnation, AirPlay 2, lets you stream audio and video from an iOS device or a Mac to a compatible receiver, such as Apple's HomePod. AirPlay is part of iOS, macOS, and tvOS (for Apple TV), so there's no extra software to install. Virtually any audio that can be played on an iOS or macOS device can be streamed to your HomePod over AirPlay.

You may never use AirPlay with your HomePod if you're happy with listening to the vast offerings of Apple Music, your iCloud Music Library, Apple Podcasts, Beats 1 Radio, and your iTunes store purchases. These are convenient sources you can control with Siri's voice commands.

But if you prefer your audio from other sources, including Spotify or Pandora for music, Overcast or Castro for podcasts, or NPR for live radio, it's possible to use AirPlay to hear them on your HomePod.

While you can listen to other audio sources on your HomePod using AirPlay, you won't be able to use Siri as a controller. Instead, use onscreen playback controls in your iOS device's Control Center or in the app to control your streaming content.

How to Use AirPlay to Stream to a HomePod

It's easy to stream audio content from an iOS device or your Mac to your HomePod.

Using an iOS Device

  1. Make sure your HomePod and iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network and have Bluetooth turned on.

  2. Open Control Center. (Depending on your device and model, swipe up from the bottom or swipe down from the top right corner.)

  3. Tap the AirPlay icon (the circles with the triangle in the bottom) in the top-right corner of the Music control.

  4. You'll see a list of AirPlay devices. In the Speakers & TVs section, tap the name of the HomePod to which you want to stream. (In this example, it's called Kitchen.)

    using homepod with control center
  5. Close Control Center.

  6. Open the app for the audio source from which you want to stream music or other content, such as Spotify or Pandora.

  7. Begin playing your audio content, and it will stream to your selected HomePod.

Using a Mac

  1. From the Apple menu, open System Preferences.

  2. Select Sound.

  3. Select Output if it's not already selected.

  4. Select the HomePod to which you want to stream. All audio coming from your Mac will now play to that HomePod.

    using homepod on Mac

AirPlay 2 and Multiple HomePods

AirPlay 2 offers additional functionality with your HomePod. Put two HomePods in a single room, and they'll act like a surround-sound system. The HomePods will be aware of each other, and the room, and collaborate to create an immersive audio experience.

If you have multiple HomePods throughout your house, you'll be able to have them all play the same music, or all play different music and control them from a single Apple device.