It's Back, Baby! Apple Finally Announces Refresh of HomePod Smart Speaker

Temperature sensors, humidity sensors, and much more

Apple nixed its answer to the Amazon Echo smart speaker a couple of years back, but now a surprise refresh is here to bring Siri to living rooms and bedrooms everywhere.

The second-generation HomePod smart speaker comes a full five years after the original, but the wait will be worth it to some, as this thing is stacked with features. Powering these features? An upgraded version of the S7 chip found in Apple Watch Series 7 models. 

Apple HomePod


The new HomePod supports the wireless protocol, Thread, and the smart home standard, Matter, so the speaker can control a wide range of compatible accessories and smart appliances. Plenty of microphones (five) and speakers (six) are positioned throughout the device for maximum engagement. 

The new HomePod also includes built-in temperature and humidity sensors, which the average Echo speaker lacks. These can not only provide actionable data regarding home conditions but also work to trigger smart home automations. For instance, the temperature sensor could automatically power on the AC or heater. 

Apple says this HomePod speaker features an upgraded Siri that can recognize six different voices, complete with personalized responses. After a spring update, the speaker will also use the microphones to listen for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, notifying users of disturbances via iPhone. 

The new HomePod is currently available for preorder, and you won’t have long to wait, as it officially launches on February 3. It costs $300, which is $50 cheaper than the original HomePod when it launched in 2018. 

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