Apple’s competitor to Amazon’s Alexa Powered Echo devices is its HomePod, and now it is getting a bit better sound quality and a little smarter.
Today Apple announced a new HomePod with what they call a breakthrough in sound and intelligence is meant to take on Amazon. This updated HomePod includes support for Spatial Audio Tracks and the ability to use home automation using Siri.
“Leveraging our audio expertise and innovations, the new HomePod delivers rich, deep bass, natural mid-range, and clear, detailed highs,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the popularity of HomePod mini, we’ve seen growing interest in even more powerful acoustics achievable in a larger HomePod. We’re thrilled to bring the next generation of HomePod to customers around the world.”
These new HomePods include improved speakers and a new S7 chip that should help it offer “advanced computational audio that maximizes the full potential of its acoustic system for a groundbreaking listening experience.”
Apple’s HomePod will also sense your room, helping it better detect the echo from furniture and walls. Apple says it will use this info to offer “crystal-clear vocals and rich instrumentation.”
Apple says the new HomePod will also be able to “listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and send a notification directly to the user’s iPhone if a sound is identified.” It will also come with a built-in temperature and humidity sensor to measure indoor environments.
The new home pod is now available for preorder at $299 (US) in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, the US, and 11 other countries and regions starting today. Apple says they will hit stores on Friday, February 3rd 2023.