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Here’s how HomePod 2 compares to the original and HomePod mini

In a surprise launch, Apple revived its full-size HomePod with a second-generation model. While the overall design and many of the features remain the same as the discontinued original, there are new capabilities and changes. Here’s our full HomePod comparison for a look at HomePod 2 vs the original vs HomePod mini too.

Update 2/3: HomePod 2 is now available.


Apple launched the original HomePod back in 2018 at a premium price above competitors at $349. Just over a year later, Apple cut the price to $299. Then the HomePod mini arrived in the fall of 2020 with a more mass-market-focused $99 price before Apple abruptly discontinued the full-size HomePod in March of 2021.

While many felt the original HomePod was priced too high, it offered features HomePod mini doesn’t match like richer, louder sound, strong bass, Dolby Atmos support, beamforming, and room sensing.

Now the full-size HomePod has sprung back to life with HomePod 2 featuring Thread/Matter support, a temperature/humidity sensor, updated Apple Silicon chips, and a very minor tweak to the design.

HomePod comparison: New vs original vs mini

Audio tech and features

HomePod comparison

For the main audio features of the HomePod 2, there’s not much different from the original HomePod (the majority of differences are with smart features, connectivity, and sensors).

The only difference mentioned by Apple is the computational audio is now “advanced” with system sensing for real-time tuning while the original HomePod and HomePod mini have the original computational audio for real-time tuning.

But it’s great to see Spatial Audio/Dolby Atmos is back with the HomePod 2 since the mini doesn’t offer that.

HomePod 2HomePod 1HomePod mini
Spatial Audio Dolby Atmos
Room sensing
Stereo pairing (only w/ same speaker and gen)
Real-time tuningAdvanced computational audio with system sensing for real-time tuningComputational audio for real-time tuningComputational audio for real-time tuning
Multiroom AirPlay audio
Home theater with Apple TV 4K✅ but no Atmos
Auto bass correction

One important caveat is that if you want to use HomePods in a stereo pair, they’ll need to be the same type and generation.

Smart home, sensors, connectivity

Here’s where HomePod 2 starts to stand out from the original. The new full-size smart speaker gets Thread/Matter support, an S7 chip plus U1 for improved iPhone handoffs, plus a temperature/humidity sensor like the HomePod mini.

HomePod 2 and HomePod mini are also getting Sound Recognition like iPhone – which is expected to arrive sometime this spring.

HomePod 2HomePod 1HomePod mini
HomeKit + Siri
U1 chip
Apple SiliconS7A8S5
Sound recognition✅ (likely this spring)✅ (likely this spring)
Temperature and humidity sensor
Removable power cord

The touch panel on top of the HomePod 2 appears to be similar to the original but is now slightly recessed like the HomePod mini. The touch surface also appears to illuminate entirely like the mini.

Strangely, Apple downgraded the WiFi chip from 802.11ac to 802.11n. Maybe it’s thinking Thread will be carrying more weight and it could be tied to the switch from A-series to S-series Apple Silicon.

Apple also skips the upgrade to Bluetooth 5.3 on the new HomePod – however, that’s really just used for the setup, not music playback.

A nice touch with HomePod 2 is a user-removable power cable that can be replaced with a $4 universal figure 8-style cord.

Notably, more new features are coming to all HomePods with the upcoming 16.3 release:

Speakers and mics

HomePod comparison speakers and mics
HomePod 2 internals via Apple

There are some interesting tweaks when it comes to the speakers and mics. First, Apple hints the high-excursion woofer is bigger. The new HomePod has a 4-inch woofer while the size of the original wasn’t disclosed by Apple.

Other changes see the 7-array tweeter of the original simplified to 5 for HomePod, and the far-field mics are also reduced from 6 to 4.

HomePod 2HomePod 1HomePod mini
Woofer4-inch high-excursion wooferHigh-excursion woofer
Speakers5-array horn-loaded tweeters7-array horn-loaded tweetersFull-range driver and dual passive radiators
Far-field mics464

Apple must be confident it has achieved the same or better sound quality, output, and input as the original HomePod with fewer tweeters and mics. It describes the HomePod 2 as offering “immersive, high-fidelity audio.”

Here’s how Apple describes the new HomePod 2 woofer:

“A high‑excursion woofer packs HomePod with deep, rich bass. Its powerful motor drives the diaphragm a remarkable 20 mm, while its bass‑EQ mic dynamically tunes low frequencies in real time. Superclean bass. Fills the room. Boom.”

And on the new tweeter setup:

“HomePod has an array of five beamforming tweeters around its base. They optimize high frequencies to produce detailed, articulate audio with stunning clarity. So you can enjoy crystal-clear vocals and all the details of the instruments — just as if you were there in person.”

Size and colors

The new HomePod is almost the exact same size (and design). It’s just 0.2 inches shorter and about half a pound lighter.

HomePod 2 comes in white and midnight, although the latter looks awfully close to the space gray of the original. HomePod mini remains the only choice if you want a pop of color.

HomePod 2HomePod 1HomePod mini
Height6.6 inches (168 mm)6.8 inches (172 mm)3.3 inches (84.3 mm)
Width5.6 inches (142 mm)5.6 inches (142 mm)3.9 inches (97.9 mm)
Weight5.16 pounds (2.3 kg)5.5 pounds (2.5 kg)0.76 pound (345 grams)

HomePod comparison: Price

The HomePod 2 has arrived at the same $299 that the original was discontinued at. Meanwhile, the HomePod mini remains at $99.

Time will tell if customers find the $299 price point of the new full-size HomePod more palatable than they did the first time around.

HomePod comparison wrap-up

While some may have hoped for a more substantial upgrade for the second-gen HomePod at the $299 price, I think it’s great to see the full-size HomePod return.

Apple users who are looking for room-filling, rich sound have a first-party option again – and pricing is on par with competition like the Sonos Five (you can pick up two HomePods for a stereo pair at $598 vs the Sonos Five at $549). The full-size HomePod returning is also exciting for those who want Dolby Atmos for their home theater setup.

Top comment by Gregory Tomlinson

Liked by 5 people

I have two original HomePods and love them but I wish more emphasis or product discussion was placed on Atmos Movie/TV surround. It seems to be focused on surround music, which is great, but how will this work with movies and what capability (5.1?, 7.1?) will two simulate? I can't run wires through my room so I would be seriously impressed if the new HomePod would coordinate with HomePod Minis acting as surround speakers in the rear of the room. Am I missing something or is Apple? I can't be the only person desirous of a top quality surround system that's wireless.

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And overall, the HomePod 2 has been updated to reach parity with the HomePod mini with Thread, U1 chip, and the temp/humidity sensor.

You can pick up the HomePod 2 from Apple, Best Buy, Target, and more.

What do you think about HomePod 2? Planning to pick one or more up? Skipping? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for checking out our HomePod comparison!

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.