Apple’s new free software update iOS 11.4 for HomePod brings support for stereo pairs and new multi-room audio system, along with AirPlay 2.
HomePod consists of audio technology and advanced software of Apple, eyeing to establish a new standard for audio quality for small speakers, wielding wide soundstage and high-fidelity sound. The device is capable of preserving intent and richness of original recordings.
Apple has designed a large woofer offering deep and clean bass, and “a custom array of seven beamforming tweeters that provide pure high-frequency acoustics with incredible directional control and powerful technologies built right in.”
The soundstage becomes wider with the stereo pairing feature, bringing two HomePod speakers together. HomePod can adjust audio according to the location in the room by using spatial awareness. This is facilitated by Apple’s wireless peer-to-peer direct link for communication and syncing the music play.
A HomePod stereo pair can deliver room-filling sound with greater bass extension and thusly, more accurate and deeper reproduction of low frequencies. While acting as one, the two participating HomePods communicate with each other so that only one of them responds to Siri requests.
Apple AirPlay 2 is the most notable feature that the iOS update brings. It enables the ‘most advanced wireless multi-room audio system’ for streaming music or podcasts across any device positioned in any location in the home, all in-sync. Asking Siri is all you need to do.
Controls for AirPlay 2 are available on any iOS app, and in Control Centre to quickly access what’s playing in which speaker. For the Apple Music subscribers, Siri can play different music in different rooms or same music in all rooms.
HomePod, like iPhone and iPad, has the support to communicate with other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers as well. Apple’s sellers of these speakers (when they become available) are Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Marshall, Naim, Pioneer, and Sonos.
The Tips app on iPhone and iPad offers more insights on how to get most out of Apple iOS 11.4. Visit Apple Support for details on how to update your HomePod. Apple reminds: “HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPod touch (6th generation) with iOS 11.2.5 or later.”
The device will be available starting June 18 in Canada, France, and Germany; and it is already available in the US, the UK, and Australia. Coming in white and space grey color options, it can be availed for $349 from Apple Stores, apple.com, the Apple Store app, and select Apple Authorised Resellers.