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Apple HomePod 2 could be a modest but welcome return for under-loved speaker

Apple could revive the larger, original-sized HomePod with a new edition next year, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

In his weekly Power On email newsletter, the well-connected reporter says Apple is planning to release a HomePod 2 speaker with better sound quality and a larger chassis than the current HomePod mini.

According to the report, the new HomePod will be based off a new S8 chip that’ll also power the next Apple Watch, but probably won’t arrive until 2023.

The touch-based control panel atop the HomePod could also gain multi-touch support within the next version, which doesn’t sound as if it’ll bring too much in terms of revolution.

Gurman writes: “The HomePod, code-named B620, will run the same S8 chip coming to the watches and will be closer to the original HomePod in terms of size and audio performance rather than a new HomePod mini. The new HomePod will have an updated display on top and there’s even been some talk of multi-touch functionality.”

I always thought the original HomePod (2018) was sidelined by Apple just as it was coming to its own, following a ropey start as a rather niche speaker. I felt Apple pulled the plug too early on a great-sounding speaker that had found the groove thanks to some after-market feature additions.

It was Dolby Amtos capable, meaning they could be paired up for an immersive 360-degree sound from all of the devices connected up to your TV. It also meant spacial audio support for Apple Music. The OG HomePod (and the Mini) was also one of the few Apple devices that support the Apple Music lossless audio standard directly, without the need for a DAC go-between. Eat that, AirPods Max!

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