Speaker 1: Two years ago, apple discontinued its original HomePod saying that it wanted to concentrate on its newer and cheaper. HomePod Mini. We all thought the company was done with larger speakers, and this is what makes the 2023 return of the HomePod even more intriguing. What's also surprising is that not much has changed for this $300 smart speaker apart from a cheaper price. It's roughly [00:00:30] the same size, and it's got most of the same features, including a voice assistant and music playback. But what's different is actually hidden underneath the squishy hood. The most interesting feature is one that's been laying dormant on the mini, all this time, temperature, and humidity sensors. You can now ask Siri for the temperature indoors or outdoors, and this can also help other smart devices in your home like thermostats. Also, new is the speaker configuration. Inside, there are now five tweeters in a 360 [00:01:00] degree arrangement instead of seven, these point upwards and outwards and can do beam forming for ultra wide sonic imaging. Apple says the speaker is also now capable of ATMOS and spatial audio Speaker 1: On the outside. The tweaks include a detachable power cord rather than a captive one and an edge to edge display, which offers a bit more color when you're interacting with Siri. In terms of audio performance, the HomePod sounds like a completely different speaker to the first, though it still has solid base reproduction. [00:01:30] The sound has been tweaked in favor of vocals in comparison to the new HomePod. The original speaker sounds veiled and a little dull. As a result, the HomePod Gen two offers vibrant music and extra intelligibility when it comes to listening to podcasts. It's worth noting here that the cheaper Amazon Echo Studio offers similar levels of performance, but also can go much louder. Lastly, I tested [00:02:00] the HomePod against the $99 HomePod Mini, and it really made me appreciate how good the cheaper speaker is, especially now that it can also do temperature readings. The mini may be small, but it can playback music very well and do pretty much all of the same Siri functions. Hey, Siri, what's the time? Speaker 2: It's 4:21 PM. Speaker 1: If you're a fan of the original HomePod, then you can rest assured that this one is even better. It sounds better, it's cheaper and it has better features. But if you weren't tempted [00:02:30] to buy the original HomePod, then the new one won't be for you either. If you want all the smart home goodness, especially temperature sensors, then buy a couple of HomePod minis instead. This has been type penry for cena.com.