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Apple’s VP of Hardware Engineering Matthew Costello and Product Marketing Officer Alice Chan recently spoke. Men’s magazine and: TechCrunch in extensive interviews about the new second-generation HomePod smart speaker.

Apple stopped production of the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports suggested the speaker’s sales were low, but Chan said: Men’s magazine that Apple has since “heard more interest than ever in the acoustics of a richer, larger speaker,” prompting the company to launch yet another larger HomePod.

The new HomePod looks almost identical to the original, with the main differences being that it’s 0.2 inches shorter and has a larger LED touchscreen on top. Costello told TechCrunch that Apple’s teams “really love” this shape and form for the full-size HomePod and “were able to create a wonderful system in that build.”

Costello explained why the new HomePod has the older Wi-Fi 4 standard.

“HomePod has Wi-Fi 4 connectivity, which allows us to target what works best across the system,” Costello told TechCrunch, “making sure Siri’s requests are responsive and providing a consistent experience for everyone. for who you listen to, controlling your intelligence. home accessories and more. all this is energy efficient at the same time.”

He also detailed the inability to pair the new HomePod with the original HomePod;

“When creating a stereo pair, it’s important that the audio specifications match for an optimal, balanced experience,” Costello says of the lack of compatibility. “The new HomePod delivers immersive, room-filling sound that users love, with even more detail, clarity and layers than the original HomePod, so we wanted the acoustic image to be as pure and consistent as possible from generation to generation. The principle of having matching audio specifications in a stereo pair applies to HomePod mini, the original HomePod and the new HomePod.”

Apple told both media outlets that the HomePod mini is “popular,” but did not provide further details or comment on the future of the small speaker.

The new HomePod is available for pre-order for $299 and will launch this Friday in the US and some other countries. Check out our new HomePod review roundup for a hands-on look at the speaker, which many reviewers have found to have largely the same sound quality as the original.

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