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As I reported yesterday, Apple is getting some device launches done early this year. That includes the updated MacBook Pros with M2 processors and a new Mac Mini. Adding to that hardware collection is a new HomePod 2, bringing the smart speaker into its second generation.

This is the first update to the full-size Apple HomePod since the original was discontinued back in March 2021. If you’re unfamiliar with the HomePod, it is a smart speaker with the Siri assistant baked in.

While it was an excellent smart speaker, it was also incredibly overpriced. For the second-generation Apple HomePod, the company says the device is “packed with Apple innovations and Siri intelligence,” advanced computational audio, alongside Spatial Audio support for a “groundbreaking listening experience.”

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While the new model is $50 cheaper than the original model, it will still cost $299, which excessively high considering the competition. Still, this is Apple and the iCompany does love slapping massive prices on its products.

“With room sensing technology, HomePod recognizes sound reflections from nearby surfaces to determine if it is against a wall or freestanding, and then adapts sound in real time. Precise directional control of its beamforming array of five tweeters separates and beams direct and ambient audio, immersing listeners in crystal-clear vocals and rich instrumentation.”

It is possible to pair two HomePod 2 units together to create a left and right immersive sound. It also has a humidity sensor and can create home automation. Apple says the new device will make its debut on February 3, 2023.

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