To answer my own question: it is. MacRumors reports that “a built-in accelerometer . . . detects movement to allow the speaker to readjust its room analysis” if it’s moved.
 A MacRumours comment wonders whether this works if you unplug it to move it. Good question.
My Original Homepod is supposed to recalibrate if you lift it up, rock it and put it down:
Sounds like the same thing, doesn’t it?
“Sounds” is so true.
I think Apple is hoping that consumers will simply compare the new Homepod with Homepod Minis and won’t be aware of the specs/capabilities of the original Homepod.
Possibly, although for me the Mini (I own two) is a completely different use case and price category. But you got me curious and I see that it’s actually hard to parse Apple’s specs of the old model and the new one in more than one respect. The old model’s specs, for example, don’t list any “Sensors” much less an accelerometer, nor is “Room Sensing” listed under “Audio Technology.”
What do you want to send to a HomePod that 802.11n would not provide sufficient bandwidth for?
You can play local files through AirPlay 2, no internet connection required.
It makes sense for Apple to think about profit margins as well as gross $$$$. The margins on the original iPod were rather small, and the record companies that signed on to the original iTunes did so because they thought that might as well scrounge a few bucks off of Apple for what they thought would turn out to be a major disaster. Apple didn’t make its biggest fortune off of the iPod hardware, but they broke the bank on iTunes as Steve Jobs knew they would.
Yet Apple kept cranking out iPods until recently:
“More than 20 years after Apple introduced the first iPod, the company officially discontinued its iconic line of portable music players on May 10, 2022. That means Apple will no longer make the iPod touch, which will, however, remain available until it eventually runs out of stock. The iPod touch has been the last iPod standing ever since Apple discontinued the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano in 2017.”
ALAC, basically, from a central library. It’s not just the speed, but also the reliability.
AirPlay is an option, however, I’d be inclined to use the Remote app to stream from the library instead of going via iOS, also for reliability. But, I was thinking of some sort of offline Siri, or controls directly on the device using the screen.
I suppose you mean in crowded wifi environments? Possibly, although as I understand it there’s a trade-off with distance . . .
Never had any trouble reliably streaming ALAC from my server to 802.11n devices using AirPlay (HPod Minis, ten year old Apple TV) myself. Audio doesn’t seem to require much bandwidth.
I get some of the skeptics and the pros for the newer model. I am curious about how Apple knows that we don’t need the extra .2kilograms. (that’s the weight savings of Gen2 vs Gen1). Does Apple know that dropping 2 tweeters is best for listeners? Or that the Gen1 was over-engineered? Does Apple know most Gen1 owners are on 802.11n and not 802.11ac? Are they collecting this data from you and I? I couldn’t find the Gen1 spec’s of the woofer dimensions, but some say the Gen2 is larger-4inch High Excursion.
But I know that it appears that this model has some new feature and less features compared to the previous model, and still the same price.
Here’s a Forbes article on the differences of 802.11n vs 802.11ac. Its informative and yes, we won’t see the 'lab speeds" rating, however what you listen to, how you listen where you listen and what your age/condition of hearing will determine the quality you hear.
I’m curious to whomever picks up one or pair of the Gen2 Homepods, if the powercord is no longer permanently attached or removable?
I don’t think it is permanent. When I got the original, the attached cord SEEMED built-in, but it comes off. Don’'t know if it was ever ‘Permanent’.
This is solely because the old HomePods ran on the A8, and the new ones are using the Apple Watch S7 SoC, which only supports 802.11n. The watch works fine on 802.11n; for the amount of data used by HomePods, they will be fine as well, I’m sure. (The HomePod mini reportedly is.)
“Offline Siri” - sacrilege. How would Apple sell their subscription services!
In my 35 years as an Apple user the HomePod 1 was my greatest disappointment I still cannot believe that one day it was working and the next day it was a brick, Apple’s response was also ultra disappointing in that they essentially ignored the problem. Apple stores had no solutions and cold only offer a replacement at the same price as the original, shame on Apple for this.
My new HomePod will be delivered early February I have bought Apple Care and just hope the experience will not be repeated.
Notwithstanding all of the foregoing I remain a complete Applephile and am long on the stock.
Kung Hei Fat Choy to all at TidBITS
Wild speculation: Apple didn’t make (enough) money off of the original HomePod at $299; they dropped the price solely to see if it would sell well enough at that price, then discontinued it when they ran out. They then reengineered it to make (enough) profit at $299.
Maybe it did sell at that price, but they discontinued it because it wasn’t profitable enough.
It most certainly was permanent!