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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Hello, stereo paired HomePods

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

I have had two HomePods in my house for a while now, one of them ready to be deployed the moment that Apple launched support for stereo pairs, which it did this morning. After I updated my iPhone to iOS 11.4, I was able to update both HomePods via the Home app. (If you’ve got more than one HomePod on your network, the app will conveniently ask if you’d like to update just one HomePod, or all of them.)

Once the update had occurred, a new option to pair my speakers appeared in the HomePod settings. I picked my two HomePods and it asked me to assign each of them to a side—left and right. Mine are across from each other in the middle of a long room, so I had to decide on the proper perspective. (I went with the direction as heard from the kitchen.)

Once that was done, I was free to play music in stereo from two HomePods. The volume is impressive—one HomePod did an okay job of filling my living room, but two HomePods can do it with no trouble. Stereo separation was clear, as I ran through a bunch of aggressive stereo mixes (The Beatles!), live albums (“Peter Gabriel Plays Live”—take that, “Hell Freezes Over”), and a collection of other tracks I’m familiar with. It all sounded good.

At the current price the HomePod is awfully pricey to be deployed in a stereo pair—for half price you can pair two Sonos One speakers—but it does sound very good. And in proper stereo, something that one HomePod—for all Apple’s talk of creating a “3-D sound field”—could not achieve alone.

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