Apple HomePod Gets Multiroom and Stereo Updates

Apple has made good on its promise to add stereo and multiroom capability to the HomePod smart speaker it introduced in February.

Both features are included in a free iOS 11.4 software update that’s now available for the HomePod, one of Sound & Vision’s Top Picks for 2018.

The stereo upgrade makes it possible to create a wider soundstage by linking two HomePod speakers for stereo playback. Apple says setup is a simple matter of responding to a prompt to create a stereo pair when two HomePods are set up in the same room.

The new multiroom feature, based on Apple’s updated AirPlay 2 wireless protocol, makes it possible to play and control music in any room from any room, move music from one room to another, or play the same song in sync throughout the house via HomePod, Apple TV, or the Home app on an iOS device.

AirPlay 2 controls are available across iOS within any app and in Apple’s Control Center, which provides quick access to what’s playing on every speaker and controls for selecting and unselecting where music is playing and adjusting volume and other parameters. Multiroom playback can also be controlled via Apple’s voice-enabled s virtual assistant, Siri.

The HomePod will be able to communicate with AirPlay 2-enabled speakers from a variety of other brands as they become available. Brands that support AirPlay 2 include Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Marshall, Naim, Pioneer and Sonos.

In other news, Apple announced that the HomePod will be available in Canada, France, and Germany on June 18.

For information on updating HomePod, visit