Apple’s HomePod is becoming increasingly useful as a home theater speaker for Apple TV 4K owners. Apple has confirmed this The edge An upcoming software update will allow the speaker to output Dolby Atmos audio as well as 5.1 and 7.1 channel audio from Apple’s streaming box. This feature works best when two HomePod speakers are paired, but also works with just one. However, the new $ 99 HomePod mini doesn’t support the new home theater functionality.
Dolby Atmos support comes as Apple reworks the way the HomePod works with its streaming box. For starters, tvOS 1
HomePod also gets new surround sound capabilities that use its spatial recognition capabilities to provide virtual surround sound audio. As noted on the Apple website, the Home Theater with Apple TV 4K feature is only supported on the more expensive HomePod because the $ 99 HomePod mini lacks spatial awareness or beamforming technologies. However, the HomePod mini can still be used with the Apple TV 4K via AirPlay 2.
The upcoming update from Apple means the HomePod will catch up with Amazon Studio, which has been able to deliver Dolby Atmos audio to Fire TV streaming devices since it was released last year. However, if Amazon’s implementation of the feature is not yet complete, HomePods and Apple TV 4K owners can indulge themselves. When my colleague Dan Seifert tried the function last year, he found that the Amazon speaker offers sound quality comparable to a larger and more expensive Dolby Atmos soundbar.