HomePod 1 and 2 as a stereo pair: How it works!

In 2018 Apple introduced the first generation of the HomePod; this was then withdrawn from the market in 2021. At the beginning of 2023 that came 2nd generation Apple HomePod on the market. According to the manufacturer, it is not possible to connect both models of the smart speaker to form a stereo pair. And that's true, if you only look at the in-house technology. Thanks to a workaround on the Mac, with which you can send the left and right audio tracks individually - but of course simultaneously - to the respective speakers, it works. One app you can use for this is Airfoil by Rogue Amoeba. 

Creating a stereo pair of HomePod 1 (2018) and HomePod 2 (2023) is not possible, according to Apple. On the Mac it works with two program windows from Airfoil from Rogue Amoeba.
Creating a stereo pair of HomePod 1 (2018) and HomePod 2 (2023) is not possible, according to Apple. On the Mac it works with two program windows from Airfoil from Rogue Amoeba.

Create a stereo pair of HomePod 1 and HomePod 2

If you already have an "old" HomePod and don't want to buy two new models to create a stereo setup, then this solution might be for you. In addition to a HomePod 2, you need a bit of time and patience to set it all up. Afterwards you can easily access this solution again and again. 

The first step is to download Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil app. The professionals for audio apps (Audio Hijack, Loopback, Piezo, SoundSource, etc.) offer auf dieser seite a free demo version. If you like it and your HomePod 1 and 2 stereo setup works with it, you can buy the full version for $35 + taxes. 

To test whether your devices (Mac, HomePod 1 and HomePod 2) can be moved to the desired sound reproduction, use the following steps. I haven't tried it myself, but read in reports that this should work well:

  1. Download Airfoil and place the app in the Macintosh HD's Applications folder
  2. Now duplicate the app in the Applications folder (right-click -> "Duplicate") so that it is duplicated
  3. Open both app versions you just created so you can use two app windows
  4. Connects one app to the HomePod on the left, the other to the HomePod on the right
  5. Assigns the left and right audio channel to each of them

Play stereo audio through two different HomePod models

Now set both Airfoil app windows to the same audio source (music app, Spotify, Apple TV app, VLC player or similar). When sound is output from these, the left channel is routed to the speaker on the left and the right channel to the speaker on the right. The good thing about it: the two app instances remember the settings, so you don't have to pair the devices and assign channels every time.

By the way, the Airfoil app also has equalizer controls. So if you notice significant differences in the sound of the two HomePod models, you can try to balance them out. In a field report on the procedure described, I read that e.g. B. in music there are no big differences. But if you have a sensitive ear for this, you might be bothered by the discrepancies that occur here and there. If you notice that the whole thing only works with some media and otherwise doesn't work at all, you can undo the Airfoil purchase for 14 days.

Stream audio from computer to iPhone: Airfoil Satellite makes it possible!

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.