How I use my HomePods

I am not an audiophile, and neither do I play one on the internet. I can’t describe what good sound is, but I can certainly tell bad sound when I hear it. From the get-go, HomePod checked a bunch of boxes for me. It sounded better than my previous bulky and expensive 5.1 surround sound system, it was easier to use, and it was also much more esthetically pleasing.

For about 6 months now, I have been taking advantage of new feature in tvOS that lets you default your sound output to a couple of HomePods set up as a stereo pair.

It wasn’t such a breeze to use at first because I experienced a bunch of issues with pairing the two speakers and keeping them paired together, but a fresh install eventually fixed everything, and I can’t say I have had any issue at all with this setup since then. This is to date a setup that I am completely satisfied with.

How to customize the Intercom settings for HomePod

Customize HomePod Intercom Settings on iPhone

The Intercom feature released for HomePod gave users a great way to communicate throughout their homes. You can use Siri to send a message to the HomePod in your kitchen, reply to an intercom message from a HomePod in the office, and even use the Home app to send messages to every HomePod in your house.

Whether you have just one HomePod or a few, Intercom lets you communicate your way with a few tweaks. To make the Intercom feature work perfectly in your space, here’s how to customize it for your HomePod.

How to set up a Primary User on your HomePod or HomePod mini

HomePod Settings and Primary User on iPhone

If you have more than one HomePod and multiple people in your household, then you probably already know how to set up multiple HomePod users. This is great when different people want to play music or make a request from Siri.

But what if your HomePod doesn’t recognize someone’s voice? By setting up a Primary User on the HomePod, Siri will default to that Primary User when in doubt. This is also helpful if each person has a HomePod in their own space where they are the main user anyway. That way, recommendations for music and podcasts are tailored to that user.

Here’s how to set up a Primary User on your HomePod or HomePod mini.

How to use Intercom on HomePod for announcements in your home

Record an Intercom Message in the Home app

With a lot of updates and new features to your Apple devices this year, one more will have you and your family communicating throughout the house. Intercom on HomePod gives you a quick and simple way to speak to family members in other rooms of the house.

You can use your HomePod, or all of them if you have more than one, as a loudspeaker of sorts. Speak into another device like your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch and your message will be heard on the HomePod(s) in your household.

Here, we’ll show you how to use the Intercom on HomePod, customize the settings, and make the most out of this cool new feature.

Video: Tips and tricks to get you started with your new HomePod mini smart speaker

The $99 HomePod mini may not have as powerful a sound as its bigger brother, but it does provide the best of the HomePod in a smaller, more affordable package. The miniature speaker certainly packs quite a punch for its size. We thought you might like to learn how to make the most out of your HomePod mini so we've put together a video detailing more than a dozen tips and tricks for getting started with your brand spanking new Siri speaker.

HomePod mini vs Amazon Echo: Which should you buy?

HomePod mini vs Amazon Echo

Apple introduced a tinier version of its popular HomePod called HomePod mini. This smart speaker is not only smaller in size, but also in price as compared to its parent. Both of these features put the HomePod mini more in the running as a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo.

Whether for yourself or a gift for a loved one, you might be trying to decide between the two (or three including the Amazon Echo Dot). To help, we have a comparison of HomePod mini versus Amazon Echo. Hopefully this will help you pick the best smart speaker for your home or someone else’s.