Along with revealing that the HomePod is making its way to Canada on June 18th for $449, Apple has also confirmed that iOS 11.4, the next update to its mobile operating system, adds AirPlay 2 multi-room audio support.
This allows two HomePods to be paired for stereo audio support, a feature the Sonos One, as well as the Google Home Max are also capable of. Further, AirPlay 2 is set to add multi-room audio support to iOS devices, the HomePod, Apple TV and compatible third-party speakers that support Apple’s wireless audio protocol.
This brings the speaker’s functionality more in line with the HomePod’s closest competitors, including the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
In a recent press press release, Apple says that “just like iPhone and iPad, HomePod will be able to communicate with other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers when they become available.”
This means that Siri will be able to play music across speakers from other manufacturers like Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Marshall, Naim, Pioneer and Sonos.
While previously only Mac computers were capable of controlling multiple speakers through AirPlay, Apple’s AirPlay 2 update gives iPhones this functionality as well.
This means that you’ll be able to view, setup and control AirPlay 2 speakers, including the HomePod, using Apple’s iOS Home app.
iOS 11.4 is currently available to download. In order to get the update, navigate to ‘Settings,’ ‘General’ and then ‘Software Update.’