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The second-gen Apple HomePod is down to $285 in a rare sale

The latest Apple HomePod speaker is on sale for $285 at B&H Photo, which is $14 less than buying from Apple directly. This isn’t the largest cash discount we’ve seen, and Apple previously bundled the device with a $50 gift card during Black Friday. But deals of any kind on the home speaker have been uncommon since it arrived in early 2023, so this modest drop still represents the lowest price we’ve seen in the last few months. The discount applies to both the black and white versions of the speaker.

Photo by Billy Steele / Engadget

This discount isn’t an all-time low, but deals of any kind on Apple’s top-end smart speaker have been uncommon.

$285 at B&H Photo

We gave the second-generation HomePod a score of 84 in our review last year. It’ll make the most sense if you’re a particularly dedicated Apple user who prioritizes audio quality. It still works easily with other Apple devices and services, from iPhones to Apple TVs to Apple Music, and we generally find it to sound richer and clearer than competing smart speakers from Amazon and Google. As a smart home device, it’s compatible with Matter and Thread on top of Apple’s own HomeKit protocol, so you can use it to control a growing range of security cameras, thermostats, plugs and other smart home accessories. It also has built-in temperature and humidity sensors, and its included mics do well to pick out your voice through noise.

To be clear, this is still a pricey and relatively niche device. Speakers like the Sonos Five and Sonos Era 300 cost more but offer louder and more dynamic sound quality, while the Sonos Era 100 may be a better value if you want to conserve a little more cash. Apple’s own HomePod Mini has nearly all of the same smart home features if that’s your main concern, while Google Assistant and Alexa users should still look to Google’s Nest Audio or an Amazon Echo device. The HomePod has its own issues, too: Siri isn’t the most capable voice assistant, there’s no Bluetooth audio, you can’t customize its EQ and you need a workaround to control Spotify via voice. Rumors of a touchscreen-enabled HomePod have also floated around over the past year. All that said, if you’re all-in on Apple, this is a decent chance to save on the company’s highest-end home speaker.

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