iACast UnboxCast – 2023 HomePod


In this episode, Michael unboxes the 2023 HomePod with Michael, Debbie, and Jason.

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[0:00] Music. 

[0:16] And welcome to another unboxing on the IACast network. All right, we’ve got a few folks with us today. 
I’m just going to go through names because some folks are here, but listening and they’ll come in in a bit. 
We have Michael Babcock, we have Debbie Hazelton, and Jason Castingway. 
Did I say that right, Jason? 
Jason You did. Jason Great. 
And we have Lauren Flinner listening out on Team Talk. We’re back on team talk, folks. Imagine that. 
So we’re here to unbox a new thing. And I’ve been excited about this. I got it yesterday. 
I have put off unboxing it for a day, which is amazing for me. 
So it’s a home pod. It’s a white home pod. 
And the shipping box, I took it out of the shipping box, but it was interesting. 
The shipping box from Apple doesn’t have tape, guys. 
It just has a little cardboard pull tab that you pull apart and then the box just splits down both sides. You pull it down. 
I was like, wow, that’s cool. 

[1:30] I think my iPhone, I think my 14 Pro might have been that way. 
And it looked like it would look like it was in a flat rate box, but it wasn’t. 
Right. interesting, isn’t it? Yeah. And then, you know, Apple started putting these pull tabs, on all of their products. It’s very interesting. And so there’s no tape. And all you got to do is just find one of these pull tabs and yeah, gotta love that binaural sound right there. You know, oh yeah, Apple packs things in such a way that I often say they could pack my lunch. I wish they would. I would love for Apple to pack my lunch. 

[2:13] You guys are hearing this in binaural audio, or you should be. If you’re not wearing good headphones, I would. So I just pulled these two pull tabs off, and that’s all I had to do. Like no tape, no nothing, just pull tabs. Then I turned the box over to be right side up because the pull tabs are on the bottom and then all I have to do is lift up and the top part of the box comes off and there’s a home pod underneath. The inside of the top part even has some supports to hold the home pod in place so it doesn’t move around in there too. Now the top of the home pod where the screen is so it is, is definitely indented and it has a little pull tab. 
You pull the little protective area off. 
And the difference on this HomePod is I’ve heard that it has two volume buttons, but I can’t see those. 

[3:16] Hmm. It says they’re engrained or engraved or something, but I can’t visually see those. 
But it’s definitely in, like, it’s in the screen is definitely like indented into the machine, into the HomePod. And it is definitely shorter. It’s not as tall. 

[3:42] Okay, so that’s interesting. And the bottom also has a pull tab as well. 
Now I have heard reports, there we go, just something satisfying about that. 
I have heard that these home pods have a different base to them. 
So they’re not supposed to leave a white ring on wooden surfaces. 
However, I’ve heard that after a day or so they still do. 
But this is definitely a bit smaller. It’s still pretty heavy, but it has two less speakers and two less microphones and a slower processor and Wi-Fi. 
Maybe not so a processor, but an older Apple watch processor. 
So below the home pod, we have where it sits in the box. 
We have a little removable plate and the power cable is wrapped around this little area. 
Under the box, like where the instructions would normally go. 

[4:41] So you just open this up and I don’t want to rip this because I don’t like ripping Apple boxes. There we go. 
You do that and then you have the power cable, which is completely detachable by the way, folks. 
It does not come attached to the HomePod. And what I like is it’s very easy, once you get everything out, to put everything back in the box, way it belonged. That’s really nice because sometimes boxes you get stuff out and it’s just difficult to put back in. Also, yes one thing that’s interesting, that’s true, is there’s no twist ties or cable ties on this cable. 

[5:28] The other thing that’s interesting is this cable looks like it belongs like when you plug it in, the end of it looks like it’s built into the home pod so it’s to mimic how it looked on the previous home pod. Kind of like they would do with the iMacs too the the cable was molded in such a way that, when it was plugged into the iMac it would look like one piece. Right. They’re so smart. 
There are Apple. 
Does this go in? They are. 
Now it does appear to only go in there one way so you cannot reverse it. It will go in, from what I can tell, only one way. Yeah. 

[6:20] Yeah. But you plug it in and it just feels like it belongs with the HomePod. 

[6:27] Okay. Very nice. So I mean, it’s smaller. 
Let’s see. I’m going to put this down and I’m going to go try to get the other HomePod if my headphones once we’ll let me go that far. 

[6:47] And it’s interesting, you can squeeze it and it does have some give. 

[7:00] Oh, that’s interesting. The base on the old one is… 
…declined. Like, it’s inset. 

[7:13] And the cable feels very similar. And this one’s quite old and it looks a little off white with age. 
And are they using a power cable that looks proprietary or at least it’s not USB-C I’m guessing right? No it’s kind of that figure eight kind of look. Oh okay. So I’ve, officially stacked two home pods one on top of the other to compare them and the. 

[7:56] They are very similar in size they really are. The old one has a screen on on the top, like it just looks like they slapped a plastic, piece down on top, whereas the new one, it’s kind of inset into the device. 
The old one has more of a hole at the bottom, kind of like you would expect, like a subwoofer to kind of have that little area to kind of breathe bass out of. 
The new one does not. 
So I think that the reason why I’ve heard the old one is a little more bassy, is because it has that room to have that base come through. 
Have that base come through. The old one is definitely heavier, which is interesting. 

[8:49] Also, interestingly, the mesh has a little more give on the new one than the old one does. 
Like, if you press on it, it will kind of give a little more. 
Hmm. Hmm. But the bottom of the old one is definitely heavier. 
That’s very interesting. 
Okay, so… 
We’re gonna see if we can plug these things in. Have you ever heard two HomePods together, like two of the originals together? 
I’ve heard that’s really cool. I have not. 
I’m never gonna. 

[9:32] I have not heard that yet. 
Jason, you don’t have one, do you? I don’t, unfortunately. 
Okay, so we’re going to plug in the new one first and we’re going to set it up. 
Oh, can’t wait to hear the sounds. I know. 
It’s all about the sound. It’s booting up. 

[10:29] Okay. Did y’all hear that? Yep. Yes. That very bassy sound. 
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. 

[10:44] We’ve got so many cables over here for work management and all that kind of stuff, so, So just trying to move things around. 

[11:01] . 

[11:08] My voiceover is acting kind of strange, so I’m just letting you guys know it’s reading all my punctuation. I wonder if I turn this on. Oh, she. 
Close button. 
More info button set up button. Center the home pod in the frame period heading home. 
Home pod heading. Well that was funny. I just had it pointed at the home pod. I wasn’t really playing it anywhere. Yeah, it picked right up on it. Mm-hmm. Living room three continue,button use home pod as Apple TV speaker question mark heading close button close button close, button. Apple TV will use home pod for all audio output period. You can change this later in HomePod or Apple TV settings period. 
Uses Apple TV speaker button. 
I don’t know that I want to do that just yet. Not now button. HomePod heading voiceover on. 
Eero common now common new device common a new Apple common incorporated period device has joined to Chopolis. 
Oh, it is reading. 

[12:21] So it turned on voiceover on the HomePod. Yes, I heard that. 
And it got your Wi-Fi info and everything. Well it yes it does that just like a new iPhone and my eero, Said a new device is joined your network Yep Close fuck, Home pod is ready heading close fucking done fucking, Batteries widget comma staff and that’s all guys, That’s amazingly fast. I just set up a home pod. 
I mean, how long does it take to set up a Google speaker or anything like that? 
Yeah, there’s a little more involved. Uh huh. So let’s see. 

[13:14] Play. 

[13:24] Let’s see play play play play okay so flicking is not doing anything. 

[13:35] Okay hey siri turn off voiceover voiceover okay try again i turned voiceover off, Yeah, ours uses a Siri voice. 

[13:51] What’s the weather? I can’t tell your location because of your settings. 
Where would you like to hear the weather for? Austin, Texas. 
It’s currently clear and 17 degrees. Temperatures are heading down from 17 to 10 degrees tonight. 
I think it’s set to Celsius. 

[14:14] Don’t know what happened there. That’s kind of interesting. Cause I don’t have my home set up like that. 
So fun times, right? 
We thought it was, we thought we were free and clear. Guess what? 
Maybe a couple, or maybe it’s still catching up in the background or something. I wonder. 
Yeah, that could be. Maybe ask if it’s Celsius or Fahrenheit, see if it knows. 
What’s the temperature set to? Oh, it cancelled. That won’t work. 
I found some web results. 
Are you set to Celsius or Fahrenheit? 

[15:00] Oh, okay. What is the weather temperature set to, Celsius or Fahrenheit? 
It’s 62 degrees right now. 
Okay, now I did it. Oh! What’s the weather in Austin, Texas? 
It’s currently clear and 17 degrees. Temperatures are heading down from 17 to 10 degrees tonight. 
Okay, well. That’s interesting. Thank you for sharing. Oh my gosh. 

[15:36] So, let’s see if I can fix that in the home settings. 

[15:42] Wow, you know from my job I do a lot of testing with You know different things and so I think my my devices are just confused, Hmm So let’s see if I could find the HomePod. 
And be thinking about, you know what? I know something we can play. We can play. 

[16:24] I know what we’ll play. We will play this one show called Unmute Presents. 

[16:48] OK, so I’ve got that playing on my phone. So we’re going to airplay it. 
This is the real Michael, it says. Right. 
With the fake Michael and my TTS friends. 

[17:15] I go here and I decided in this unmute presents podcast to put together something a little different. 
If you didn’t listen to the past Tuesday’s episode, our live call that we had on February 7th, go back and listen. 
One of these voices, maybe both of these. It’s got some good bass. 

[17:37] It does, yeah. We don’t get something more Lollaping recorded for Thursdays. 
And in about 30 seconds, it’ll be the Fake Michael. 
Should we try this? Let me know what your thoughts are. Is this something that you could listen to, especially when it comes to audio books or, I don’t know, for you affiliates out there. 
Good morning and welcome to Unmute Presence. 
There’s the Fake Michael. Yup. I’m your host, Fake Michael. Oh, that’s so funny. 
Hi everyone. It’s great to be back for another exciting episode of Unmute Presence. 
Presence. I really like that voice. Yeah. She’s very articulate. 
Is that Lauren? No, that’s the text to speech. 
Okay. That’s Bailey on 11 AI. Or 11 Labs. and smart glasses to get home. 
So that’s how it sounds with voice and some music. 
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And it was just, it was so easy to set up. 
Now let’s see if I could plug in and get set up the old HomePod. 
This might be your shortest unbox cast. 
I know. 
Because they made it so easy to set up. 

[19:00] It took longer to set up for the unbox cast than it did for the unboxing. 

[19:09] I got too many cables. 

[19:15] I am tangled in cables over here. Oh, the other home pod is sad. 
It fell over somehow. 
Oh, it’s feeling left out. Right. 

[19:37] Yeah, the new one is definitely lighter. Like the color on it is definitely, it’s not much taller, it might be the same. 
They look different for sure. 
But the new one is definitely a lot lighter in color. I don’t know if that’s an age thing, or a, you know, this thing is just been used a lot, moved a lot, you know. 

[20:08] Okay, this one’s booting up now. 
I see that and I don’t see anything happening yet. 

[20:19] It’s jealous, you got the new one. It’s like, I’m not gonna turn on for you. 
Right. What’s the weather? It’s currently clear and 64 degrees. Today’s high. It knows how to do it. 
That’s right. It’s like I’m going to outdo that new one. 
But the other one, the new one did say that until you asked about your city and state, and that’s when it went back to the Celsius. 

[21:07] Interesting. 

[21:21] Now that’s interesting. It did let me pair them up as two speakers, even though it was not a stereo pair. 
It says living room. That is interesting. I wasn’t. I didn’t know it would do that. Wow, I wasn’t. 
Yeah, I wasn’t sure if it would do that either because they’re different. 
It’s an AirPlay 2 thing, I think. So, let’s hear what it sounds like having both of them paired up together. 
It’s kind of hard to tell which one’s which. But I think they’re slightly out of sync with each other. 
Yeah, I thought I was hearing just a little bit of that. Yeah. 
So, it might be good if one was in one room and one in the other, but if they’re together, you can hear that difference. 
Right. Let me see if I can just have… 

[22:31] How do you… Okay. Let’s stop that. Come on now. 
Let’s stop that. Come on now. I don’t know how to un-pair them. 

[22:54] You know Apple tries to make everything so simple, but. 

[23:00] You know, Okay, I think I got it. See that’s a lot more low end heavy. 
If you didn’t listen to the past Tuesday’s episode, our live call that we had on February 7th, go back and listen. 
And one of these voices, maybe both of these voices, will sound very familiar to you. 

[23:29] Music. 

[23:35] This is what happens when we don’t get something more long form recorded for Thursday’s episode, and Michael gets bored and decides, should we try this? Let me know what your thoughts are. 
Is there something that you could listen to? 
Okay, so let’s go turn that off and let’s go turn on the other one. 

[24:00] And we’ll just play the same thing again. 

[24:10] So this is the real Michael here and I decided in this unmute presents podcast to put together, something a little different. If you didn’t listen to the past… Maybe a little less space but not, detrimentally so and more clarity more high end. Yeah more clarity for sure. 
I think it sounds better. Yeah, you could hear it too. Yeah, I think I’m… 
Oh yeah, and there’s a tambourine there that I forgot about. 

[24:48] Thank you to André Louis for the music, by the way. Oh yeah. 
So do y’all want to hear the music again through the old one and compare them one more time? 
Sure Cuz I think it’s very fascinating I like hearing my voice. 

[25:09] Cuz like like you guys said I don’t know that I heard the tambourine on the old one very well Right? 
Hmm, interesting. Yeah. It just wasn’t out there like it was in the new one. 
I kinda forgot about it. 

[25:31] Or, I don’t know, for you affiliates out there. Newsletters? 
Good morning. Real Michael here, and I decided in this Unmute Presents podcast to put together something, a little different. You can hear it. 
If you didn’t listen to the past Tuesdays… Yeah, but it’s a lot more suppressed. 
…call that we had on February 7th. That’s interesting. Go back and listen. 
One of these voices… Well, there it is. …both of these voices… 
Yeah. …wasn’t very familiar to you. This is what happens… 
Yeah, it’s almost like… Yeah, it’s almost like… It sounds compressed. 
Yeah, yep, I’m gonna use that word too. Mm-hmm. 
For Thursday’s episode, Michael gets bored and decided, should we try this? 
Let me know what your thoughts are. Is there something that you could listen to, especially? 
So what are your thoughts? 
It’s not much of a difference, I don’t think. I think, yeah. 

[26:24] Yeah, somehow I didn’t think there’d be much of a difference, but it is noticeable, especially what I’m hearing through your binaurals. 
Yes. It somehow is very obvious that way. And although the new one is smaller, I’m still hearing a very decent amount of bass. 
And there’s more clarity in the high end. And yet it’s brighter. Yeah. 
Right. More clarity. Yeah, it’s brighter in a way. I mean, I think it might have less bass on certain songs. 
But I think that it’s definitely, I tried to keep it to, Michael, do you have any other recommendations of things we could try playing? 

[27:12] If you give me a second, I can just send you that song without the voice. OK, that’d be great. 
Just give me a few minutes, let me find it. That is very interesting though. 
Yes. And I thought somehow the setup was going to guide you through, you know, having it go through some sort of audio thing where it wants to listen to itself in a certain area to like perfectly equalize itself, but it didn’t seem to bother itself with that. 
Or maybe it’s… 
It does that when you’re as you’re… if you move it, it will do it. It doesn’t do that. 
It didn’t do that on the original one. It learns no matter where you put it, which is amazing. 
Wow. So it’s not anything the user has to worry about. It’s just a background sort of learning thing or adaptation. 
Wow. Cool. 
And I wonder, have you ever tried moving the original to a smaller room or a bigger room, to see if it sounds different? 
I’ve never done that. It does. 
And different surfaces make it sound different. 

[28:29] Okay, so I’ve got this file from Michael. 

[28:35] Tell me if you need it a different way. 

[28:43] Okay, so we got it. Let’s see. 

[28:51] Apple, this is one of your flaws. I can put it in Dropbox or email it if that makes it easier for you. 
I don’t, they need an AirPlay button. 
Well let’s see, I wonder if I can just go to my control center and really guys, it’s, It’s set to bedroom, but you’re playing through the iPhone speaker. 
Apple. Come on, guys. Apple fail. 
But hang on. Hang on. There’s supposed to be a feature. Oh yeah. 
Where you can center. 
Wow. There you go. 

[29:34] Oh yeah. Where you can send it. Wow. There you go. Oh wow. 

[29:40] Music. 

[29:45] Very clear. And of course, it’s in the foreground now. It’s not being ducked by Michael’s voice. 

[30:00] So we’re really getting to hear it now. 
Right. Sounds great. 

[30:07] Nice. 

[30:10] Music. 

[30:30] Touching it to the top, it should. 

[30:34] Okay, now that I have it open here, can I pick the device? So it said on the living room. 

[30:46] Let’s set it back to… 

[30:56] It does not wanna change it. Okay, I’ll just close the app and I’ll open text messages. 
Problem solving at its best, folks. 

[31:10] And it went back to the living room home pod. It says you want to listen on this home pod, because it sounds better. 

[31:23] I really like that little track. Yes. 
That is a nice I can put it in Dropbox Michael if that has AirPlay features if you can’t I don’t know if I have Dropbox set up let me go back to my, iPhone speaker. 

[31:42] Music. 

[32:01] I’m going to restart it from the beginning. 

[32:09] Music. 

[32:23] You know, interestingly enough, I don’t feel that the difference is so much that I’d say, hey, I want more bass and I want to hear it on the old one, I think I would just stick, with the new one. 
Yeah. And some of that high end is muffled a little bit on the old one. 
Which is strange. Not what I’d expect. 

[32:49] Music. 

[32:57] I actually guys, I feel like there’s a little bit of low in… I feel like there’s a little bit more sound on the old one, but I could be wrong. But I’m going to de-pair these two again and see if we can do that. 
So I’m going to go iPhone speaker. A little more sound on the old one? Hmm. I mean on the new one. 
Yeah, I feel like there’s more on the new one. Yeah, I do too. It’s more precise. 
Yeah, it’s more full. Yeah, yeah. I hear the tambourine more on the new one. 
I feel like the lows are a little more defined too. 

[33:46] They may not be as low, but they’re more defined in my opinion. 
I’ll tell you what, Michael, you can buy me one and send it to me and I will tell you if the lows are more defined. 
Yeah, I want to start going, buy me a home pot. 
I tell you what, Michael B, I’ll send you those two items and you can, we’ll have a trade. 
You can buy me one. Hmm. Now I gotta see if I really want those, you know. 
So what do you guys think? Do you think that we’re losing anything from the old HomePod? 
Nope. Oh, wait. We’re supposed to be able to get the temperature in here. Let’s see. 
Oh, yes. What’s the temperature in this room? 
Sorry, I can’t do that. Yeah, you can. It may need a firmware update. 
Oh really? I don’t know if that’s for sure, but I believe I read somewhere that you need an update for it. 

[34:57] It’s currently 17 degrees. Nope. Hahaha. 
And on that note, I’m going to jump off and go make some dinner. 
So I’ll catch up with y’all later. I don’t think I keep my apartment that cold. 
That’s cold. Hahaha. Yes. Alright folks, that’s going to do it for this unboxing. 
I want to thank everybody for being here. I think this was a lot of fun. 
And we’re curious what you guys think. 
So reach out to us online and let us know which HomePod do you feel is better, the old one or the new one? We’ll have this out to you guys in the IACast feed soon. 
So stay tuned and we’re very excited to have new content, back at you. So thanks, Debbie, Jason and Michael for being here and we’ll see you on yet another Unboxed Cast soon. 

[35:46] Music. 

[35:53] Thank you for tuning in to the IACast. We hope you enjoyed the show and found the conversation to be insightful and informative. 
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