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How to use Apple’s HomePod with an Apple TV

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HomePodJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • I’ve been using Apple’s $350 HomePod smart speaker for the
    last three months. 
  • While it can do a bunch of things, my favorite use for it has
    been pairing it with my Apple TV and using it sort of like a
    soundbar. 
  • TV shows and movies are now much more enjoyable to watch,
    because the HomePod sounds fantastic. 

For the past three months, I’ve had a new roommate: Apple’s
HomePod.

The $350 smart speaker, which Apple announced a little more than
a year ago and released in January, is Apple’s first foray into
the world of smart speakers. While it has been lauded for its
sound, critics mostly panned it for lacking many of the “smarts”
its competitors have, being limited to iPhone and Apple Music
users only, and its price tag. 

Still, I wanted to give the HomePod a shot. It’s now been living
in my apartment since August, and I’ve been using it to play
music, answer random questions, set timers, check the weather,
and more.

And after about three months, I think I’ve found the best use for
it yet. 


Read more:


I spent an hour with Apple’s new
HomePod smart speaker — here’s what it’s like


Apple HomePodJustin Sullivan/Getty Images)

My TV-viewing experience has completely changed 

Since 2014, I’ve been using a 32-inch Sony TV. It’s a nice little
TV, but it didn’t have great speakers to begin with, and they’ve
only gotten worse over time.

My TV is hooked up to an Apple TV, which I absolutely love. I’m
able to watch all the shows and movies I want, and if there’s
something on live network TV, I have an antenna I can plug in
(or, if I’m trying to watch the Buffalo Bills on Sundays, I can
set up the game on a MacBook and use AirPlay to get it up on the
TV). 

So while that system has worked out great, there’s always been
one niggling little problem: the audio. 

That’s where the HomePod comes in. 

Not long after setting it up in my home, my boyfriend and I
realized we could pair the HomePod with our Apple TV (to do it,
open Settings on your Apple TV, then navigate to
Video and Audio > Audio Output > HomePod).
Now, all the sound was routed through the HomePod instead of my
TV’s somewhat pathetic speakers. 

It’s not a perfect system. A lot of times, my Apple TV will
default to the TV’s speakers, and I have to manually select
HomePod as the audio output (to do that while watching a show,
swipe down on the remote’s touchpad, toggle over to Audio, and
make sure there’s a checkmark next to HomePod).

But when it’s working properly, my TV-viewing experience is
completely changed.


HomePodJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

The HomePod sounds incredible. It delivers rich, immersive,
balanced sound that completely fills the room (granted, my living
room is pretty tiny). Before, I felt like I was constantly
cranking the volume on my TV’s speakers — now, the HomePod
typically hovers around 50%. 

And one of the nice perks is that I can control the volume using
my Apple TV remote, or ask Siri to adjust the volume for
me. 

Now, I do realize that there are other solutions for fixing TV
audio, solutions that likely cost far less than $350. But with
the HomePod, you also get Siri (for whatever that’s worth); the
ability to play music from the HomePod the rest of the time
without having to disconnect it from your TV; and the general
ease of use that Apple products provide. 

So if you’re an Apple TV user, and you’re considering a smart
speaker, don’t discount the HomePod. 

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