You can get the new HomePod 2nd Generation for £289 at O2– a £10 saving on the usual RRP. Fortunately, you don’t need to sign up for a contract with them to take advantage of this admittedly tiny discount.
We were pleasantly surprised by the original HomePod in 2018, and its successor – officially still just called the HomePod – improved on it in a number of key ways. Most importantly it sounds even better than before to nab a What Hi-Fi? 2023 Award win: it’s tighter, more engaging and better organised, with more flexibility in terms of placement.
Apple HomePod (2nd gen)
was £299 now £289 at O2 (save £10)
It might not be the best unless you're a dedicated Apple fan, but the 2023 Award-winning HomePod 2 is a beautifully built wireless speaker that sounds better than ever. No wonder we gave it five stars when we reviewed it a few years back. This may be a small discount, but a tenner is a lot of money these days.
What Hi-Fi? Award Winner 2023
There's a lot to recommend the HomePod 2. It's a brilliant performer, with a natural, solid and energetic sound that really works well with voices. It's also spacious and three-dimensional to listen to, especially with Dolby Atmos-powered spatial audio tracks from Apple Music, while Siri remains a helpful, intelligent companion (when used with iOS apps, of course).
Is there an alternative, though? The also 2023 Award-winning Sonos Era 300 is a better choice if spatial audio is your priority, and you really need to be a dedicated Apple user to get the most out of the HomePod. It’s not just that it requires an iOS device to set it up in the first place, but it only really works to its full potential if you’re an Apple Music subscriber. Voice control via Siri doesn’t work with Spotify, Tidal et al, and with only limited controls available via the screen on top, that makes it much less enjoyable to use with non-Apple streaming services.
The HomePod is still a wonderfully made bit of kit, though, with black and white finishes available, and a detachable power cable in case you need to use a longer one. The HomePod 2 is slightly discounted, but you'll get a bigger chunk of money off with the fantastic Era 300 – it's now £398 at Amazon at the time of writing, down from £449.
Sonos Era 300
was £449 now £398 at Amazon (save £51)
This excellent, spatial audio-toting Sonos wireless speaker is on a decent £50-off discount. We love the Era 300's huge, expressive sound and extensive streaming features. It might not seem like a huge discount, but any money off this premium speaker is a good deal in our books.
What Hi-Fi? Award Winner 2023
Those who aren’t Apple-obsessives, though, might well prefer the above Sonos Era 300 deal instead. While it might still be more expensive than the HomePod even with £50 off at Amazon, it actually nabbed the Product of the Year Award over the HomePod 2 this year for the wireless speakers category. That isn't just down to Sonos being platform-agnostic and offering far more native support for various streaming services and apps, but it's also for delivering the most convincing, immersive spatial audio performance we've heard all year. Be warned, though that the Era 300 deal on Amazon is running low on stock – so you better hurry before all discounted units are snapped up this weekend.
Either way, you'll end up with a great speaker that has great spatial audio capabilities, versatile streaming options and great sound for the price. If you love Apple and want to remain within its ecosystem, stay with a HomePod 2. But the Sonos's ecosystem is more flexible, while the Era 300's spacious sound and extra features make a strong case for itself.
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