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HomePod and HomePod mini just got support for Apple Music Voice Plan

Apple HomePod Mini
(Image credit: Apple)

As predicted a week ago, Apple's ‌HomePod‌ 15.2 software update is here and it adds support for Apple Music Voice Plan, Apple's newest and cheapest Siri-based music streaming option. 

Essentially, you can now listen to ‌Apple Music‌ on ‌Apple's original HomePod‌ and newer, smaller HomePod mini using your voice, for just £4.99 / $4.99 / AU$5.99 per month – that's half the price of the Individual Plan at £9.99 / $9.99 / AU$11.99. 

Apple said of the update, "Software version 15.2 includes support for Apple Music Voice Plan, a new subscription tier designed to access music using Siri".

The update also extends Siri voice recognition to new languages in certain regions (Dutch in both Belgium and the Netherlands; French in Belgium; German, French and Italian in Switzerland; Russian) and includes performance and stability improvements.

‌‌‌‌‌‌‌HomePod‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌ software is installed automatically on the ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌HomePod‌‌‌‌ unless this feature is disabled‌‌‌‌, but you can also manually update your ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌HomePod‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌ or HomePod mini in the Home app. 

Should you switch from your regular Apple Music plan to the cut-price option? Well, the new Apple Music Voice Plan tier lets subscribers ask for specific songs or artists with their voice, but the catch is that you can't use the Apple Music app to play songs – so you absolutely need a Siri-capable device such as the iPhone 13, the new AirPods 3 and now the HomePod Mini, to name but a few. 

It might be a great shout if you own an Apple smart speaker which you enjoy at home but are otherwise an Android household. Do ask yourself whether you plan on cueing up Apple Music tracks from the app on your commute though (announcing your Siri requests to the whole train carriage could get awkward). 

With Apple Music Voice Plan, you get full access to the Apple Music catalogue, plus Apple has added "hundreds" of new mood and activity playlists, meaning you might ask Siri to "play the dinner party playlist," "play something chill" or "play more like this", all with the cheaper tier. 

Want to subscribe? That's easy, just ask Siri. Holler “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial” (or by sign up through the Apple Music app) to get set up. 

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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.