HomePod Tips

Apple's HomePods are a great addition to any HomeKit home. Not only do you get great sound in any room, but you get a complete and flexible whole-house audio system. HomePods can be used to execute HomeKit commands via Siri, and each HomePod you add gives you another HomeKit hub and Bluetooth repeater. This page contains a few useful HomePod tips I have found.

Grouping HomePod Speakers

Most people know that you can play content on multiple HomePod speakers at the same time. Apple calls this Multi-room audio. If you commonly group HomePods into the same groups, there is a way that you can recall some of those frequently-used speaker groupings. For example, in the morning maybe you commonly play music or podcasts in the Bedroom and Kitchen. Maybe in the evening you commonly play music in the living room and family room. When you have parties, maybe you play music in the Dining Room, Kitchen, Living Room, Library, and Rec Room. Instead of going into Control Center and selecting your speakers and adjusting all of their volume levels and then selecting an audio source source, you can do all of that by selecting a Scene in HomeKit or asking Siri to play the scene.

  1. Create a new scene

  2. Add the HomePods that you want to group together to the scene

  3. Next select the action you want to take with the HomePods. You have four options, select the option that best matches your goal:

    • Play Audio

    • Pause Audio

    • Resume Audio

    • Adjust Volume Only

I often use the "Resume Audio" option if I just want the speakers to play anything, or if I am going to manually select a different audio source.

In the screenshot at the left, I have selected "Play Audio". This allows me to select a specific audio source (in this case a Playlist called "All of Them"), set options to Repeat and/or Shuffle, as well as control the volume level.

Once your scene is created, simply tap on it in the Home app or ask Siri to turn the scene on, and the audio will begin playing on the HomePod speakers you have put in the scene.

Reset Your HomePod Volume Late at Night

Have you ever played the music in your house really loudly during the day and then later that night told Siri to turn out the lights to go to bed and she replies something like "Happy to do that for you John" in a REALLY loud voice? Or maybe the next day you ask Siri to play some calm music as you settle down to read the paper and the music just starts blasting at a really loud volume?

You can solve this problem with a HomeKit Automation that resets the speaker volumes each night:

  • Create an automation that runs every night at midnight (or whatever time makes sense for you)

  • Select all of the HomePods you want to reset

  • Set the action to "Adjust Volume Only"

  • Set the volume to 30% (or whatever level works for you) so that it’s not too loud (or too quiet) the next time it is used

You can create different automations for different HomePods, for example set the HomePods in the kids' bedrooms to an earlier time than other HomePods, or only set this volume for bedroom HomePods, leaving the HomePods in the rec room to their own devices.

Resume Audio - A Note About How HomePod Groupings Behave:

HomePods have a "memory" for how they have been grouped and what was playing in the past. So for example, let's say you had a HomePod group made up of HomePod A and HomePod B. Let's say you selected those two HomePods and played a Playlist called "Jams". Then let's say later you played the Playlist "Mello" on HomePod A (but NOT HomePod B). When you call a scene that Resumes Audio for the HomePod scene grouping of HomePod A and B, it is going to play the Playlist "Jams", because that was the last audio source playing on that grouping of HomePods, even though you just played a different playlist on one of the speakers.

Said another way:

  1. Play the Playlist "Jams" on HomePod A and HomePod B

  2. Play the Playlist "Mello: on HomePod A

  3. Resume Audio on HomePod A and HomePod B

    • the Playlist "Jams" will play, because that was the last audio source playing on that grouping of HomePods