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How to use the homepod with your apple tv

Use a HomePod or stereo pair with your Apple TV 4K to create a theater experience with Dolby Atmos or surround sound right in your home.

Here’s what you need

  • Apple TV 4K
  • One or two HomePod speakers. HomePod mini and other AirPlay 2-compatible speakers are not supported with home theater audio.
  • The Home app set up on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Set up home theater audio

  1. Use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to assign your Apple TV and HomePod to the same room in the Home app. If you want to use two HomePod speakers, create a stereo pair, then assign the stereo pair to the same room as your Apple TV in the Home app.
  2. Turn on your Apple TV. You’ll be asked if you want to Use HomePod as TV Speakers. Select Use as TV Speakers to turn on home theater audio.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

If you don’t see the setup screen

You can manually turn on home theater audio with your Apple TV or your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  • With Apple TV: From the Home screen on Apple TV, select Settings > Video and Audio > Default Audio Output. Select the HomePod or stereo pair that you want to use for home theater audio.
  • With iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: In the Home app, press and hold Apple TV, then scroll down and tap Default Audio Output. Select the HomePod or stereo pair that you want to use for home theater audio. Tap Back, then tap Done.

If you have an Apple TV 4K and HomePod (2018), you can create an immersive experience with a single HomePod or a stereo pair. When you set up home theater, you can enjoy Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital 7.1, or Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. HomePod mini does not support home theater surround sound, but you can stream audio from Apple TV to HomePod mini or a HomePod mini stereo pair using AirPlay.

Note: Home theater requires Apple TV 4K with tvOS 14.2 or later. For more information about setting up Apple TV, see the Apple TV User Guide.

To set up home theater, you need an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 14.2 or later, or an iPad with iPadOS 14.2 or later. Make sure that Apple TV is assigned to the same room as HomePod in the Home app.

Alternatively, you can set up the home theater on your Apple TV 4K with tvOS 14.2 or later (for details, see the Apple TV User Guide.)

In the Home app on your iOS or iPadOS device, touch and hold Apple TV.

Scroll down, then tap .

Tap Default Audio Output, then tap the room with your HomePod or HomePod stereo pair.

Note: This setting routes all sound, including navigation clicks, from Apple TV to your HomePod.

For the best surround sound, place HomePod within 10 inches (25 centimeters) of a wall and as close to the center of your TV as possible. If you use a HomePod stereo pair, place the speakers on either side of the TV. For optimal surround sound, the HomePod speakers should be about 4 feet (1.2 meters) apart from each other.

This guide is for HomePod software version 14.5.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

The new Apple TV 4K can relay any audio from a compatible TV set to a pair of HomePods, without requiring users to be watching via the Apple set top box. Here’s how to do it

As the new Apple TV 4K begins to arrive for pre-order customers, a new support document has revealed that its audio capabilities have an unexpected extra. As well as being able to send audio to the HomePod as it has before, the new set top box can also receive audio from a TV set and relay it to those smart speakers.

“With HDMI ARC or eARC turned on, your Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) can receive high-quality audio from a supported TV and then play that audio through your HomePod speakers,” says Apple’s new support document.

This solely works with the new Apple TV 4K, and it requires certain other equipment too. The TV set must support HDMI ARC or eARC — and this solely works with the discontinued original HomePod. It won’t work with the HomePod mini.

Apple notes that users must have two HomePods, and have them set up as a stereo pair. Then in the Apple TV 4K’s Settings app, the HomePod pair must be selected as the Default Audio Output.

The television set may also have to be adjusted to turn on ARC, eARC, or HDMI-CEC and the settings for this vary between manufacturers.

Once set up, what this means for Apple TV 4K users is that anything they watch on TV, regardless of its source, will get the full HomePod audio quality. It’s perhaps one more addition to the reasons Apple refers to Apple TV 4K as having “outsized value.”

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, “Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider,” and you’ll get latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for “AppleInsider Daily” instead and you’ll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you’re interested in Apple-centric home automation, say “Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider,” and you’ll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.

AppleInsider has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

Repurpose a pair of HomePod Minis as TV speakers. We’ll walk you through how to set them up in three easy steps.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

Turning your Apple HomePod Mini into a TV speaker is easy.

It’s time for a major upgrade to your TV audio setup. If you have an Apple TV streaming device and two HomePod Minis , you can create a makeshift sound system to rival a good soundbar . It’ll be a huge improvement over your TV’s stock speakers, turning movie night into a true surround-sound-enabled cinematic experience.

A bonus of using Apple’s smart speakers instead of regular external speakers is that you’ll also get all the perks of a Siri-powered smart home . That means you’ll be able to control your TV with voice commands like, “Hey, Siri, play Dexter season 4, episode 1,” and you won’t even need to bother with the remote control . Let’s walk through the steps of setting it up.

Get more out of your tech

Read more: 4 best uses for an Amazon Echo in your living room

1. Set up your HomePod Mini speakers

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up your HomePod Minis before you can connect them to your Apple TV. You can do this with your iPhone or iPad, but not your Apple TV.

You can read more about setting up a HomePod Mini and our overall impressions of these $99 Siri-enabled smart speakers in our HomePod Mini review .

2. Create a stereo pair

Now that your two HomePod Minis are up and running, you’ll need to create a stereo pair in order to get that full surround sound. Make sure both speakers are in the same room, physically and in your Home app.

In the Home app, tap and hold the name of one of the HomePod Minis, then swipe up and tap the settings cog in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Tap “Use as stereo pair” and follow the instructions to select whether that speaker will provide left- or right-channel audio. Repeat this process for your second speaker.

3. Connect HomePod Minis to your Apple TV

Now it’s time to connect your HomePod Minis to your Apple TV. Keep in mind, the HomePod Minis and the Apple TV need to be on the same 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network. To create a surround-sound system, you’ll use AirPlay to send the Apple TV’s sound to the HomePod Minis.

Press and hold the home button on the Siri remote to open the control center.

Select the audio controls button and a list of available audio devices will appear. You should see your HomePod Mini stereo pair listed as you’ve named them in the Home app.

Select the device or devices you want to send the Apple TV audio to, in this case the HomePod Mini pair, and you’re good to go.

Downsides of using HomePod Minis as Apple TV speakers

If you already own two of these speakers and an Apple TV, this audio setup is a quick and simple way to improve your viewing experience, but it’s not without hangups.

Going this route means you’ll need to keep those two speakers in the same room as your TV and in their respective positions, left or right, for a surround-sound feel. We also found that you can’t set the default audio on the Apple TV to the HomePod Minis, which is inconvenient and tedious. You can, however, with the full-size HomePod , which boasts Dolby Atmos 7.1 or 5.1 surround sound, unlike its mini counterpart.

If Apple updated the settings for the HomePod Mini, it’d be even better. But for now, it’s a decent way to get better sound for a lower price.

How to use the homepod with your apple tvSource: Rene Ritchie / iMore

The HomePod and HomePod mini are fantastic ways to elevate your binge-watching or movie night experiences when combined with the Apple TV. Whether it is using a single HomePod for all of your audio, pairing two HomePods together for bigger sound, or using a HomePod mini as a replacement for your TV speakers, setting it all up only takes a few clicks on the Siri remote. Here’s how to set up HomePod with Apple TV.

What you need

HomePod or HomePod mini must be set up with a compatible iPhone or iPad. Currently, you can’t connect one directly to your Apple TV. So, you’ll first need to complete the HomePod setup process on your iPhone or iPad.

You’ll also need a compatible Apple TV, the fourth-generation Apple TV or newer, and your HomePod or HomePod mini must also be on the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV.

How to set your HomePod as your default speaker on Apple TV

Note: This feature is only available with the Apple TV 4K and the original HomePod. It doesn’t work with the Apple TV HD or the HomePod mini.

Starting in iOS and tvOS 14.2, you can set your HomePod up as the default speaker for all of your Apple TV’s audio. This method means that you won’t have to remember to switch over to it on your next movie night.

    Open Settings on your Apple TV.

Click Video and Audio.

How to use the homepod with your apple tvSource: iMore

Select your HomePod with a click.

How to use the homepod with your apple tvSource: iMore

Alternatively, you can set up your HomePod as your default speaker through the Home app on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

How to set up HomePod or HomePod mini with Apple TV via AirPlay

If you want to use your HomePod as a speaker temporarily or want to use a HomePod mini with your Apple TV, you can do so via AirPlay. With this method, you can link your Apple TV content with multiple AirPlay 2 speakers, not just the HomePod, allowing you to create a makeshift surround system.

  1. Hold down the Home Button on the Siri Remote for around 3 seconds to bring up Control Center.
  2. Click the AirPlay icon.

Select your HomePod or HomePod mini with a click.

How to use the homepod with your apple tvSource: iMore

How to stop using AirPlay with your HomePod or HomePod mini

  1. Hold down the Home Button on the Siri Remote for around 3 seconds to bring up Control Center.
  2. Click the AirPlay icon.

De-select your HomePod or HomePod mini with a click, then select your TV.

How to use the homepod with your apple tvSource: iMore

How to set up two HomePods for Stereo sound

How to use the homepod with your apple tvSource: Lory Gil / iMore

Since iOS 11.4 for iOS and tvOS added support for AirPlay 2, you can pair two HomePods for a full stereo experience with your Apple TV. Through Stereo Pairing, audio quality is significantly better than a single HomePod, but it only works with the original HomePod, not the HomePod mini.

If you have a second HomePod and want to create stereo audio, it’s just about as simple as plugging in your HomePod and waiting for technology to take its course!

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about using your HomePod or HomePod mini with your Apple TV? Let us know in the comments below!

Updated November 2020: Updated steps for setting up HomePod and HomePod mini with Apple TV.

Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

Apple’s HomePod is a great little speaker, and while you can AirPlay music to it from your iPhone, you can also wirelessly hook it up to your Apple TV through AirPlay. Here’s how to do it.

A Word of Warning First

Before you get started using your HomePod as your new home theater speaker setup, it’s important to know that using the HomePod like this isn’t really its intended purpose.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

For starters, the HomePod only works with your Apple TV and no other television inputs. So, for example, if you frequently go back and forth between your Apple TV and watching cable on a different input, you won’t be able to use the HomePod as a speaker for when you watch cable.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that AirPlay itself has a bit of a lag since it’s a wireless protocol. However, the Apple TV and the HomePod are smart enough to recognize this and compensate for the lag so that video and audio are lined up just right. The bad news is that this really only works with video content. If you play any games on your Apple TV, the lag is more apparent.

You also need to reconnect the HomePod to your Apple TV every time you reboot either device. And if you ever tell Siri to play music on the HomePod, the HomePod will disconnect from your Apple TV.

Finally, the HomePod is only compatible with the Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K. So if you have an older model, you’re SOL.

The good news, though, is that you’ll be able to control video playback a little bit using Hey Siri on the HomePod. Things like play/pause, volume, and scrubbing can all be done using your voice. So if anything, this gets you one step closer to being able to control your Apple TV with your voice.

How to Connect the HomePod to the Apple TV

If you want to give this a go, it’s pretty simple to set up. With your HomePod and Apple TV on the same network, start by holding down the Play/Pause button on your Apple TV remote for about three seconds until a menu pops up on the screen.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

The menu lets you select the audio output. In this case, you’ll want to select your HomePod.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

When you select the HomePod, a checkmark displays next to it. Press the “Menu” button on your Apple TV remote to go back to the home screen.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

From there, you can begin using it as usual. You can even still use your Apple TV remote to adjust the volume of the HomePod, or use the touch panel on the HomePod itself. An indicator appear in the top-right corner of the screen to show you the volume level.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

Depending on which app you use to play video content, you may notice some increased lag when pausing or scrubbing through the video, but eventually it will sync back up without a problem.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

Now that Apple‘s new set top box is a reality and many are starting to receive their unit or intend to get one soon, it may be interesting to know how to configure a HomePod as a speaker for Apple TV 4K HDR .

How to use Apple TV and HomePod together

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

If you are an Apple user and you have both an Apple TV and a HomePod (or several) you will know that you can use them together to create a much more immersive sound experience, especially if you use two HomePods to create a stereo sound setup.

Thanks to these configuration options and the capabilities of the original HomePod (now discontinued, but with an option to purchase while stocks last) you can even enjoy Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital 7.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. With the HomePod mini you will not be able, but you can make use of a pair to have stereo sound that also improves the sound experience that many televisions offer.

To use this configuration of an Apple TV plus one or two original or mini HomePods (for stereo sound both Apple smart speakers must be identical, you cannot mix a HomePod with a HomePod mini) all you have to do is the next:

  1. From your iOS, iPadOS or macOS devices, start the home application and hold down the icon that you will see corresponding to the Apple TV you want to configure
  2. Once the new pop-up menu is displayed, go to the bottom and tap on the gears icon to access the device configuration settings
  3. Now tap on the default Audio Out option and then tap on the room where the HomePod is located or the stereo configuration created from the use of two HomePods

Ready, you can start enjoying this much more immersive sound experience thanks to the HomePods and the Apple TV. Just one last thing regarding this initial setup, to enjoy the surround sound offered by the original HomePod the company recommends that the distance between your speaker and the wall does not exceed 25 cm. This is the only way you will be able to calculate the parameters necessary to project the sound against it and that this bounce generates the sensation of immersive audio.

How to send all the sound of a Smart TV through an Apple TV 4K HDR (2nd Gen)

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

So far everything you’ve read you may already know if you were an Apple TV or HomePod user. However, along with the launch of the new second-generation Apple TV 4K HDR model, Apple published a new support document that offers a very interesting detail: the option to send all the sound that a television reproduces to the Apple TV so that it in turn send it to the original HomePod or pair of HomePods you may have connected to your TV.

Yes, you read it right. This new functionality is only compatible with the original HomePods . One of those strange decisions that Apple makes for some reason. Although it is difficult to understand that it cannot, because in theory it is a device with better connectivity options as it is more modern. We could get the hang of surround sound, but not being able to use HomePod minis with stereo speakers… it’s weird.

However, it is what it is. So let’s keep moving forward. What do you need to be able to send all the sound from your TV to the new Apple TV and from there to your HomePod or pair of HomePods? Well, the first essential requirement is to have the latest version of the second generation Apple TV 4K HDR. The previous model a priori seems to be not compatible.

The second thing is that your TV has an HDMI ARC port. This will be the one that allows you to send the audio signal you are receiving through another player, streaming platform or even the DTT signal.

And finally, the aforementioned of having one or two original HomePods, models that are already out of print and that Apple keeps on sale until the end of stocks. So it is to be hoped that at some point they will support the mini no matter how annoying now it is not.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

If you meet all these requirements, in order to enable the use of HDMI ARC or eARC on your Apple TV 4K HDR (2nd Gen) you have to do the following:

  1. Set your HomePod, multiple HomePods, or even other speakers as the default output devices. To do this, you just have to go to the Apple TV settings and in the audio option select the aforementioned setting. Previously having established the use of that or those HomePods as speakers of Apple’s set top box
  2. Next, from the Apple TV home screen if you have come to it, go to Settings> Video and Audio. There, note that you will have or should have an option called Audio Return Channel
  3. Now you only have to activate this option and you will see how the TV audio playback appears activated and in parentheses you will see if it is via HDMI ARC or eARC

Ready, to enjoy this new option that will allow you to use your HomePods as speakers thanks to Apple TV. Something that Mac users would particularly like to do, be able to set them up as system speakers.

How to troubleshoot HDMI ARC, eARC or CEC on your Smart TV

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

Until now, all the steps had to be carried out on the Apple TV itself, because it is understood that this option is already enabled on your television and you have used the HDMI connector that supports this technology. Even so, in case of finding or suffering any kind of problem or anomaly, here are some possible solutions in case you need them:

  • It is not the usual thing, but in some TV models it is necessary to activate the use of the HDMI connectors such as ARC, eARC or CEC
  • If the HomePods do not reproduce sound, check that everything is marked and activated as it should and if so, restart the HomePod so that possible internal configuration errors of them are eliminated and you can successfully achieve what you want

Use a HomePod or stereo pair with your Apple TV 4K to create a cinema experience with Dolby Atmos or surround sound, directly in your home.

Here’s what you need

  • Apple TV 4K
  • One or two HomePod speakers. HomePod mini and other AirPlay 2-compatible speakers are not supported with home cinema audio.
  • The Home app set up on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Set up home cinema audio

  1. Use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to assign your Apple TV and HomePod to the same room in the Home app. If you want to use two HomePod speakers, create a stereo pair, then assign the stereo pair to the same room as your Apple TV in the Home app.
  2. Turn on your Apple TV. You’ll be asked if you want to Use HomePod as TV Speakers. Select Use as TV Speakers to turn on home cinema audio.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

If you can’t see the setup screen

You can manually turn on home cinema audio with your Apple TV or your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

  • With Apple TV: From the Home screen on Apple TV, select Settings > Video and Audio > Default Audio Output. Select the HomePod or stereo pair you want to use for home cinema audio.
  • With iPhone, iPad or iPod touch: In the Home app, press and hold Apple TV, then scroll down and tap Default Audio Output. Select the HomePod or stereo pair you want to use for home cinema audio. Tap Back, then tap Done.

And how to use your HomePod Minis for a surround sound hit

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

Apple’s HomePod smart speakers’ greatest strength are their amazing sound quality – so much so that they can also be a superb speaker for TV and movie viewing, not just listening to music.

An added bonus is that a recent firmware update also brings Dolby Atmos to the Apple TV / HomePod party, as well.

When the HomePod Mini went live last year, Apple also announced ‘Home Theater with Apple 4K’; whereby the original HomePod can be used to form an immersive surround sound experience, with virtual 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos all available.

You only get that surround sound action when you’re watching shows and movies from your Apple TV 4K, mind; you can’t just plug your HomePod directly into your TV and get Atmos action on everything.

But, with Apple TV now supporting pretty much all the major streaming services – Netflix, Prime, HBO, Disney+, Hulu and more – it’s a pretty compelling offering

The new feature is only possible on the original HomePod as it boasts an array of seven beamforming tweeters; the Mini just has two.

However, that doesn’t mean Mini owners miss out completely. As long as you own a third-generation Apple TV or later, you can pair any HomePod – full size or Mini – via AirPlay and use it as your TV speaker.

Got a couple of HomePods? Lucky you, you can pair them up for some stereo magic on both the Atmos and non-Atmos setups.

Here’s how to do it.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

How to pair HomePod with your Apple TV

To get the HomePod and Apple TV set up, first ensure they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network. This is because we’re going to be connecting them over Apple’s wireless protocol, AirPlay.

Also make sure that the Apple TV’s AirPlay is on, by heading to Settings and tapping on AirPlay. Here you’ll be able to enable it (if it’s not already) and set network access rules.

Be sure to set the HomePod into the same room, within the Apple Home app, as the Apple TV that you’ll be using it with and, if you want to use a pair of HomePods, you’ll need to have already created a HomePod stereo pair in the Home app before moving onto the next steps.

Now we want to get the HomePod connected.

If it’s the original HomePod and you’ve done all the above, you’ll see a popup appear on your Apple TV’s display asking if you want to “Use HomePod as TV Speakers?”

Select Use as TV Speakers to turn on home cinema audio.

If you don’t get the automatic popup, or you’re using Minis then you’ll have to manually configure your Apple smart speakers for TV use:

  1. On the Apple TV, go to Settings and then Video and Audio.
  2. Scroll down to find Audio Output.
  3. In Audio Output, you should see a list of all the AirPlay speakers on the network. The HomePod will appear here. Select it and it should connect in a second or two.

Now, because AirPlay 2 flies beyond Apple’s own walls, you’ll be able to pair other speakers to the Apple TV here beyond the HomePod. Here’s a list of the best AirPlay 2 speakers.

There’s a faster way…

If you already know that AirPlay is active on your Apple TV, you can also bring up the audio menu by simply holding down the play/pause button when looking at the home screen. You won’t be able to access other audio settings, but it’s a quick way to pair or unpair a speaker.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

Apple TV HomePod setup: Considerations

All that said, there are some things to consider first. Did you already splash your kids’ college funds on an expensive TV Hi-Fi system?

If so, stick with it. The HomePod is a great speaker, but it wasn’t designed for TV use. Even with that Atmos-boost, it isn’t ever going to rival a dedicated TV speaker with Dolby Atmos, such as the Sonos Arc.

But if you’re currently watching your TV with the speakers that come built in, chances are the HomePod or the HomePod Mini is going to do a better job.

That may be particularly true if you’re living in a smaller house or apartment with less space for a bigger sound system. If you happen to keep your HomePod close to your TV – and own an Apple TV, of course – we recommend getting them paired up.

How to use the homepod with your apple tv

New options with the newest Apple TV 4K

The latest-gen 2021 Apple TV 4K box can actually stream all of your TV’s audio to a HomePod, even when you’re not using your Apple TV.

“With HDMI ARC or eARC turned on, your Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) can receive high-quality audio from a supported TV and then play that audio through your HomePod speakers,” reads the official Apple support guide.

  • Set up your HomePod speaker(s) as the default speaker for Apple TV.
  • Go to Settings >Video and Audio >Default Audio Output.
  • Make sure HomePod is selected.
  • Under Audio Return Channel (Beta), choose Play Television Audio.
  • Check that ARC or eARC is turned on.