AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.
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.