If you own an Apple TV as well as a HomePod, you can integrate these two devices and reach a whole new level of audio experience. More precisely, you can now turn your HomePod into a soundbar, creating an immersive audio experience that supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital 7.1, and Dolby Digital 5.1. Let’s see how you can connect your HomePod to Apple TV and set up home theater audio.
Here’s What You Need for Apple’s “Home Theater Audio”
This feature (introduced in tvOS 14.2) requires you to have a group of compatible devices. Therefore, before we jump into our step-by-step guide, here’s what you need for Apple’s home theater audio experience.
- Apple TV 4K, running the latest version of tvOS.
- Single HomePod or a pair of HomePod speakers. Your smart speaker(s) must be running the latest software available as well.
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch updated to the latest version of iOS.
Note that HomePod Mini speakers don’t support this feature. The same applies to any other speaker that supports AirPlay 2. In other words, you can only use Apple’s (standard) HomePod to set up home heater audio.
Make Sure Your Devices Are in the Same Room
Your Apple TV and HomePod should be in the same room (physically). However, it’s also crucial to mention that those devices should be in the same “room” in your Home app, too. Make sure to do the following:
1. Launch the Home app on your iPhone. Make sure the “Home” tab is active in the bottom-left corner. You should see an overview of all your smart devices at this point.
2. Press and hold the Apple TV icon until a new panel appears. Scroll down until you see your Apple TV’s settings (or tap on the cogwheel icon in the bottom-right corner). Tap on “Room” and make sure to select “Living Room,” or whatever is applicable for your specific use case.
3. Repeat the steps above for your HomePod. Press and hold the HomePod icon until a pop-up window appears. Scroll down, tap on “Room,” and pick the room you selected moments ago.
That’s it – you’ve now grouped your Apple TV and HomePod, so let’s proceed to the next step.
Create a HomePod Stereo Pair (Optional – If You Have Two Speakers)
Those of you who own two HomePod speakers will need to create a “stereo pair.” You need to group those two devices using the Home app (so that they can act as one), as explained below.
1. Launch the Home app on your iPhone. Make sure the “Home” tab is active in the bottom-left corner. Also make sure that your two HomePod speakers are in the same room (in the Home app, as explained above).
2. At this moment you should see two HomePod speakers on your screen. Press and hold on either of those two icons until a new window appears. Swipe until you reveal a list of options.
3. Tap “Use as Stereo Pair” or “Create Stereo Pair” (depending on the version of iOS you’re running). Follow the on-screen instructions to finish this procedure.
Set Up Apple’s Home Theater Audio
Once you’re sure that everything is set, it’s time to finalize this procedure. Here’s how to enable home theater audio via your Apple TV.
1. Make sure you’re on the Home Screen of your Apple TV. From there, open the Settings app and select “Video and Audio.”
2. Scroll down until you see a group of settings called “Audio.” You need to select the “Default Audio Output” option. This will show you a list of possible audio outputs where you should see your HomePod.
3. Finally, go ahead and select your HomePod. It may take a few moments until your Apple TV switches its audio output. You’ll see a confirmation on your screen once it’s done. That’s it!
Apple’s home theater audio truly changes the way you experience movies and music. With that said, we’re more than sure you’re going to love this feature. If you’d like to learn more about using your Apple TV to its full extent, here’s how to wirelessly stream your Mac to a TV.
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