Apple HomePod Smart Home

What does a blue light on an Apple HomePod mean?

black portable speaker
Blues and tunes: find out what that light means

Whether you have the Apple HomePod Mini or the original HomePod, they feature a multi-coloured light on the top. This is often used to show the status of the device, but not even Apple reveals in its documentation what one particular colour indicates. So, what does a blue light mean on the Apple HomePod?

The blue light is only displayed on the original HomePod and, to understand what this status light means, you must appreciate one of its key features: the acoustic optimisation that it performs via spatial awareness.

Apple HomePod: What’s spatial awareness?

By comparing readings from internal and external microphones, Apple’s speaker dynamically responds to its environment. 

Basically, HomePod is “aware” of your room’s layout and optimises its audio output accordingly. If your HomePod is in the centre of the room, you’ll hear everything from everywhere. If it’s only a few feet from a wall on one side, it adjusts the sound and separates the music into direct (the speakers that face out) and ambient (the speakers that are close to the wall) beams.

In contrast, there is no spatial awareness in the HomePod Mini.

The HomePod needs to know when to re-evaluate its surroundings. Rather than doing this through a button or an app setting, it does so when it detects that the speaker has been moved. It appears to be based on it being tilted, which it detects through the on-board accelerometer on the A8 chip. That’s not all that’s in your HomePod though; you can find a full teardown by iFixit here.

Once it detects the tilt, it will start to perform acoustic optimisation again. The blue pulsing light means that this is taking place.

If you’re wondering what the other lights on your HomePod mean, we have a guide for that too!

About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.

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