How to choose which HomePod listens to you when using two or more

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How to choose which HomePod listens to you
It's easier than you think.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Are you constantly being ignored by the HomePod that’s closest to you when asking Siri for assistance? Sadly, Apple doesn’t make it completely obvious how to manually specify which HomePod listens to you when you’re using more than one. But it is possible — and super-simple.

We’ll show you how.

With HomePod mini now available — and significantly more affordable than its bigger brother at just $99 — you may now have more than one of Apple’s smart speakers sitting around your home. Maybe you already had two original HomePods set up in a stereo pair.

So, how do you decide which one listens to you when you’re interacting with Siri? Apple doesn’t let you decide during the setup process, and there’s no way to specify a primary HomePod in the Home app on iPhone and iPad. Instead, you can choose using a HomePod itself.

How to choose which HomePod listens to you

You may have already discovered that one of your HomePods automatically springs into action when you ask Siri for assistance. And that same HomePod will come alive every time you use the “Hey Siri” command, even if another HomePod is closest to you.

To change this, simple tap and hold on the top of the HomePod you want to use for Siri interactions. This will initiate Siri manually — without the need to use the “Hey Siri” command. Now ask Siri an arbitrary question, like “what’s the weather like today?” just to get it working.

From now on, this HomePod should be the one that listens whenever you say “Hey Siri.” To change this again in the future, just repeat the process on whichever HomePod you want to make your primary device.

It’s not completely perfect

Now, we must point out that this process isn’t completely solid. Many HomePod users report that although it works, HomePods have a tendency to randomly forget your choice and revert back to previous settings. When that happens, you’ll just need to repeat the same trick again.

We hope Apple eventually makes it easier to specify a primary HomePod — especially now that households are more likely to be using more than one Apple speaker with the cheaper HomePod mini on the market. In the meantime, this is the only way to choose which HomePod listens to you.