If you have a HomePod or HomePod mini as well as an Apple TV, it only makes sense to pair them up for immersive sound. Here’s how to make that happen.
One great use for Apple’s HomePod is to use the smart speaker with your Apple TV. You can quickly and easily set one or two HomePod speakers as your default audio output.
With the right configuration, you can even enjoy Dolby Atmos support through the speakers. Let’s walk you through how to pair a HomePod to Apple TV.
Why Should You Pair a HomePod to Apple TV?
While you could pair your Apple TV with other detached speakers, such as Bluetooth, there is a distinct advantage to using a HomePod instead. Other speakers may support AirPlay 2 for latency-free audio, but Apple TV will only offer a true home theater sound experience using HomePod speakers.
When you set your HomePod as the default audio output, this also allows all the sounds from your Apple TV, whether they’re navigation clicks or audio from games, to go straight to your HomePod speakers. No more navigating menus to change the audio output.
Setting Your HomePod as Default Audio on Apple TV
If you have a single HomePod or HomePod mini you want to use for your Apple TV audio, the process is simple.
Assign Your Devices to the Same Room
First, make sure your HomePod and Apple TV are assigned to the same room in the Home app. To do this:
- On your iPhone, open the Home app.
- Tap and hold the HomePod.
- Scroll down past Alarms and Timers to the HomePod’s settings—you’ll see Room, and can change the assigned room there.
- On your Apple TV, go to Settings > AirPlay & HomeKit > Home, and make sure the device is assigned to the same room.
Pair Your HomePod to an Apple TV
Once you’ve made sure all devices are assigned to the same room, you can pair your HomePod to your Apple TV. If you reboot Apple TV, it may offer to pair the smart speaker for you. If not, don’t worry. There’s a manual way to do it:
- On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Video & Audio > Audio Output.
- Under Default Audio Output, select the HomePod or HomePod mini you want to use.
Using Your iPhone or iPad to Pair a HomePod to an Apple TV
If you want to use your iPhone or iPad to pair your HomePod to an Apple TV:
- In the Home app, tap and hold your Apple TV until the controls appear.
- Scroll down until you see Default Audio Output, and tap it.
- Choose the HomePod you want for your default audio.
This will get a single HomePod or HomePod mini configured as your speaker for Apple TV. If you have two smart speakers, there’s even more you can do.
Create a Stereo Pair for Surround Sound
Two HomePod or HomePod mini speakers can pair together for even richer, more immersive sound. In fact, if you have a pair of the original, larger HomePod speakers, you’ll even get Dolby Atmos support. HomePod mini, unfortunately, doesn’t support Dolby Atmos.
First, you’ll create the stereo pair:
- Be sure both HomePod devices are assigned to the same room.
- From the Home app on your iPhone, tap and hold one of the HomePod speakers to access its controls.
- Tap Create Stereo Pair.
- Choose the second HomePod speaker for the pair.
- Tap each HomePod icon to make sure left and right are set correctly. If not, tap the swap button.
- Once finished, tap Back and then close the controls using the X in the top right corner.
Now you can set the Stereo Pair as your default audio in Apple TV, as shown above.
Using HomePod with ARC TVs
If your television supports Audio Return Channel, also known as ARC or eARC, you can configure your HomePod speakers to play all audio from the TV and its inputs through them.
- In Settings on your Apple TV, choose Settings > Video & Audio > Audio Output.
- Just below the Default Audio Output options, you’ll see Audio Return Channel.
- Just below that heading, select Play Television Audio.
- Your TV screen will go black for a moment.
- When it turns back on, the Play Television Audio option should say On.
That’s all there is to it. As long as you’ve used an HDMI port and cable that supports the ARC standard, all of your television’s audio will route to the HomePod speaker or speakers.
Make the Most of Your Home Entertainment Devices
There’s plenty more you can do with HomePod speakers and your Apple TV. Whether it’s controlling the power and volume of your TV or pairing a Bluetooth keyboard for easier typing, you’ll find the latest Apple TV very capable.
Don’t forget to check out our other tips and tricks for using the Apple TV, either.