How to Play Audio From Your Apple TV Through Your HomePod

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Even the best TV doesn’t have great built-in speakers. But if you own a HomePod and an Apple TV, you can connect them together to amp up the audio for everything you watch.

With two HomePods you can even create a stereo setup. This audio quality is bound to blow your TV speakers out of the water.

Related:

quick tips 2019Can I Use the Apple HomePod as a TV Speaker?

To use your HomePod as an external speaker for your TV, you also need an Apple TV (4th generation) or later. Swipe down on the Siri Remote to select your HomePod as the speaker for your TV audio.

How to Connect Your HomePod to Your Apple TV

If your HomePod doesn’t appear in the audio options already, you might need to connect it to your Apple TV through the settings. Use Apple’s website to identify your Apple TV and check you have a 4th generation device or later.

HomePod as audio output on Apple TV
Apple TV Audio Output settings showing HomePod option

On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Output. Pick your HomePod from the options; a checkmark appears when you select it.

Other Ways to Connect Your HomePod to Your Apple TV

Rather than going into the settings, you can also connect your Apple TV audio to your HomePod while watching something.

Press and hold the Play/Pause button on your Siri Remote to view your speaker choices. The checkmark your HomePod.Use Apple TV Siri remote to choose HomePod as speaker for Apple TV

Or swipe down from the top of the screen and scroll to the Speaker tab. Select your HomePod to play audio from your TV.

Apple TV speaker menu
Apple TV speaker options screen showing HomePod option

Connect Two HomePods to Your Apple TV as a Stereo Pair

With two HomePods, you can connect them both to your Apple TV to watch movies and TV shows with stereo sound. To do this, you first need to pair the HomePods together in Apple’s Home app.

You can use the Home app from an iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device:

  1. Open the Home app on your Apple device.
  2. Go to the Rooms tab and select your HomePods to make sure they’re both assigned to the same room.
  3. Tap and hold or double-click one of your HomePods, then select Settings > Create Stereo Pair.
  4. Select your second HomePod, then assign the left and right HomePods based on their position in the room.
  5. After you select Done, your HomePods should play audio in stereo.

Surprisingly, stereo HomePods might be quieter from your Apple TV. Go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format to fix it. Enable Change Format and select Stereo under New Format.

What If Apple TV is Not Connecting to Your HomePod

Sometimes you need help getting your Apple TV to automatically connect to the HomePod. It might disconnect every time you start watching something, or it might say “Unable to connect to room” when you select your HomePod.

Either way, you can fix these issues—and many more—using the steps laid out below. Let us know how you get on in the comments or contact Apple directly if you need one-to-one support.

Step 1. Restart Your Apple TV and HomePod

The best trick for fixing any HomePod or Apple TV problem is to restart and unplug both devices. Try this before anything else because it’s the simplest and most effective solution for the majority of problems.

The HomePod is designed to always stay powered on, letting you make good use of Siri. There is an option to restart your HomePod from the Home app, but you should unplug the power cord instead.

To power off your Apple TV:

  1. Press and hold the TV button on the Siri Remote.
  2. In the Control Center, select Sleep.
  3. Wait for the light to go off on your Apple TV, then unplug the power cord.
Apple TV Control Center with Sleep button
Select Sleep from the Control Center.

To power off your HomePod:

  1. If your HomePod is updating the software, wait for it to finish.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the HomePod.
HomePod power cable unplugged
Unplug your HomePod to restart it. Image Credit: zollotech/YouTube

Wait at least 30 seconds after powering off your Apple TV and HomePod, then plug in the power cords and wait for them to turn on. You may need to return to your Apple TV settings to connect the HomePod again.

Step 2. Connect Your Apple TV and HomePod to the Same Network

Double-check that both your Apple TV and HomePod are connected to the same network. If your router has both a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz signal, connect both devices to the same frequency.

Since your HomePod connects to the same network as a connected iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device, you might need to use the Home app to change your HomePod’s network.

To check the Wi-Fi network on your Apple TV:

  1. Go to Settings > Network > Wi-Fi.
  2. Choose the network you want to connect to from the list.
Apple TV Wi-Fi setting
Choose the same Wi-Fi network as your HomePod.

To check the Wi-Fi network on your HomePod:

  1. Open the Home app from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  2. Tap and hold or double-click the HomePod, then select the Settings icon.
  3. Scroll down to the section listing the serial number, model, etc.
  4. Tap WiFi Address to see which network your HomePod connects to by default. HomePod settings for wifi

Change Wi-Fi networks on HomePod

  1. Open the Home app on your connected Apple device.
  2. Tap and hold or double-click the HomePod, then select Settings.
  3. Scroll down to Wi-Fi Address and tap it to see the Wi-Fi Network that HomePod is connected to
  4. If it’s on a different Wi-Fi network than your Apple TV, you might see a message to Move HomePod to [Your Wi-Fi Network]–if so, tap that message move homepod wifi network
  5. When you don’t see that message, the only current way to change the HomePod’s WiFi network is to reset your homepod by tapping the homepod settings option to Reset HomePod

If you are still unable to connect your homepod to your Apple TV with the same WiFi network, try using a different router to create your Wi-Fi network.

Step 3. Allow Anyone to Use Your HomePod

Change your Speaker and TV access in the Home app, in case it’s restricting the connection between your Apple TV and HomePod. You can do this from a connected iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device.

To change your Speaker and TV access:

  1. Open the Home app on your Apple device.
  2. On an iOS or iPadOS device: Tap the Home icon in the top-left corner, then tap Home Settings.
  3. On a Mac: Go to Edit > Edit Home from the menu bar.
  4. Select Allow Speaker & TV Access and choose to allow access for Anyone On the Same Network.
Allow TV & Speaker Access to Anyone On the Same Network Home app settings
You can also choose to require a password from people.

Step 4. Update the Software on Your Apple TV and HomePod

Problems with the software on your Apple TV or HomePod might explain why they aren’t connecting properly. Usually, Apple releases new software updates to fix software bugs like this, which is why you should update your devices.

To update your Apple TV:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Software Updates.
  2. Select the Update Software button to check for new tvOS updates.
Apple TV Software Update button
Update to the latest version of tvOS.

To update your HomePod:

  1. First, update your connected iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device.
  2. Then open the Home app on your Apple device.
  3. On an iOS or iPadOS device: Tap the Home icon in the top-left corner, then tap Home Settings.
  4. On a Mac: Go to Edit > Edit Home from the menu bar.
  5. Select Software Update to find and install new updates.

how to update Apple homepod software

Step 5. Reset Your Apple TV and HomePod to Factory Settings

If you still can’t play audio from your Apple TV through your HomePod, reset both devices to factory settings and try connecting them again. This fixes common problems with corrupt data or settings on your device.

When you reset your Apple TV, it erases any apps and media you downloaded to it. Before resetting it, find out how to transfer data from one Apple TV to another.

To reset your Apple TV:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Reset.
  2. Choose to Reset and Update your Apple TV.
Apple TV Reset and Update options from Settings
Erase your Apple TV using the Reset option in System Settings.

To reset your HomePod:

  1. Open the Home app on your Apple device.
  2. Tap and hold or double-click your HomePod, then select Settings.
  3. Select Reset HomePod or Remove Accessory at the bottom of the screen (wording depends on iOS version)
Remove Accessory option from Home app on iOS
Tap Remove Accessory from the bottom of the HomePod settings.

If that doesn’t work, you can also use these steps to reset your HomePod:

  1. Unplug the HomePod.
  2. Wait 5 seconds, then plug it in again.
  3. Wait another 5 seconds, then touch and hold the top of the HomePod.
  4. Keep holding the top of the HomePod until you hear three beeps after a spinning red light appears and the HomePod says it is resetting. HomePod Not Showing Up or Unavailable in Home App?

Consider Replacing Your HomePod With a Sonos

All of this seems a lot of work to connect your HomePod as an external TV speaker. That might be because Apple didn’t design it with that purpose in mind.

Consider replacing your HomePod with a Sonos, which may be easier to connect with your TV, whether you own an Apple TV or not.

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