How effective is a smoke detector if no one can hear it? The new Sound Recognition feature, available on all Apple HomePod intelligent speakers can be of help. Sound Recognition will send a notification to your phone if the speaker detects smoke or CO. The Home app allows you to check in and listen to what is happening wherever you are. Sound Recognition Alert opens up two-way communication between your iPhone and HomePod.
This useful safety feature is easy to activate and free. HomePods are a more affordable option if you own more than one. Smart smoke alarms will send out alerts when they sound, but cost up to four times as much.
The sound recognition feature is available on all HomePods including the Mini, the second-generation, and even the first-generation. Once enabled, speakers will listen continuously for unique signatures of smoke and/or CO detectors.
A critical alert notification appears on any iPad or iPhone associated with the Apple Home when an alarm is heard. By clicking on the alert, you can check in to hear what is happening at your home and speak with anyone who may be there. Siri will announce that someone has been listening on the HomePod. You will see the live view of the camera if you have one in the same room.
Apple claims that all audio processing is done on the speaker; no data is sent to the clouds. When you drop into the speaker, audio is encrypted from end to end.
How to activate this great safety feature in your Apple smart speaker
How to activate smoke and CO alarms on your HomePod
1/3When Sound Recognition is enabled, an alert will appear in the app Home. The feature was rolled out starting on April 18th.
You must have at least one Apple HomePod and have created a Home using Apple Home app to use Sound Recognition. The iPhone, and any devices associated with Home, must be running iOS 16.4 (or later) and have been upgraded to the Apple Home architecture. Here’s on how to upgrade. Follow these steps.
- Open the Home application. Open the Home app.
- Tap Continue, and Turn on.
- Sound Recognition is enabled on all of your HomePods. (Note: The feature may not be available on every HomePod instantly, it took a few days to populate the five smart speakers at my home).
- You can still access this feature if the prompt doesn’t appear, or if it was not turned on the first time. Click the menu icon at the top-left corner of your Home app screen. Scroll down the list of categories and select Security & Safety > Sound Recognition. Then toggle it on.
- Select Smoke & CO alarm on the next screen.
- Select the HomePod that you wish to use for listening to the sound. To do this, tap the toggle next to the name. You can select as many as you want.
How to disable the smoke and CO alarm monitoring on HomePod
1/2To disable this feature on a stereo pair or individual HomePods, scroll down to the Settings page and select Sound Recognition.
- Tap on the HomePod you want to disable quickly in the Home app.
- Scroll down and select the HomePod settings.
- To turn off the HomePod, tap Sound Recognition.
- To disable the sound on all speakers, you can toggle off Smoke & CO Alert under Sounds.