In a statement made to TechCrunch, Apple has announced that it will be discontinuing the larger HomePod. First announced at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in June of 2017 and later released in early 2018, the HomePod was characterized by great sound and a hobbled digital assistant in Siri. It’s competitors (not necessarily equals) were lower in price and had more capable digital assistants that were limited to controlling Homekit-approved smart devices. The larger HomePod could be paired with another for stereo sound but was never truly a home theater solution. Only until fairly recently, the HomePod would often forget the connection between Apple TV and the HomePod and the connection would need to be reestablished every time the ATV would be turned on. A pair can provide surround and Dolby Atmos when connected to Apple TV but then when the HomePod mini was announced, they were left out from the home theater experience even though they could be the perfect rear-surround satellite speaker set-up.
I am personally a big fan of the HomePod. The sound is exceptional from a relatively small footprint (No subwoofer needed when using a pair) and it makes sense to me as a subscriber to Apple Music. The only smart home device it does not work with is my Nest thermostat, but I have other smart assistants throughout the house to pick up Siri’s lack of support. I also use an Apple TV 4K for all of my TV needs; we use FuboTV for our traditional TV service as well as Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, Showtime Anywhere, ESPN+, and a number of other smaller streaming platforms (yes, I pay a lot for streaming services / TV). The Apple HomePod is currently $299.99 at Apple and other big box stores.