Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
At this point, your HomePod will begin listening for the sirens from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors nearby to alert you if one goes off.
Since the update was just rolled out, Apple has placed a shortcut in the Home app to easily turn on Sound Recognition. You can do this by opening the Home app and clicking on Continue within the alert for New Safety & SecurityFeatures. Then, tap Turn On.
What happens if a smoke alarm is triggered near my HomePod?
The HomePod will now work as a listener as well as a smart speaker. So, if a smoke or carbon monoxide detector is triggered, the device will recognize the unique sound of the siren and send you a notification to your iPhone or iPad. Once you receive the notification, you can open it and have the option to listen in through your HomePod to hear what is going on, and even stream the live feed from any compatible cameras nearby.
This feature doesn't work without a smoke or CO alarm, as the HomePod speakers do not contain smoke or CO detectors. The speakers are only able to listen to the siren nearby and react accordingly.
Does the first-generation HomePod support Sound Recognition?
Both the first-generation and second-generation HomePods should support the Sound Recognition feature, as well as the HomePod Mini.
Is the Sound Recognition feature free?
For all of Apple's HomePod devices, the Smoke & CO alarm sound recognition feature is completely free, simply an added update to the existing smart speakers' interface. Having the convenience of getting a real-time alert if one of these alarms is triggered while you're out is something people look for when selecting smart smoke detectors.
There are competitors that have their own versions of smoke and CO alarm listeners with a monthly fee, like one from Ring Alarm, which works with a Ring Protect subscription, and Amazon's Echo speakers, which can be enabled with an Alexa Guard Plus plan.