Six HomeKit and AirPlay 2 Accessories Worth Checking Out

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last year, we shared a list of some of the best HomeKit products you can buy, which was quite popular with MacRumors readers, so we thought we'd follow it up.

    In our 2019 HomeKit video, we're featuring some more great HomeKit products, and we've added in some AirPlay 2 accessories as well.

    [*]Vizio TVs - HomeKit and AirPlay 2 support is coming to a bunch of TVs from Sony, LG, Vizio, and Samsung later this year, but Vizio has already rolled out support on some of its TVs in a beta capacity. If you have a recent M-Series or P-Series Vizio TV, you can try it out. AirPlay 2 lets you AirPlay content from your Apple devices right to the TV, and your TV will also show up in HomeKit. You can use the Home app and Siri commands to do things like change the volume, switch inputs, or turn the TV on or off.
    [*]Sonos Beam ($400) - The Sonos Beam is an AirPlay 2-enabled soundbar that's meant to be used with your TV, offering up impressive sound and allowing the same music to be played through other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in your home, like the Sonos One or the HomePod.
    [*]BlueSound Pulse Flex 2i Speakers ($300) - BlueSound's Pulse Flex 2i Speakers are AirPlay 2 enabled, so you can use them alongside other AirPlay 2 devices. AirPlay 2 lets you play music on multiple speakers throughout the home, for a whole home audio experience. These are more expensive than some other competing products like the Sonos One, but BlueSound promises superior sound.
    [*]Chamberlain myQ Garage Door Opener and Home Bridge ($142) - Chamberlain's MyQ Garage Door Opener is compatible with HomeKit, though depending on your setup, you may need an extra accessory. With HomeKit compatibility, you can ask Siri to open or close your garage door, and you can check to make sure it's closed for peace of mind. You can also use the MyQ app.
    [*]Hue Outdoor Light Strip ($70) - Hue recently introduced a whole range of outdoor lighting, including the Hue Outdoor Light Strip. It's similar to the indoor version, but with a great diffuse light and waterproofing so it can stay outside. It's flexible enough to go anywhere, but you can't cut this version. Hue lights can be turned millions of colors either with the Hue app, the Home app, or via Siri.
    [*]Hue Signe ($160 to $240) - Hue also makes other unique lighting products, like the Hue Signe table and lamps. They're HomeKit enabled like other Hue lights, and while they're really expensive for lamps, they're cool and can fit just about anywhere because they're basically upright LED bars with aluminum stands. We have the table lamp, and it's a nifty accent light.
    Have you used any of these HomeKit products, or have favorite HomeKit device we didn't mention? Let us know in the comments.

    Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

    Article Link: Six HomeKit and AirPlay 2 Accessories Worth Checking Out
  2. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
    MyQ is trash. Insignia is way cheaper, more compatibility and works flawlessly.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 25, 2019 ---
    You also forgot Schlage smart sense, AQARA products - all around cheapest and best products, Ikea smart plugs and lights
  3. squizzler macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2019
    You Kay
    Pairing up implies stereo, right?

    You can’t pair up Sonos Beam and HomePod - this article is inaccurate. You can play music through both simultaneously but only in mono.
  4. Beerstalker macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2011
    Peoria, IL
    I've been very happy with the Leviton Homekit switches I have installed, I'm surprised they aren't mentioned here more.

    I hadn't seen the Insignia garage door control, that has me very interested since I have a Genie opener that came out before MyQ. Should work fine for the attached garage in my house, but I'm guessing it won't work in my shed where the opener has separate open/close/stop buttons?
  5. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    I mean playing both simultaneously, not traditional pairing. I'll fix the article, sorry for any confusion.
  6. shaughn2328x macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014
    The insignia garage door opener is great! Works flawlessly every time. And costs about half of the price of MyQ...
  7. SMGreenfield macrumors member


    Nov 27, 2008
    Ellensburg, CA
    I’ve been researching the garage door thing. It seems as if Insignia has departed both the Apple Store AND Amazon. The recent reviews on MAY be an indication that Insignia has had real issues pushing out a promised firmware upgrade to solve numerous problems.
  8. jimothyGator macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    By the way, the MyQ home bridge sold on Amazon is marked up by about $20 over retail price. You’ll save money ordering directly from Chamberlain.
  9. shaughn2328x macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014

    Reviews on Best Buy still at 4 out of 5 stars... very glad I bought this
  10. Romeo_Nightfall macrumors 6502


    Aug 8, 2018
    my homekit isnt working for weeks now, chrome cast works fine - so why should i buy more homekit crap, when its useless?

    have no idea how to fix that ...
  11. Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Desperately waiting for a HomeKit video doorbell to arrive. Enough Hue and HomePods for us currently...
  12. Applebot1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2014
    Hi what’s the issue? I had a similar issue with all my Hue bulbs not responding in Home Kit. Have you changed networks recently?
  13. VARTV macrumors member


    Oct 25, 2014
    Virginia Beach, VA, USA
    This is what we did. Great thing is no issues with MyQ at all with HK...
  14. mdhwoods macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2008
    i 2nd the levition switches. i have a bunch. after the 1st firmware update they have worked very well. Very nice for the non tec savvy family members. They just work like normal switches. i have 10 switches, 2 three ways as well as a dimmer.
  15. backontwo macrumors newbie


    Feb 2, 2014
    MyQ works great for me. Why do you call it trash? What makes the Insignia better besides price? My opener is a Chamberlain too though.
  16. VARTV macrumors member


    Oct 25, 2014
    Virginia Beach, VA, USA
    We had Leviton rockers before going with their smart switches. They do behave differently. Turning the switch on with the old rockers, the top part would lay flat against the wall plate. The smart switches act more like buttons though both look almost the same. Since it was a different user experience and not exactly the same look, "I" decided just to do all of them as smart switches...
  17. deeddawg, Apr 26, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019

    deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Thanks for mentioning the Insignia garage door controller, that looks like what I've been hoping for as a retrofit to a couple garage door openers.

    I've had great success with the Leviton switches and dimmers. Love that I can set the default "on" level for the dimmer to something other than 100%, yet can still bump it up to 100% when desired.

    We also have had good experience with the Schlage deadbolt.

    Surprised they didn't mention the Honeywell Lyric Controller home security system and it's HomekKit compatibility.

    Or the Ecobee thermostat.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 26, 2019 ---
    Sincere curiosity - what do you anticipate Homekit integration would provide that existing video doorbell setups such as SkyBellHD or Ring don't provide?
  18. Mike MA, Apr 26, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019

    Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Fair enough, so my points are: I can use the Home app as well as access and though control all items from one centralized location instead of using dedicated apps. In addition out of the box integration with Control Center, 3D Touch quick actions, embedded Hey Siri support and using Apple TV as my main and only hub. Also I expect (no proof for that) higher quality and safety standards with the HomeKit certification which not only investigates software but also hardware components.
  19. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    While MyQ is not elegant (it really should be a single product) and overpriced, I am not going to put my trust in Best Buy (Insignia's owner) for continued support.
  20. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    But then MR wouldn't make a % of sales from the link they provide to Amazon.
  21. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Reasonable points.

    For what it's worth here's my experience / thoughts -- take it for what you will, just posting for sake of discussion and info sharing -- it is not my intention to argue or convince.

    I've had a SkybellHD for a couple years now, bought it before I ever started messing with HomeKit. I find my interaction with it to be nearly always reactive -- I respond to a popup alert that someone's at the door (either button press or motion-detect) which then opens the app and prompts to watch live. On the occasions where I want to view live or view an earlier captures, "Hey Siri Open Skybell" brings up the app directly, so I can keep it out of the way in an app folder.

    I haven't yet thought of any ways in which I would cause the SkybellHD to perform some sort of action like I do with unlocking my Schlage deadbolt or turning on/off a light. Though I guess it could be useful to have the SkybellHD trigger something like turning on a light or something, but have only just thought of that scenario so I guess it's not a big deal (to me). :)

    I see there's a homekit capable video doorbell supposed to come out this year, though the article is light on information. The one feature it mentions (Siri command to instantly stream live video) doesn't seem much different from what I can already do using Siri to open the SkybellHD app and tapping the prominent "Watch live" on-screen button. *shrug* We shall see.
  22. Mike MA, Apr 26, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019

    Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    As a bottom line, HomeKit support is just an added value to your already made day by day user experience which you get for free - namely a deeper integration and security. That’s my main point.

    What is of interest for me, can any of the mentioned doorbells also unlock doors remotely when you are on a different floor or cannot answer the door personally? I’m seeking this information quite some while now.
  23. Stryder541 macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2011
    Leviton Homekit switches are the best kept secret in wall switches and dimmers. Very well built, easy to use and completely reliable.
  24. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    This whole Home automation is still very much fragmented and few make it easy and stable.
    I am looking for a reliable system that integrates just about everything around the house without becoming too geeky, or having to put code in to a program.
    Integration into the switches I have is also a problem, here in Europe there are a few big brands of switches but few of them have Homekit support, the ones that have are ugly-not my taste.
    Looked into Z-wave, seems like one of the best ones, sadly to take full advantage of all features you have to be able to code, right now I have little time to do this.
    States to me is also important, by this I mean if there's a power outage (very rare here) it should not automatically return to on like the Philips Hue did before, I don't want it to be awakened by a full blast at night time.
    There's another problem with hue, switches, the regular in wall ones, they do not communicate and that's the whole issue with Hue, switch it of and turning it on turns it to full on, Z-wave does not have this problem, it's also better and more stable than Zigbee.

    I have a Nest Thermostat because I like the style of it, sadly it's now owned by Google for several reasons, one major issue is, there's no Homekit support, I think I know the reason....!!
    I also dislike the thing it operates on battery, thought it could survive a substantial time without being on a charger, it barely survives minutes, do I have a faulty one...?
  25. Volusia macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2016
    Central Florida

    I have the MyQ system and use it a Siri Shortcut that allows me to open or close via Siri. Works well for me.

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