If you have a HomePod - or if you are thinking of buying one - you might not realise that you can play various live radio stations on the speaker just by asking Siri.

Following a software update in October 2019 the speaker gained the ability to play radio stations provided by TuneIn radio, as well as various podcasts thanks to iHeartRadio.

You’ll be able to find all your favourite radio stations including (if you are in the UK):

  • Virgin Radio
  • Capital UK
  • Heart UK
  • Smooth UK
  • Kisstory
  • LBC UK
  • Radio X UK
  • Absolute 80s
  • Planet Rock
  • TalkSport
  • Absolute Radio 90s
  • Jazz FM
  • Mellow Magic

There are many more stations available. If you are looking for a local radio station peruse this list.

What you won’t find, yet, are the BBC Radio stations. Due to some sort of dispute with TuneIn Radio, the BBC Radio stations, including BBC Radio One, Radio 2, and BBC Radio 4 can’t be played (unless you stream them from your iPhone to your HomePod - we’ll discuss how to do that below).

Want to know what the next generation HomePod might offer? Read this.

How to get Siri to play a radio station

To play a radio station on the HomePod just say:

  • “Hey Siri, play [the name of the radio station]”

You can also request local versions of the various radio stations that have them, so, you could ask:

  • “Hey Siri, Play Heart Suffolk” and get the Suffolk version of that station, with its local news and traffic information.

What to do if HomePod won’t play a radio station

If you aren’t able to get the HomePod to play the radio station you want to listen to follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your iPhone has been updated to the latest version of iOS. The HomePod software that enables the playing of radio stations live will be installed as part of that update. You need to be running at least iOS 13.
  2. If you still aren’t able to play the radio station you want to check that it is included in TuneIn’s list of supported radio stations. Visit TuneIn.com - here you will find an overview of the radio stations on offer. You can also use the search field to find what you are looking for.
  3. If the radio station you want isn’t listed, you can still listen to it on your HomePod, but you will need to stream it from your iPhone. We’ll explain how to do so below.

How to listen to BBC Radio on HomePod

As we mentioned above, it’s not currently possible to ask Siri to play BBC Radio stations on the HomePod. This doesn’t mean that you can’t play BBC Radio on your HomePod though. Here’s what you need to do.

You can follow these same steps to play anything on your HomePod (anything you can play on your iPhone anyway).

  1. Download the BBC Sounds app from the App Store. (BBC Sounds replaced the iPlayer Radio app).
  2. You need to sign in or register to use the app. If you are already registered on the iPlayer app you should be ok to use the same login.
  3. Here you will find the various BBC Radio channels, including 1, 1Xtra, 2, and local BBC Radio stations. Even Ceebeebies radio is here. You can also find various Podcasts (right now the BBC has a Coronavirus Podcast, for example).
  4. Choose the station or podcast you want to play. It will start to play on your iPhone.
  5. At the bottom of the screen you should see a message: Connect to AirPlay. Tap on that.
  6. Tap on AirPlay and Bluetooth. Play Radio on HomePod
  7. Now you can choose to stream to the HomePod.

If you want to stream audio from any app follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Centre.
  2. Press and hold on the Music box (audio card icon).
  3. Tap on the AirPlay icon in the right corner.
  4. Choose your HomePod from the devices that appear.

Here's a run through of everything HomePod can do.