With the success of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, it comes as no surprise that Apple has unveiled their own smart speaker that integrates Siri.
The Homepod has the same dumpy cylinder shape as Google Home, but it covered in a woven speaker grill style mesh. It is much more attractive than the Echo, but in my opinion, less so than Google Home.
It's powered by Apple's A8 processor, just like the iPhone. HomePod features “real-time acoustic modelling,” which allows it to tweak music to suit its environment.
Apple is keen to push this as a premium audio product compared to its rivals, and initial impressions are that it sounds very good for its size. Part of this premium audio aspect is being able to use Siri as a “musicologist” that will help you find new tunes on Apple Music. You can also tell Siri you like a certain song, and it'll remember your tastes. What's most unique is that you'll be able to ask Siri specific questions like, “Who's the guitarist on this song?”
While they are late to the game it does appear that the focus on music is differentiating themselves compared to the rivals. Unfortunately, premium audio means a premium cost. HomePod is coming in December for $349, which is significantly more than the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos Play:3. No word on UK pricing but it is normally around the same in pounds as dollars nowadays.
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