The Apple HomePod is a smart speaker loaded with many great features, however, accompanied by a pretty high price tag. So, the question is should you buy it or wait for Apple to release an affordable version? There are many great sounding smart speakers on the market that are much more affordable, but many people like this product because it’s integrated well into the Apple ecosystem.
In this article, we are going to review the Apple HomePod so that it can help you make a better and informed decision before you decide to purchase.
Features of Apple HomePod
HomePod synchronizes to a single Apple ID through an iOS device which allows you to use Siri’s Voice commands with your Apple HomePod smart speaker. You can tell Siri to read and send messages, play music, read the news, tell you the weather and so much more – and all unique to your Apple ID.
If you’re subscribed to Apple Music and want a high-quality speaker for streaming music, the HomePod is the smart speaker for you. You can use Siri’s voice commands to play music directly through Apple Music. Through Siri’s AI, it learns your music preferences and can help discover more music you’ll love. Additionally, Siri allows you to add songs to the playlist or iCloud Music Library, start radio stations based on artists or songs too, and can take feedback by simply saying “I love this” or “I don’t like this” in order to improve recommendations across all devices.
If you subscribe to another music or podcast streaming service, you can still stream music to HomePod, but you’ll need to do it through AirPlay. Additionally, if you’re a Windows PC or Android user, the HomePod doesn’t act as a Bluetooth speaker, so, unfortunately, you won’t be able to pair these devices.
Arguably the best feature of the HomePod is its premium sound quality, which can easily fill a room that lets you hear the clear separation between elements of a song. For example, hearing all of the elements that make up an EDM track or the reverberations from a bass guitar.
Compared to the Sonos One and Amazon Echo, the HomePod provides a much better listening experience that is clear, pleasant, and loud. In our review, the HomePod is at its best when you place it against a wall. This allows it to pull apart the sounds very well – with all elements coming through with amazing quality.
Apple HomePod Specifications
Apple HomePod is a beautifully-made device that’s designed to blend into its environment instead of sticking out in its surroundings.
The glossy top panel along with its uniformly Space Gray or white color looks great when the speaker is resting. This is where Siri appears as a colorful shifting ball when your hand or finger is pressed. When you play music, the “+” sign and the “-“symbols appear, which give your touchpoints to lower or raise the volume. When you tap the center of the device’s surface, it will play or pause, skip the track or go to the next or previous track.
The impressive components of the device are actually hidden beneath the acoustically transparent mesh of the device. Underneath, there are seven tweeters and six microphones, which are spaced evenly around the unit base. The woofer is on the top and fires upwards to reflect mid and bass frequency off the bottom of the glossy panel so that they are equally distributed around the device. The HomePod is also equipped with spatial awareness so it adapts to the environment to automatically provide the best sound quality. At the center of it all, the A8 Chip that orchestrates all of the audio innovations inside of the HomePod to give you the best listening experience, like real-time processing to maximize bass and minimize audio distortion.
Other specifications and features include:
- The voice command that HomePod detects is “Hey Siri”, just like on the iPhone
- The top of the HomePod allows you to play, pause or adjust the volume
- The top also shows you when Siri is listening to you through a wave of LED lights
- You can control smart home devices compatible with Home Kit
- You can ask basic questions. Apple says Siri on HomePod can help you with a timer, measurements, news, sports, weather, traffic, and other general information
- Wi-Fi 802.11ac enabled with “Minimal-Input/Minimum-Output and AirPlay 2
- Dimensions: 172x142mm
- Weight: 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg)
If you’re part of the Apple ecosystem already (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Music, etc) and are interested in a smart speaker primarily for playing music then the HomePod is the smart speaker for you! The Apple HomePod has far surpassed the sound quality of its competitors such as Sonos One and Amazon Echo, but it comes at a steep price relative to other features, such as Bluetooth functionality, which are present in most other competitors.
If you’re looking for more affordability and more Voice Assistant features, the HomePod might not be the best smart speaker for you. To learn more about other smart speakers on the market, check out our Editors Recommendations section below.
Buying the Apple HomePod
Did you enjoy our Apple HomePod Buying Guide? If so, read some of our other reviews to learn how to turn your home into a smart home.
- Echo Studio – Full Review
- Sonos One – A Stylish Voice Assistant Speaker
- Amazon Echo Plus – A Powerful Multi-tasker
- Sonos Play: 1 – A Great Speaker with Rich Sounds
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Read more about which product is right for you in our Buying Guides section