We’ll have to wait till December to get our hands on the HomePod. If there is one pleasant surprise that Apple gave us this WWDC 2017 it is the announcement of the HomePod. Apple hasn’t taken any major step recently in the hardware segment. We already have Echo, Echo Dot, Google Home, and Sonos Play range ruling the market. Apple is pretty late for the party. But is it going to walk out with a trophy and give us a product that can be deemed “the future of home entertainment”?
Looking into the tech packed inside the cuboidal body:
- The superior audio technology of this speaker is engineered to perfection by Apple. This is responsible for the hi-fi sound performance.
- There is an array of 6 microphones which can help Siri pick up your commands precisely
- There is a mesh fabric which comes in white and space gray
- Weight – 5.5lb
- Dimensions – 6.8”x5.6”
- Amplifier packed along with a high-excursion woofer
- Direct beamforming technology
- Auto bass correction thanks to the low-frequency calibration
Say “hello” to the “new sound of home”
With an aim to introduce a breakthrough technology in home entertainment Apple has introduced the HomePod that is to be rolled out this December. Ability to stream songs from Apple Music, get updates from Siri, there’s so much more that a HomePod can do. So it is not just another speaker system for your home.
This is a brainy speaker that comes integrated with a powerful A8 chip. There are 7 “horn-loaded” tweeters packed in the mesh body. These are responsible for the even distribution of sound. The advanced beamforming capacity of the tweeters results in the output of more focused sound. The best part about the speaker is its spatial awareness. No matter how big or small the room is and no matter where in the room you place the speaker, you can be assured of immersive sound output. Looking for a deeper bass? This one comes with a powerful woofer and amplifier. The music analysis algorithm incorporated in the HomePod helps eliminate the distortion that is usually heard at lower frequencies.
A Smarter Siri:
Siri, all new and upgraded, is included in the HomePod and this is what makes the speaker even cooler. Ask Siri anything about the song that is currently being played. Would you like to know the name of the singer or any other detail? Siri can answer them all. You can also ask Siri to quickly brief you news updates for the day. Basically, you can do everything that you can do with Siri. The advanced signal processing algorithm allows the speaker to distinguish sound better. So, even when your song is playing at a loud volume, even when the HomePod is in a far corner of the room away, far from you, it would still be able to hear you, accurately! This makes HomePod easier to operate. If you are looking to add some extra distance to the sound output, you could easily connect another HomePod. It gets easily detected and connects to form an integrated system. And now that Siri is getting an upgrade and getting smarter it would be able to study your choices and preferences. So next time when you ask Siri to play a song you might end up hearing one of your favorites.
So, is it going to be a game changer?
Echo is smart. Echo dot is very portable and light. Google Home comes with Google Assistant. Google Assistant is smart and so is Alexa. So would Siri really overtake them all? Well, one thing we know now for sure is that like every other Apple product, HomePod is going to be pretty expensive. For the quoted $350, this one is definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum as we have Echo Dot for as low as $50 and Google Home at $120. In terms of price, HomePod would thus be facing a tight competition. The Sonos Play:3 is by far the most expensive one in the segment, available at $299.
Price is not the only area where the HomePod might have a tough time. The supported music services offered by HomePod is for now restricted to Apple Music. Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Sonos and Google Home all support multiple services. This makes music streaming so much more convenient. Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Napster, and almost every other service could be accessed with the others. But HomePod would not allow all these. This might be a turn off for most users.
So is HomePod the ultimate solution for home entertainment? The performance and the intelligence of Siri gives it brownie points. But given that you would get limited music services support for the price paid, we cannot really answer anything else about the speaker as of now. We would have to wait till December to get answers to all our questions.