Released on WWDC 2017, HomePod, Apple's smart speaker in response to Google Home and Amazon Echo, is designed to "reinvent home music". Is HomePod really an revolution to smart speakers like Apple said? You'll have your own judgement after reading this post.
Sound Quality & Specs: It is All About Music
In the design of HomePod, sound quaility comes first. The Siri speaker is integrated with advanced audio technology inside its 6.8-inch high body to ensure the best music experience as possible.
At the bottom, there's an seven-tweeter array with each beamforming tweeter befitting with an individual driver, which helps to create "an immersive sense of space" that allows you to enjoy amazing sound no matter where you are in the room. Above the tweeters, there comes a six-microphone array to receive your commands to Siri responsively even with loud music playing. And for playing deep bass, the speaker is equipped with a high-excursion woofer with a custom amplifier on the top of the microphones. And By applying an advanced algorithm, the speaker can also change low frequencies to smooth, distortion-free sound.
HomePod also owes its high audio quality to its Apple-designed A8 chip. The chip, which was used in iPhone 6, seems too powerful for a speaker. And thanks to this powerful brain, HomePod can bring a better music playing experience with these features: playing stream music without buffering, delivering upmixing music of both direct and ambient audio, applying echo cancellation, making microphone to hear your commands over music, and modeling of the woofer mechanics.
And with spatial awareness technology, HomePod can detect the location that it is placed in the room and adjust the sound accordingly to fill every corner of the room with the same amazing music. You can enjoy music wherever you are and wherever the speaker is placed in the room.
Siri Inside: It is More Than Just Music
With Siri, HomePod can do more than just playing music. Here are some examples of using Siri in HomePod.
- Execute simple tasks. HomePod can send messages, get weather report/news, make calendar plan for you.
- Recommend songs. If you say something like "play more songs like this," "I like this song," Siri will remember the information and play music according to your taste.
- Search information about songs. If you want to know more about the song that is playing, just ask: "Hey Siri, who's singing?"
- Control HomeKit. HomePod also works with your HomeKit products. You can use HomePod to control the HomeKit devices in your home. Just say something like "Hey Siri, turn off the light."
And with your privacy in mind, HomePod won't listen to any of your conversation unless you say the word "Hey Siri." And the communication between HomePod and Apple servers are protected by anonymous ID and encryption.
HomePod VS Amazon Echo VS Google Home
HomePod will be released on December. And its price is $349. Despite of its high audio quality, its expensive price and lack of support for third-party music service like Spotify may daunt some of the customers. If you plan to get a new speaker, maybe you should compare HomePod with its competitors - Google Home and Amazon Echo first.