Apple HomePod - Things to know about the Wi-Fi speakers with Siri

Yolanda Curtis
June 14, 2017

On Monday, Apple announced its own stand-alone product to compete with Amazon's Echo and Google Home: the HomePod, which the company is promoting as a sort of sophisticated music speaker with Siri built in.

But while Amazon and Google have stressed the daily practicalities of the artificial intelligence assistants that run Echo and Home, Apple framed HomePod more as a music-listening platform, with practicalities like reminders and calendar almost an after thought. Amazon's senior VP of devices David Limp explained that he believes Alexa and Siri should be able to communicate with one another, while also pointing to the HomePod's price as an advantage for Amazon...

The speaker is created to deliver the "deepest and cleanest bass possible" with "low distortion", providing a "well-balanced smooth timbre". The Apple HomePod has been positioned as a smart speaker first, but interestingly the HomePod bears a lot in common with both the Amazon Echo and the Google Home.

Available in white or "space grey", the device has seven tweeters, a four-inch woofer, and will work with Apple Music, the company's streaming music service.

The tech giant confirmed the device would go on sale in December in the US, UK and Australia. Google is making huge strides forward in AI and natural language understanding, and of course knows more about you than Apple or Amazon, which helps with personalisation.

The HomePod's main weapon is sound quality.

Analyst Geoff Blaber from CCS Insight said these updates could be vital to Apple and the HomePod's success. The Home Pod is also being primarily pitched as a wireless music speaker, rather than an all encompassing digital assistant.

One major sticking point for consumers may be the HomePod's $350 price tag, which makes it twice as expensive as Amazon's Echo.

Hence, if you are looking for a top-notch home audio device, the new Apple HomePod is the way to go. Dubbed the HomePod, it's a Siri-powered speaker that will try to outshine its competitors in terms of audio quality. Do you like the idea that you could buy an Echo speaker that came with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant?

Smart speakers have oddly become something that many people want and need in their household.

You can turn off the microphone temporarily, too. Siri also moonlights on the HomePod as a "musicologist".

Apple has in several areas, including smartphones and music players, joined markets after entrenched rivals and ultimately dominated them. On the other hand, Google and Microsoft do work with third parties. Amazon's smart speaker is available in two versions - the full sized $180 (£145) Echo shown here, and a smaller, $50 (£40) version called the Echo Dot.

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