Due for initial release sometime in early 2018, Apple’s new smart speaker HomePod promises to provide clear, carrying sound despite its small size. It utilizes spacial awareness to map out the right sound for each room and communicates with the intelligent assistant to function as much more than a typical speaker.
Users can buy the 7-inch tall device in either white or space grey for $349 a pop. But is the HomePod worth the steep price? Read ahead to find out what the high cost goes toward.
As soon as first-time users turn on their new smart speaker, it will emit a broadcast of sound that travels through the room and automatically optimizes sound waves to bounce off the furniture, walls, and even people in it. Additionally, the device senses when other speakers are nearby, allowing them to work together to balance each other.
Wave iPhones, iPads, or other devices next to the speaker in order to pair them. The tech giant hasn’t yet announced if Androids will also work with the product, although hopefully, they will in the future.
Another step up from previous similar devices is the ability to give the HomePod direct commands and connect to Apple Music. To activate the intelligent assistant support, state, “Hey Siri”. After this point, users can apply the feature to ask for directions, send messages, add events to the calendar, and more– just like with other smart devices.
Siri’s functions in the speaker expand to noting music preferences and making recommendations. The assistant remembers simple commands like “Play songs like this,” or “Play something different” and learns which songs to play based on them. And with its connection to the popular streaming service, the speaker can access a huge library of music.
Using a combination of smart technology and six highly sensitive microphones, theHomePod recognizes voice commands even with music or other sounds in the room.
For those concerned about privacy, the wireless speaker will not start listening until the key phrase is spoken, and all conversation with the device will be safely encrypted.
Design and Sound Quality
Most potential customers hope that the state-of-the-art product will deliver a sound quality equal to its formidable cost. According to early listeners at its San Jose preview, the product delivers that for the most part.
The speaker’s 4-inch woofer faces the ceiling in order to ward off sound distortion, regardless of volume, and is powered by an extremely powerful engine, which gives the sound a rich layer of bass. Meanwhile, the 7 tweeters on the lower third of the speaker face out to create an all-around crisp and even sound.
An A8 chip, the very same as in iPhones, resides at the highest point of the HomePod. With all this processing capability, the speaker is able to buffer, get rid of echo, mix sound, and utilize a specially-designed algorithm to evaluate sound levels.
As mentioned, the smart speaker will initially roll out in at least the white and space grey colors, although other colors may be revealed as we near its release date. A mesh overlay in the aforementioned hues covers its barrel-shaped body, with a visible waveform LED at the top.
The wireless speaker’s exact measurements are 6.8 inches tall by 5.6 inches wide, and its sleek design only visibly hosts the LED and simplified touch controls.
Apple unknowingly released some information about the new device in its recent firmware reveal. Based on this, we know that the HomePod operates under a complete iOS, making it comparable to an iPhone in a new body.
Also, similarly to other smart devices, the wireless speaker functions as a hub for HomeKit, which enables users to handle connected devices remotely. The device appears to be on par with other smart technologies based on features, with the addition of a highly advanced, 360 degree sound projection.
Most who heard the HomePod in action at its preview said that it crushed its competitors in terms of quality, contrast, and room-filling ability. The wireless speaker certainly seems promising, but we will have to wait until 2018 to find out if the other features live up to the hype.
What do you think of the HomePod? Is it a speaker you would want and do you think it’s worth the price? Leave your comments below.