Voice assistants are already here, Amazon has released a number of smart devices with Alexa support, and Google quickly followed suit. But, where is Apple? The iPhone manufacturer was probably the first to launch Siri’s assistant back in 2011, although Amazon and Google are now far ahead of the Apple. Here is TechOverall review column Apple HomePod.
What is Apple HomePod?
The home help market already has a large number of products, with third-party support and compatibility with various Internet networks.
Apple focuses not on innovation, but on improving its products and always does it better than anyone else. The company introduced HomePod: a Siri audio speaker and a high-quality sound that adapts to the surroundings.
Will Apple’s new smart HomePod speaker justify all expectations? I spent about a day with this column and decided to share my impressions.
Harmonious Appearance Apple HomePod
In Apple HomePod there is nothing special that would allocate a gadget among competitors. The Apple column is a neat 17 cm high cylinder with a diameter of 14 cm, which is comparable to the size of the Sonos One, but it is noticeably smaller than the massive Google Home Max.
HomePod is covered with an acoustic transparent cloth in the form of a mesh, which recalls Google’s new approach to hardware. The device does not look catchy in the eyes and easily fits into your home.
Apple HomePod Speaker Equipment
Smart HomePod is equipped with 7 high-frequency speakers, each of which has a tunable amplifier for even distribution of sound around the room. For deep bass, there is one woofer, which is located on top.
Inside the equipment is an array of 6 microphones, which is used not only for voice commands but also for detecting frequencies emanating from objects in the room. All this in combination with the A8 processor (the same chipset as in the iPhone 6), helps automatically adapt the system to the acoustic features of the room and adjust the high-quality sound in any space.
Sound Level and Quality of Apple HomePod
The sound level here is adjusted by two touch buttons on the top panel. Clicking on the touch panel on the top of the column activates Siri (or say “Hi Siri!”). When Siri listens to you, the top shimmers with different colors, which gives HomePod a futuristic look.
I listened to several songs of different genres, and HomePod sounded great, easily filling any room with music. The sound quality is beautifully warm with a pleasant, not overwhelming bass. I clearly defined where the vocal is playing, and where the instruments are. This system allocates each tool you can accurately hear the guitar, there is no crunchy sound that can be heard on more expensive high-end devices.
Very impressive is that Apple HomePod sounds wherever you are. Yes, the further you go, the quieter the sound becomes, but not much. It seems that the music follows our movement, and it sounds consistent.
I compared how music plays on Sonos One, Google Home Max, and Amazon Echo. HomePod was the best – with a bright, rich, balanced and consistent sound. Sonos One became the second, Max – the third, and Echo – the fourth column. However, you need to do more extensive testing to find out which system is really the best in all respects.
Commands and modes of operation
Apple says that HomePod can execute commands even when playing music – without having to scream to the entire room. I checked it out. The sensitivity of the six microphones is impressive. Siri’s assistant understood me, even when I whispered the commands from the other room, and also when the music played very loudly.
Apple HomePod has a multi-room playback mode, where you can include music on more than one HomePod. But, this function is not yet available from the box, and you can not combine two gadgets for the stereo effect until now – both of these parameters will be included in the nearest free update.
Siri Voice Assistant in HomePod
Disappointing is that you can not use voice commands to play music in any other streaming service other than Apple Music. Siri is the strength of HomePod, and although the new voice of the assistant sounds much more human, many of its functions do not correspond to competitive products.
All you need to configure is to bring the iPhone, iPad or iPod with the latest version of iOS to the Apple HomePod dynamics, and the pairing will happen automatically.
Personal notices are tied to one iCloud account. Anyone in your house can use Siri on a smart Apple column to play music or answer questions. But, only the owner of the account can send and receive messages. If your phone is not on the same Wi-Fi network, HomePod will not send messages, which is a good way to prevent information leakage when you are not at home.
A little disappointing here is the lack of multi-user support, but I hope this function is under development. Assistants Google and Alexa by voice can determine who is talking and switch accounts.
Use and management
The HomePod column will use all the data from your iCloud account, so all settings are available through a home application that you can use to manage HomeKit-enabled devices without any additional settings.
Here you can also install scenarios for smart homes that run devices and equipment. For example, saying “good morning” – turns on the coffee machine, open the blinds and turn on the light.
To listen to music using Siri, you need to use the Apple Music service (a free trial version will be offered). Technically, here you can play music from any other streaming services, including Spotify, but you’ll have to use the AirPlay application on your phone.
Apple HomePod is Safe and Confidential
Security and privacy are at the core of Apple HomePod, Apple’s software and services. Siri listens to you locally, and then all requests are encrypted before they reach the Apple services.
Your data is also anonymized via the privacy method that is used on the iPhone, so requests are not tied to the iCloud account. This is a strong advantage of Apple over competitors Amazon and Google.
Apple HomePod is available at $ 350, which is cheaper than Google Home Max and some other stupid speakers. This is the best smart speaker on the market at the moment, which easily competes with gadgets, cost significantly more. To use HomePod, you’ll need a device running on iOS, so the Apple column is right for the fans of the brand.
Compared with the devices of competitors, you yourself will understand that it has a very fair price. I absolutely do not hesitate to recommend you to buy it, or maybe even two, because the update, which will soon be released, will allow you to launch them in stereo.
I already heard how the two HomePods work together, their sound was epic. Apple HomePod is an excellent smart speaker, which is easy to manage through voice commands from anywhere in the room, and it’s the best audio wireless speaker on the market. The excellent sound quality, which fills the entire space in the room, gives a sense of presence at a live concert.
If you like smart devices, and also enjoy spending time enjoying your favorite home songs, then this gadget is created for you.
Also Check: Find Lost AirPods
Advantages of Apple HomePod
- Great design
- Brilliant sound
- Easy setup
- Easy control
Disadvantages of HomePod
- No multi-user support
- It is not possible to use Siri for third-party music streaming services