Remember how we were all making guesses about Apple’s take on the smart speaker industry? At one point, we even renamed the new device as the Siri Speaker. Well, good news. Apple has finally unveiled its own version of the smart speaker; however the name is quite different to what we originally speculated. Meet the HomePod – a wireless smart speaker that is all set to challenge its number one competitor, the Amazon Echo.
Apple announced the HomePod in the WWDC yesterday and it definitely made our heads turn. This new smart speaker incorporates Siri as its virtual assistant and according to Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, promises to “reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes.”
As far as the specs of the HomePod are concerned, the smart speaker packs the Apple-designed A8 chip with a high excursion 4-inch woofer system. What’s amazing about the HomePod is its seven-tweeter array of speakers. Compared to these specs, Amazon’s Echo speaker only has two speakers and a 2.5-inch woofer. The superior specifications of Apple’s smart speaker definitely gives us hope the device will offer a better sound system.
The HomePod is not only impressive in its sound system; it also includes some great features for the receiving end. Included in the design is a six-microphone array system that picks up commands efficiently. Like other Siri-supported devices, you can ask Siri to play your favorite music and act on other commands. Not only will Siri adhere to basic commands but the voice assistant will also be able to assess what the user prefers and automatically sort the playlist, making it a lot smarter in this respect than Amazon’s Alexa.
Apple’s smart speaker also has another feature that is unique to it – the room-sense technology. This technology enables the HomePod to sense where it is placed and adjust the sound quality accordingly. If a second HomePod is placed in the same room, the two devices can communicate with each other via AirPlay 2 to play music for the entire house instead of only one room.
Although Apple’s smart speakers offers incredible features that might arguably, surpass those offered by both Amazon and Google, the HomePod might not be very consumer-friendly. The speaker will be priced at a whopping US $340 which is much higher than other speakers in the market.
The HomePod is set to start shipping in December this year.