homepod review

Current page: What's more, you don’t need to pump up the volume in order to get the HomePod singing. You’ll also need an Apple Music subscription if you want music that isn’t already in your personal library—Apple Music is currently the only streaming service the HomePod can rely on for voice control. He has been covering technology as a writer and editor since the days before mobile phones got smart. Instead, with AirPlay 2 your iOS device acts as a source, which slightly limits sound quality and reduces battery life. Owners can now seamlessly transfer music playback from an iPhone to the smart speaker, too. The HomePod’s global score reaches the average mark in our Speaker database, mainly because of noticeable bass distortions and resonances occurring from quiet to loud volumes.

I used it to call my parents and found the audio good and that they heard me without my having to yell or lean into the device. Instead, I’d like to focus on my conversations with Siri on the HomePod. Although it's generally for a higher price, Apple also tends to bring the most stylish designs and most reliable tech to us all. Depending on the audio content, the device delivers a rather inconsistent performance in the midrange frequencies. The sound being (more or less) identical all around the speaker, it cannot be stereo: therefore, there is no soundstage wideness. One other thing: We quickly discovered through testing that the HomePod leaves prominent white rings on unprotected wood, a potentially disastrous problem for owners of fine furniture. Even when the HomePod is placed close to a back wall, the sound around the room is pretty consistent right until you’re essentially standing at a right-angle to it. This is how all consumer tech should work today. Its glossy top, woven mesh wrapping, and soft silicone base all look and feel high quality—classic even. It does a lot of things right, but because it also has a long list of flaws, we don’t believe it’s the best smart speaker for most people. It’s most useful to think of the HomePod primarily as a high-performance wireless speaker that is voice controlled, and to consider its “smart” features as secondary. With the Apple HomePod, we're really reviewing two things at once: a premium speaker and a smart home hub.

I chose to do the latter and it worked like a charm. Apple announced the new HomePod Mini smart speaker, arriving in November. That's another issue that has now been addressed. The audio quality of the Apple HomePod is, to put it simply, premium. There’s no good reason to do this except that Apple is trying to herd HomePod users to Apple Music. This is a speaker that, between its cylindrical shape and seamless mesh fabric cover, is designed to blend into, rather than dominate, its surroundings. Actually, this part is mandatory. With just one device, I set up a scene called “I’m here,” and set it to turn on the light when I said, “I’m here.” It worked perfectly. That's not to say the Sonos One's sound quality isn't hugely clear and evocative – it thoroughly is – but there's just more power and depth from the HomePod. The result is that you’re regularly surprised and delighted by Siri’s choices, as you might be by the recommendations of a friend who knows the kind of stuff you're into. As intimated, the HomePod price isn't a cheap speaker – the price at launch was a weighty $349 / £319 / AU$499, and the speaker began shipping on February 9, 2018 in selected territories across the world.

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