HomePod: The secure smart speaker that's big on music

HomePod: The secure smart speaker that's big on music

HomePod: The secure smart speaker that's big on music

Apple's * a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=4qIBr*sQYf8&subid=0&offerid=492045.1&type=10&tmpid=13127&RD_PARM1=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Fapple-homepod-space-gray%2F5902410.p%3FskuId%3D5902410%2526ref%3D212%2526loc%3D1%2526ksid%3D70204b84-5e71-40b0-b7bf-1484c27b595b%2526ksprof_id%3D401%2526ksaffcode%3Dpg269220%2526ksdevice%3Dc%2526lsft%3Dref%3A212%2Cloc%3A2%2526gclid%3DEAIaIQobChMI1Zr48NGW2QIVFVmGCh1pGQ-aEAYYASABEgIm_vD_BwE" *HomePod is $349 and available for purchase on February 9, but it looks like preorder supplies have run out, but that's always debatable.

The 6.8-inch tall HomePod uses an advanced algorithm that is touted to continuously analyse the music and tune the low frequencies dynamically.

In certain lighting, the shadows of the white model's sponge-like mesh netting appear somewhat worn.

For all the features and functionality, though, Siri still needs a lot of work. But chic it is - it's a sharp-looking piece of technology that'll look good on counters and shelves in the home.

Here's a comparison of both devices.

Single-user, multi-device support: HomePod should be able to act like an iPad and answer your iPhone's phone/FaceTime audio calls and texts if you authorize it to do so.

Inside, eight speakers are controlled by a powerful processor.

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With that in mind, I blasted the speaker in my family room and basement, as well as in a large USA TODAY photo studio and in an even more expansive, near-empty newsroom. A woofer with a custom amplifier sits near the top.

The speaker system in the HomePod is impressive, but you can get better for $350. You can't ask Siri to make a phone call. You can also sync up two for even richer surround sound. "It does more to make music sound better than any other speaker of this kind has ever done before, and it really, truly works". The playlist also serves as a message, with the title of each song spelling out a welcome to Sonos' new competitor. That's why the HomePod can not be configured with anything other than an iOS device.

If you don't already have favorite podcasts, mind, HomePod isn't so helpful. Like any smart speaker in the market, it's shaped like a dome, barely has a screen, and is meant to be a fixture in the house, be it in the living room, kitchen, or one's bedroom. HomePod is also able to integrate with Apple's Home app for iOS, letting you control HomeKit accessories such as light switches and garage door openers.

Perhaps the biggest issue stems from Siri's inability to recognize your voice apart from others. That can be turned off in settings.

"HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple", stated Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing in. But it could hinder adoption out of the gate.

What's clear is all three devices promise voice control, wireless streaming music, home automation, news and weather, Internet searching, lists and calendars and other productivity and information services.

HomePod is significantly more expensive than its smart speaker rivals, costing £319 compared to £74.99 for the Amazon Echo and £129 for the Google Home. The sound quality is tops and design is lovely, but with a heftier price tag, lack of partnerships with companies like Spotify and Uber, and Siri's inability to be truly useful right now, it's more of an Apple aspiration than a product ready for the prime time.

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