6 June 2017, WWDC – The new Apple HomePod is a slick riposte to the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Now the question on everyone’s mind is ‘ What took them so long?’
At 17.2cm tall, the Apple HomePod wireless speaker is muscled by 7 horn-loaded tweeters facing outwards and and a high-excursion woofer that fires up – an unconventional design. It also features a glass LED-screen on top for volume and music controls.
The HomePod can also sense the acoustics of your room relative to its position and automatically adjust itself to give you the best audio performance. It also knows when you’ve added another HomePod, so that multiple rooms can be served at once.
The HomePod supports Siri and can serve as a powerful voice assistant, just like its rivals. It is perfectly synchronised with your Apple Music subscription and with Siri, giving you instant access to over 40 million songs – even learning your music preferences along the way.
With Apple Music, it can intelligently interpret your questions in context. For example, if you’re listening to a rock band, you can even ask questions like ‘Hey Siri, who is the guitarist?’ When Siri is activated, the familiar Siri waveform appears on the screen so that you’ll know that its listening.
It also works with Siri to bring you anything from News to Traffic Reports – at your command. The HomePod’s six-microphone array works in sync with special signal processing to ensure that it can hear you even while it’s playing music – even at full volume!
Whenever you prefer, Airplay 2 streaming lets you stream anything you want from your Apple devices to the HomePod.
The HomePod will retail for US$349 in White or Space Grey. It is available from December 2017 in the US, the UK and Australia, followed by the rest of the world.