“I’ve been testing Apple’s new HomePod for the last week or so, and this is the first product review I’ve written that could be accurately summarized in the length of a tweet, and an old-school 140-character tweet at that: HomePod does exactly what Apple says it does, doesn’t do anything more than what Apple says it does, and costs $349,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “There.”

“If you have a room in your home or workspace where you would like to listen to music from Apple and/or podcasts, and you care about audio quality, you should absolutely consider HomePod,” Gruber writes. “Audio quality is what Apple is hanging HomePod’s hat on, and to my ears, they’ve nailed it… Apple claims two primary reasons for HomePod’s audio quality. First, an old-fashioned reason: high-quality hardware. Seven good tweeters arranged in a circle around the base, and one good woofer at the top. The second reason is decidedly, well, new-fashioned: dynamic features that adjust playback by analyzing both the music and the acoustics of the room.”

“What has impressed me most about HomePod’s performance in our kitchen is — somewhat amusingly given the name of the product it’s replacing — the lack of echo. I can say with certainty that HomePod’s hardware speakers are excellent for a $349 product,” Gruber writes. “I can’t prove that its dynamic “adjust to the acoustics of the room” features are making a significant difference, but I believe it. The lack of echo exceeds my expectations. The sound also seems more three-dimensional than seemingly should be possible for one small speaker.”

Tons more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, there’s only one* smart speaker for Apple Music members: HomePod.

*until inexplicably tardy Apple gets around to enabling multi-room and stereo pairing and, then, multiple HomePods will be the ticket!

The Independent reviews Apple’s HomePod: Exceptional audio quality, easy to use, and reliably accurate with spoken commands – February 7, 2018
‘What Hi-Fi?’ reviews Apple’s HomePod: The best-sounding smart speaker we’ve ever tested – by far – February 6, 2018
Ben Bajarin: You can’t unhear Apple’s HomePod – February 6, 2018
Inside Apple’s HomePod audio lab – February 6, 2018
Ten things nobody has told you about the Apple HomePod – February 6, 2018
TechCrunch reviews Apple’s HomePod: Easily the best sounding mainstream smart speaker ever – February 6, 2018
WSJ reviews Apple’s HomePod: Sounds far better than the popular smart speakers from Amazon, Google, and Sonos – February 6, 2018
CNET reviews Apple’s HomePod: Strong wireless speaker with awesome sound – February 6, 2018