“The smart speaker competition is getting fierce. Voice-powered digital assistants — Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri — appear in more standalone audio products every day, from tiny Dots and Minis to more expensive Echos, Homes and Maxes,” Ty Pendlebury and Steve Guttenberg write for CNET. “For people willing to pay extra for better sound quality, though, only a handful are worth considering. Two of the most important are made by Apple and Sonos.”

“Since the prices were in the same ballpark, we decided to compare how the stereo Sonos sounded compared to the single HomePod,” Pendlebury and Guttenberg write. “‘But wait!’ you say. ‘I heard HomePod can do stereo pairing too!’ Not quite yet, but it’s coming: Apple has pledged that stereo pairing and multi-room audio will be added to the HomePod via a future firmware update. However, an Apple spokesperson told me that the company still doesn’t have a specific timeframe on when these features will be added.”

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook’s Apple. A paragon of focus and timeliness.

“In our tests, Apple wins for microphone sensitivity, but Siri as a smart assistant is currently way behind the Alexa-powered Sonos One in pretty much every other area, including smart home device support and music service integration. The rest of this comparison is about sound quality,” Pendlebury and Guttenberg write. “At the current time, it’s pretty simple: buying two Sonos One speakers will give you even better sound than a single HomePod. Stereo brings the best music listening experience overall… As good as it sounds for a single speaker, a month after its debut it looks like Apple is still working out the HomePod’s kinks.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Shit or get off the pot, Apple.

How many hundreds of billions do Apple customers need to bestow in order for Apple to be able to make speakers capable of stereo paring?

Barclays: Apple’s AirPods sales continue to grow, HomePod sales have been ‘underwhelming’ – March 9, 2018
Apple HomePod: The audiophile perspective plus 8 1/2 hours of measurements; HomePod is 100% an audiophile-grade speaker – February 12, 2018
Apple’s HomePod is actually a steal at $349 – January 26, 2018
Digital Trends previews Apple’s HomePod: Impressive sound coupled with strong privacy – January 26, 2018
Hands on with Apple’s HomePod: Attractive, ultra-high-quality speaker, an excellent Siri ambassador – January 26, 2018
Apple’s HomePod, the iPod for your home – January 25, 2018
One hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker – January 25, 2018