“We’ve now spent a month with the Apple HomePod, the company’s first attack on the smart speaker market,” Carly Page writes for The Inquirer. “Unlike Apple’s rivals efforts, the Siri-powered speaker is focused less on the ‘smart’ and more on the ‘speaker’ side of things. Inside the HomePod, you’ll find a 4in Apple-built subwoofer and a seven tweeter array with precision acoustic horns and directional control. This, in short, means that Apple has its sights set more firmly on Sonos and Bose, than Amazon and Google.”

“Apple HomePod is, undeniably, a good-looking bit of kit,” Page writes. “The design is very typically ‘Apple’, to the point where the HomePod couldn’t be much more minimalist; its ‘seamless 3D mesh fabric’ exterior serving to remind you that the device is all about audio.”

“Siri itself needs a bit of work,” Page writes. “While the HomePod’s far-field microphone array means you can bark ‘Hey, Siri’ from another room and it’ll never fail to pick you up, it often struggles to understand what we’re asking for. Just the other day, barking ‘Hey Siri, play Awolnation’ resulted in the HomePod blasting a playlist of whale music. Most of the time, though, it works just fine.”

“Apple’s HomePod outclasses all the smart speakers we’ve used so far, and while we’re yet to pit it against the Google Home Max, it’s quickly seen our Google Home become redundant. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the HomePod is its ability to adapt to the space it’s placed in,” Page writes. “The Apple HomePod is, undoubtedly, the best speaker we’ve ever owned; it looks great, sounds fantastic and it packs one hell of a punch for a 7in-tall device.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is a great review as it’s emblematic of most HomePod reviews. Looks great, sounds fantastic; Siri needs work as does multi-room audio and stereo pairing, still.

SEE ALSO:
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Sound quality shootout: Apple HomePod vs. two Sonos Ones – March 16, 2018
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