CNET: Apple’s HomePod offers superior sound quality vs. Amazon Echo and Sonos Play:3

“It may well have Siri’s smarts, but Apple wants you to know that the new HomePod speaker is all about great sound quality. It’s also about the promise of spatially-aware sound-projecting speakers,” Scott Stein writes for CNET. “That was my quick takeaway after getting to hear a quick demo of Apple’s new speaker in a controlled environment versus the $180 Amazon Echo (£150, US price converts to AU$240) and the $300 Sonos Play:3 (£300, AU$450).”

“HomePod puts vocals in a direct center channel, and beams ambient sounds around for what Apple says is a more omnidirectional music experience. I walked around, and it sounded good from multiple parts of the room,” Stein writes. “I also got try two HomePods at once, set up like stereo speakers. The HomePods combined to give a more surround-feel music experience. According to Apple, HomePod is aware of other HomePods in the room, and can dynamically adjust music accordingly for the best spatial sound.”

Apple's all-new HomePod
Apple’s all-new HomePod

“HomePod came off as bolder and more vivid than Sonos Play:3 in the experience I tried, and a lot better than Amazon Echo. I’d also say the music sounded consistently vivid and crisp in a quiet space, more so than the Sonos and Amazon comparisons on-hand,” Stein writes. “The HomePod is a big step up from Apple’s last speaker product (remember 2006’s Apple Hi-Fi?).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Superior.

Once they finally get something shipping in quantity, it’ll be fun to watch how quickly Apple takes the top end of the market away from Amazon’s Echo since Apple’s solution will certainly have unique advantages within Apple’s ecosystem that makes it the obvious choice for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch users. — MacDailyNews, May 10, 2017

More verdicts:

Apple’s new HomePod sounds incredible! – June 6, 2017
Apple HomePod takes on Amazon Echo – June 6, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012


      1. Some of us don’t *want* Apple Music, and if this device is intended to draw people into a music subscription it should be priced far lower. At the very least, I’d expect this device to accept my Airplay stream, whether it’s Pandora or my albums.

        1. Crapple Musik streams at 128k AAC which is a lossy format, so the pretense that it is in any way High Fidelity is just Bullshit plain and simple. Of course, if you have been listening to rap on a Beats headset you might think it is.

          The Bass driver is reported to be 4 inches and the production of solid Bass involves the movement of significant amounts of air as lower frequencies behave much differently than higher ones. The original Klipschorn actually uses the walls of the room as an extension of the folded horn that produces Bass. The human ear also perceives Bass differently- something Bose famously used with the Acoustimass Speaker Line well before most anyone else. Also factor in the case is small, which means the unit is either ported (sloppy bottom end) or sealed (tighter Bass but limited by the air in the enclosure). Either way, the quality of the Bass is not likely very high quality.

          The other reason to call Bullshit is that others writing on the subject said the display models were not fully functioning, so I would seriously doubt it is that highly representative of what ships.

  1. So…I showed this to my wife and she says, “That sounds awesome. But……..I’m not putting a roll of toilet paper in my living room.” AND NOW THAT’S ALL I CAN SEE.

    1. Doubtful, there will probably be some latency. Unless there is a optical input (like on the Sonos playbar) or hdmi input/output to be compatible with the newer Apple TV. Very unlikely.

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