“Consumers are showing more interest in Apple’s Siri-powered HomePod speaker than they did in the Apple Watch when that product debuted, according to new data from Raymond James,” Todd Haselton reports for CNBC. “This suggests the HomePod will be a smash hit this holiday season.”
“According to a research note published by Raymond James on Friday, 14 percent of iPhone owners plan to buy a HomePod. When the company did a similar survey ahead of the Apple Watch launch, just 6 percent of iPhone owners were interested in buying Apple’s first wearable,” Haselton reports. “While Apple still hasn’t revealed quarterly sales numbers for the Apple Watch, the company’s ‘other products’ category, which includes the Apple Watch, Beats Speakers, AirPods and more, increased 31 percent year on year. Raymond James said it expects that growth to continue. HomePod could help the category.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As per Reddit user Arve:
1. They’re using some form of dynamic modeling, and likely also current sensing that allows them to have a p-p excursion of 20 mm in a 4″ driver. This is completely unheard of in the home market. You can read an introduction to the topic here. The practical upshot is that that 4″ driver can go louder than larger drivers, and with significantly less distortion. It’s also stuff you typically find in speakers with five-figure price tags (The Beolab 90 does this, and I also suspect that the Kii Three does). It’s a quantum leap over what a typical passive speaker does, and you don’t really even find it in higher-end powered speakers
2. The speaker uses six integrated beamforming microphones to probe the room dimensions, and alter its output so it sounds its best wherever it is placed in the room. It’ll know how large the room is, and where in the room it is placed.
3. The room correction applied after probing its own position isn’t simplistic DSP of frequency response, as the speaker has seven drivers that are used to create a beamforming speaker array,. so they can direct specific sound in specific directions. The only other speakers that do this is the Beolab 90, and Lexicon SL-1. The Beolab 90 is $85,000/pair, and no price tag is set for the Lexicon, but the expectation in the industry is “astronomical”.
So yes, compared to the typical sub-$2000 speaker, the technology they apply may just as well be considered “magic”.
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