Back during WWDC 2017, Apple unveiled a new speaker for the home called: HomePod. This is Apple’s first take on the smart speaker space that has been heavily dominated by the likes of Amazon and Google. With the HomePod, Apple talked about the smartness of this speaker. This speaker has the ability to sense the room and location in that room it is in to delivery crisp sound.
The speaker packs an A8 processor chip. This is the same chip that is found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This processor is used to control, not only the ability to sense its location in a room, but to give it the smarts of Siri. The speaker is packed with technology and sound. It has 7 tweeters that surround the bottom of the HomePod. There are an array of microphones that surround the middle of the device. These microphones not only listen for you to invoke Siri, but to also measure the sound coming from the tweeters to know how to adjust the sound according to where it is in a room. Near the top of the speaker is a 4″ subwoofer that has a powerful motor that drives the diaphragm a full 20 mm. This allows for rich, deep bass that sounds great with most genres.
The speaker comes in either a white or a space grey color. Each speaker looks amazing. The speaker stands almost 7 inches tall and almost 5.5 inches wide. In comparison, the iPhone 8 Plus is 6.25 inches tall, and the Google Home is about 5.6 inches tall. When you hold the HomePod, it has some weight to it. You can tell that this speaker was built well. The top has three touch control areas. There is a + and – for the volume to the far left and right. In the center, is where you can access Siri, pause and play music, and skip forward and back tracks.
The setup of the speaker is very simple. Plug the speaker’s power cord into the wall, and then shortly you will see a pairing image appear on your iPhone. This pairing process is the same as the AirPods. The HomePod and AirPods have the W1 chipset built into them that makes pairing to iPhone’s a breeze. You will be asked some questions during the setup. These consist of: signing into your iTunes/App Store Account, list of some commands that Siri can help you with, and then the finalization of the Setup.
Once the setup is complete, the fun starts to begin. Listening to music on this speaker is amazing. The treble sounds crisp, and the bass is deep and rich. Listening to classic rock, country, hip-hip, and pop music all sound incredible on the speaker. I even threw my favorite genre, dub/techno, at this speaker and was still amazed what you can hear. There have been some songs that I have actually been able to pick up a few more instruments playing in the background. I sit between an high-end music listener and an audiophile. I want bass, but not a crazy amount of bass. I want treble, but I don’t want it crackling. I want to hear music clearly, but at the same time, very filling. Powerful.
The HomePod has settings of its own that you can access via the Home App. A 3D Touch on the HomePod within this App will give you the options that you can change in the image below. Also, you can access your HomePod’s serial number and software version on this page too.
I have had the pleasure to use the HomePod for two full days now, and I have been sold on this product. If you are an Apple user. If you use many parts of the Apple Ecosystem. If you are subscribed to Apple Music. This speaker is going to be wonders for you.
WIth a future update, the speaker will be able to be paired with another one to create stereo. You will then be able to have your Apple TV play your music and movies through the speakers. That will sound amazing. Also with a future update, you will be able to have multiple HomePods in your house that you can command to play the same song on. So you can have a speaker in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom all playing the same song so you get your entire house filled with music. Another trick you will be able to do is have one speaker playing one song while another speaker is playing another song. That will be great for parties to have different music playing in the living room and in the basement.
The HomePod may not be for everyone. The speaker can not be hooked up with standard bluetooth. If you do not have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and if your iOS device isn’t on the latest iOS 11.2.5, you will not be able to use this speaker. Also, having Apple’s Music subscription is a key factor to this speaker. Right now, other music services like Spotify, Pandora, and Google Music, do not have native support on the speaker. You can AirPlay the music from these Apps on your iPhone to your HomePod, however; you will not be able to ask Siri to start to play a playlist from Spotify. Apple has hinted at future support for the 3rd parties, but it is unclear on when this will be available.
Let me know if you have any questions about this speaker, and I will be happy to answer.
Below are some photos of my HomePod that is setup on my nightstand in my bedroom. Enjoy.