At its Worldwide Developer Conference in June , Apple has officially taken the wraps off of its oft-rumored speaker in the form of HomePod. The device acts as a standalone way for users to interact with Siri, play music, and more. Tim Cook touts this as Apple’s effort to “reinvent home music” just as it did with products like the iPad.HomePod is Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo, but with more of a focus on music and sound quality. HomePod includes impressive sound and also supports Siri commands.
To differentiate the HomePod from competing products like the Google Home and the Amazon Echo, Apple is focusing heavily on audio quality. HomePod is just under seven inches tall, but Apple has packed a lot of technology into the device’s body. It features a 7 tweeter array, with each tweeter outfitted with its own driver, and an Apple-designed 4-inch upward-facing woofer for crisp, clear, distortion free sound even at loud volumes.Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller Stated that “We think we can do a lot to make this experience much better. Just like we did with portable music, we want to reinvent home music.”
The internal components in HomePod are controlled by an A8 chip, making it much more powerful than competing smart speakers. HomePod is equipped with spatial awareness, allowing it to intelligently analyze a room and adjust accordingly for the best possible sound. Included touch controls allow for simple navigation. This time Apple has put a lot of its focus on the HomePod’s sound quality, citing the device’s Apple-designed woofer and “a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters” for improved acoustics.A big question for the new speaker, though, is whether Siri is good enough to power its own dedicated device. Siri was introduced as a feature in the iPhone 4S in 2011, three years before Amazon came out with Alexa and the Echo. But Apple has been slow to improve Siri’s voice-recognition technology and set of responses, especially compared with Alexa and Google Assistant. A smart speaker housing an underachieving voice assistant could weaken demand.