Apple HomePod Review: Excellent Sound Quality, while Siri Struggles at Smart
Unlike other companies that emphasize the artificial intelligence, Apple emphasizes that HomePod is first and foremost a loudspeaker capable of excellent sound quality and satisfying your musical pleasure, and secondly, it’s your voice smart assistant. Meanwhile, the much higher price than other mainstream smart speakers is also a clear sign that Apple differentiates itself from other brands.
The HomePod is powered by an Apple-designed A8 chip which is the most complex audio innovation in HomePod. The unique array of seven beamforming tweeters, each with its separate amplifier and transducer creating high-fidelity audio everywhere in the room consistently. There is also a total of seven microphones: six around the middle for Siri, and a seventh inside that measures the location of that woofer so Apple can precisely control the bass. HomePod uses an advanced algorithm that continuously analyzes the music and dynamically tunes the low frequencies for smooth and immersive sound.
HomePod only supports Apple Music, even Spotify which has many users is not supported. Of course, Apple said Apple Music already has over 45 million songs for users. However, there are many operations that Siri can’t achieve on the HomePod. For example, you can not set two alarm clocks at the same time. Although both Google and Amazon assistants can be used to control TV, HomePod does not support it.
Using HomePod as a TV speaker is very inconvenient. You can set up Apple TV with AirPlay, but when you play the music again, HomePod disconnects from Apple TV. What’s worse, HomePod’s Siri does not recognize different voices. If you click Yes at all of the settings, then anyone can ask the HomePod to send or read your text message.
A challenge, a chance?
Google, Amazon and Microsoft are all emphasizing the artificial intelligence driving smart speakers. For example, Google Assistant is actually the core of Google Home. Google Home is just a concrete manifestation of Google Assistant. Based on Google’s massive search data and many years of deep research in the field of artificial intelligence, Google Assistant already in a leading position, whether the accuracy of voice recognition or the ability to achieve the function.
Alexa also has a unique advantage, it will provide more imagine space in the user shopping experience in the future based on the absolute superiority of Amazon. In contrast, Apple HomePod is still Apple’s traditional hardware product. Apple HomePod sells for 349 dollars, while Google Home and Amazon Echo are priced at 129 dollars and 179 dollars respectively. The higher price of HomePod is reflected in the stronger hardware configuration, design and the brand premium. Despite the HomePod is expensive and comes out too late, there is a chance to get a place.