HomePod: Apple’s music-centric answer to the Google Home is here

Posted:  June 6, 2017   By:    10 comments   


Wow, Apple‘s doing it again. They’re taking yet another stab at reinventing the way we listen to music with a home speaker that they’re calling the….HomePod.

Hmm, we’re not too sure how we feel about that name, but the specs do seem enticing.

HomePod is the rumoured Siri Speaker that we’ve been hearing about recently, but instead of focusing on being a “home assistant” Apple’s more concerned about audio quality and music playback. It’s also designed to work with Apple Music, giving you access to over 40 million songs and all your playlists.

First up, it’s powered by an Apple A8 processor — yup the very same one you’d find in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. This processor acts as the brain of the device and can do a whole bunch of cull stuff with the audio including real-time acoustic monitoring, audio beam forming and multi-channel echo cancellation. This processor also allows the speaker to be spatially aware so the moment you set up the HomePod, it will automatically scan the room you’re in and adjust the audio accordingly.

Speaking of speakers, the HomePod utilises a 7-array beam-forming tweeter with precision acoustic horns and directional audio control. It’s also got a 4-inch upward facing woofer designed by Apple which has automatic bass equalisation and is free from distortion. This allows the HomePod to detect the different layers that make up a full mix in a song, separating vocals, ambient audio and direct energy from the instrumentation.

It also has a 6-microphone array so you can talk to it by saying the keyword “Hey Siri”. Yep, HomePod also has Siri built-in as your own personal musicologist. Apple says that the team has worked hard to make sure Siri is well-versed in contextual music understanding so you can ask it stuff like “who is singing”, play a certain song or even ask Siri to play something new.

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Just because it’s focused on music, doesn’t mean that Siri in the HomePod is super limited in its assistant-like features. Apple has also included a bunch of commands that you can tell Siri in HomePod to do like set reminders, get news, and even control your other HomeKit connected appliances, with more to come.

What’s more, Apple says that users can even speak to Siri in HomePod from across the room with loud music playing thanks to the sophisticated mic array. Anything you ask it will be locally recognised and all communication is encrypted. If you don’t say Hey Siri, the speaker will not send any audio to Apple.

HomePod won’t be shipping so soon, however, and will only go on sale in the UK, US and Australia starting December 2017. The rest of the world will come later. The 7-inch tall HomePod will come in two colours — White and Space Gray — and is priced at USD349 (around RM1,488).


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10 Comments for HomePod: Apple’s music-centric answer to the Google Home is here

lol

that price is a joke.

    RedBeanArmy

    The problem with you lots of lowly peasants are you would want everything to be priced to your affordability. Please wait for your Xiaomi knocked off version of this awesome piece of technology if you can't afford to own one because that's where you belong (even if you have to racked up a year or two loan for your xiaomi lol).

      lol

      please donate some money… Im poor… : (

    mahalsangat

    joke? compare to what?
    what’s a competing product that has similar functionalities?
    and with a powerful processor and Apple continue to develop Siri, this product is sure to get better and future proof.

    if there is no comparision, it is not expensive.

      lol

      Lol, bet u never heard amazon echo and google home, which are much better than this. In terms of accuracy and ease of use, alexa & google assistant left siri far behind. I didnt expect much from ppl who just feed on apple propaganda & cant accept the truth.

        mahalsangat

        Google home? that thing is a budget handphone packed in a cylinder can. and if you don’t mind Google selling your data and surfing behaviour…. go ahead and use it. frankly, they should be paying you.
        have a listen when this product is out. maybe you will change your mind.

          lol

          "that thing is a budget handphone packed in a cylinder can"
          Funny, when same thing can be said abt this home pod. If u care so much abt privacy, u don't use personal assistant in the first place & please don't act like u never use google services. Toxic fan like u love to spread ignorance instead of checking up facts. As expected from apple fanboy.

RedBeanArmy

Lowly peasants must know where they belong. Not everything in this world has to be tailored made for everybody. This beautiful piece of technology with so state of art engineering in it deserve to be owned by an owner who is well off in his life and able to take great care of it. Peasants gotta wait for knocked off china version because that's where you belong lowly creatures even if you have to racked up loan to buy that disguting xiaomi that you can afford.

    mey

    Every time, before you eat, remember that the food was produced by the "lowly peasants". If not for them, you will not be "well off in life". No food = starvation = no technology = no luxuries in life. Next time don't think "lowly" of anyone in life, no matter what profession they are.

    People can live without smart phones. But people cannot live without food.

jojopanmee

R u sure this high class thing doesn't have the wording of "ASSEMBLED IN —CHEAPSKATE— CHINA" at the bottom? The pricing are not too scary anyway if the sound qualities are good, at least cheaper than the premium harman kardon.