So what do we think of HomePod?
There are already big name options for voice control in your home, but today, the biggest name of them all has joined the battle.
Apple HomePod is here. So what do we think?
We’ve had plenty of experience over the years of high end compact speakers. From the Bose SoundDock through to the iconic Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin. To be quite honest, Apple’s previous attempt in this market, the now infamous iPod Hi-Fi, was so fussy about placement in relation to the listener, that everybody in the room had to be sat in the same chair to experience the sound quality. HomePod is very different. In a good way. Even if the clever Siri-controlled voice functions were stripped away, this would be a very capable speaker at it's £319 price point.
The intelligence built in to the speaker does a great job of mapping it’s surroundings and, provides a listening experience of high quality for everybody in the room (even in a large environment like our retail stores). Our only reservation is possibly not a fair criticism for a speaker of this size but, the high-end sparkle and detail, isn’t matched by low end grunt at higher volumes. A speaker like the Zeppelin which we’ve had in store previously, does provide a tighter sounding bass, particularly when you crank it up to 11.
Setting up the HomePod is a real breeze, as you’d expect from Apple. It’s as easy as pairing some AirPods! Leveraging Apple Music’s vast library of tunes by asking Siri to play your mood music of the day, is as joyous as it is simple, too.
Some critics have pointed out that the potential downside of HomePod, is it’s integration with other internet enabled devices around your home, like thermostats, door bells, CCTV etc. Apple refer to it as being ‘HomeKit’ enabled if a device is compatible with HomePod for voice control, and as you’d expect only the very best of the best get this seal of approval from Apple having been taken through rigorous testing. What this means is that there are many devices on the market which are not HomeKit ready and therefore will not work with your HomePod.
Our advice is to see this as a positive thing. Apple are effectively doing the hard work of selecting a quality product for you. Think of it this way, would you really like a poorly conceived thermostat product to allow hackers to know exactly when you leave the house every day, and a cheap and cheerful door security product to then allow those same hackers access to your home when they know you’re not there? You can rest assured that all HomeKit enabled devices follow Apple’s stringent security guidelines relating to privacy and data, meaning that you can enjoy voice control in your home without worrying about who else is listening.
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