HomePod Reviews: Is Apple’s new speaker worth it after all?
If you’re just like most people, you should probably spend less money on speakers that offer more advanced capabilities and features that fit your life.
As we mentioned in our previous post, Apple is starting to sell the HomePod this week.
The device is clearly meant to compete with other smart speakers on the market, like Google Home and Amazon Echo. Although we speculated on the speaker’s quality, the reviews are now finally here, so we can see how the HomePod compares to its competitors.
From the look of things, most people are indeed satisfied with the speaker’s sound quality. However, most of them are not impressed by this version of Apple’s Siri. But enough small talk, let’s see first-hand what the reviewers are saying in little more detail.
Distinguishing Individual Instruments
Like we said before, the HomePod will definitely appeal to audiophiles. According to the Wall Street Journal review, the sound quality is superior to other speakers currently out there. Joanna Stern actually said that she was able to distinguish different instruments, such as horns, drums, and back-vocals while walking around her home. On the other hand, when played through the Echo and Home, the same song sounded mushed. Even Sonos couldn’t match the HomePod’s quality.
Siri Doesn’t Have Great Taste
While Brian X. Chen of the New York Times was satisfied with the sound quality, he still had some complaints about Siri. More precisely, Siri’s music taste. He asked the digital assistant to play a random song and hoped the machine would choose something from his favorite artists like David Bowie or Beck. But Siri only played Dashboard Confessional and Taylor Swift songs – which were not really all that similar to his desired artists.
Recognizing Voices is Also a Problem
Another big problem is that this version of Siri doesn’t have the same features like Google Assistant and Alexa. These personal assistants have the ability to play shows from your video-streaming piece of equipment. However, Nilay Patel writes for The Verge that the biggest problem with the device is that Siri can’t tell voices apart.
He also notes that this could lead to some major problems concerning privacy down the line. For instance, if someone gets access to your HomePod, they could potentially read your texts and you couldn’t do anything about it. Seeing how privacy has been a hot-button issue in the last few years, this might be a major turn-off for a huge number of consumers around the globe.
Works Good Just With Apple Music
The last problem we’re going to talk about here once again concerns Siri. We’re starting to notice a pattern here. Even though the device allows users to use their voices to play a specific song, they can only play it if they are subscribed to Apple Music. According to BuzzFeed, people who use services like Google Play, Tidal and Spotify have to use their phones to stream their favorite tunes to the speaker and use it again to find and play other songs.
However, the Speaker Looks Great
Lastly, most reviewers note that the speaker at least looks esthetically great. In fact, as Megan Wollerton writes for CNET, HomePod’s design echoes the aesthetics of company’s other creations, like the iPhone. One small problem is that the Pod doesn’t come with a detachable power cord, which means some users will probably have to hide it under a rug if they want to place it in the middle the room. Other than that, the speaker looks amazing.
The Bottom Line
All in all, the HomePod is a peculiar piece of audio equipment. On one hand, it makes music sound ten times better than any other speaker we currently have. So if sound quality is on the top of the list of your priorities, you should certainly spend the money on it. On the other hand, if you’re just like most people, you should probably spend less money on speakers that offer more advanced capabilities and features that fit your life.