HomePod Diary Stories May 8

I said back in February that the HomePod is a Sonos Play 5 killer, and I’ve just demonstrated this by buying a second one to replace the Sonos in our bedroom.

I explained then the reasons why I felt that HomePod was the better buy, despite my fondness for Sonos speakers …

  • Sound quality: Almost no difference
  • Clunky Sonos app versus Siri control
  • Truly awful, flakey Sonos setup versus fully automatic set up
  • Speaker-only versus Home hub too
  • Large-ish size versus much more compact one
  • $499 versus $349 …

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HomePod Diary Stories March 20

I wrote last time that one of the tests of truly useful technology is how quickly it stops feeling like a luxury and starts feeling like something you wouldn’t want to live without.

For me, streaming music started out as a luxury – something I used to supplement my own collection of music – and has turned into my primary music source. Not just because it gives me access to music that would otherwise have cost me a fortune, but also because For You playlists have introduced me to more new artists than I could count.

I’m finding that HomePod is moving rather rapidly into the same category: a gadget I wouldn’t want to be without.

A month on, I can report that HomePod has definitely completed that transition …

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HomePod Diary Stories February 16

Well, almost. With the Apple Watch, I was pretty sure it was a pointless device, and was wrong. With HomePod, I did think it was going to find a role as a HomeKit hub and a device to allow my partner to control lighting when her phone was in another room. But I wasn’t expecting much from it as a speaker.

And yet it’s the speaker which is winning me over.

As I’ve said before, the sound quality isn’t up there with B&O or Naim – but is at least as good as a Sonos Play 5. I wondered last time whether two stereo-paired HomePods might go some way to closing the gap between the two levels, and I now find myself actively hoping this proves to be the case …

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HomePod Diary Stories February 12

Friday morning, my HomePod arrived; Friday evening, we had a small party. And the belle of the ball was the HomePod.

We had a group of friends round for drinks and pizza. That seemed a good opportunity to put HomePod to the test – both to see what others thought of it as a speaker, and to allow friends to try Siri control …

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HomePod Diary Stories February 9

There are Apple products I’ve been more excited to receive, but I can’t think of any that I’ve awaited with such impatience. The reason? Curiosity about that audio quality!

I wrote last time that it was Home hub and voice control of HomeKit devices for my partner that really sold it to me, and I wasn’t expecting too much from it on the audio front. Sure, it was going to beat out other smart speakers, but I didn’t see it as serious competition to proper HiFi brands.

But as the reviews came in, I started to wonder …

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HomePod Diary Stories January 24

Having two audiophile friends who spend truly terrifying sums of money on their hifi systems, I’ve always said that I’m glad my ears aren’t good enough to appreciate that kind of audio kit.

However, while I wouldn’t describe myself as an audiophile, my ears do go up to the level of B&O, B&W and Naim’s lower-end speakers. Which means that I was pretty ‘meh’ about the HomePod announcement.

I’m sure Apple is right that it offers better audio than other smart speakers, but that’s not really saying much. My view was that it wasn’t going to compete with my Sonos Play 5, let alone my more expensive systems, so I was ready to pass …

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