HomePod Overview Updated June 15, 2019

HomePod

The new sound of home

See All Stories

266 'HomePod' stories

May 2016 - June 2019


At its Worldwide Developer Conference in 2017, Apple officially took the wraps off of its oft-rumored speaker in the form of HomePod. The device acts as a standalone way for users to interact with Siri, play music, and more. Tim Cook touts this as Apple’s effort to “reinvent home music” just as it did with products like the iPod.

Prior to announcing Apple’s product, Phil Schiller explained that Apple has worked to take what companies like Sonos and Amazon have done and create a “breakthrough home speaker.”

Schiller explained that a successful speaker must “rock the house,” have “spatial awareness,” and “be a musicologist.”

To offer strong sound quality, the devices features a 7 tweeter array with precision acoustic horns and directional control. There’s also an Apple-designed 4-inch woofer and it’s powered by Apple’s A8 chip. It measures in at just under 7-inches tall and features a mesh design.

Here’s how Apple describes HomePod:

HomePod is a powerful speaker that sounds amazing, adapts to wherever it’s playing, and together with Apple Music, gives you effortless access to one of the world’s largest music catalogs. All controlled through natural voice interaction with Siri. It takes the listening experience to a whole new level. And that’s just the beginning.

HomePod 11.4 Software Update

HomePod

HomePod’s 11.4 update shipped with two notable features — AirPlay 2 and Stereo Pairing (originally promised at launch, but was delayed). It also included Calendar support, which lets you check, add, edit, and delete appointments to configured calendars.

AirPlay 2

The flagship feature of the 11.4 update was the long-awaited launch of AirPlay 2. The biggest advantage that AirPlay 2 brought to the table is multi-room audio support. AirPlay 2’s multi-room audio allows iOS users to stream music or podcasts to supported devices in any room using Control Center’s destination controls, in-app controls, or Siri.

With AirPlay 2 you can do things like:

  • Quickly see what’s playing in every room on every speaker
  • Play the same song, in sync, in every room
  • Play different songs on different speakers
  • Use Siri to play different songs in different rooms
  • Stream to rooms without grouping speakers

Because speakers are configured via the Home app, they are easily assigned to rooms, and users can address those specific rooms when using Siri.

Stereo Pairing in HomePod

Stereo pairing utilizes an Apple-designed wireless peer-to-peer direct link to talk with each other and play music in sync. Thanks to the A8 SoC, each HomePod is able to automatically sense its location in the room, and establish its own audio channel (left or right). In other words, there’s very little end-user configuration needed once a stereo pair is established.

The advanced beamforming provides a wider soundstage than a traditional stereo pair setup. Apple says that by stereo pairing two HomePods, an almost three-dimensional soundstage is created, providing room-filling sound with enhanced bass extension, and a deeper, more accurate reproduction of low frequencies.

Creating a HomePod stereo pair is straightforward, and when two HomePods are set up in the same room, users are automatically prompted to create a stereo pair.

HomePod Pricing

HomePod originally launched at $349, but it saw a price cut to $299 on April 4th, 2019.

Grab HomePod at low prices at Best Buy and eBay or check for the latest deals at 9to5toys.com.

Top Stories

HomePod Stories Yesterday

We’ve already rounded up many of the changes that iOS 13 brings, including a hands-on video look at over 200 changes and features. One small but notable change is that iOS 13 includes a slightly different HomePod setup process.

expand full story

HomePod Stories June 3

HomePod is finally getting multi-user support.

First, it will learn the musical tastes of each user, recognizing their voice. This means that each person in the home can make requests like ‘Play some music’ or ‘Play my favorites’ and HomePod will automatically play appropriate music …

expand full story

HomePod Stories May 20

Right up until the end of last year, the US led the global smart speaker market, accounting for more sales than any other country in the world – and even outselling all other countries combined with the exception of China.

But that changed dramatically in the first quarter of this year, according to Canalys data …

expand full story

HomePod Stories May 1

Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and accessories now worth as much to Apple as the iPad

Jason Snell has created his usual pretty charts bringing Apple’s financials to life after yesterday’s earnings report, and John Gruber makes an interesting observation …

HomePod Stories April 15

Active smart speakers estimated to hit over 200 million this year, HomePod reach could be a factor

The global installed base of smart speakers is expected to break 200 million by the end of this year, says analytics firm Canalys. China and East Asia are expected to produce the most growth.

HomePod Stories April 8

Apple made a rare pricing move last week when it reduced HomePod from $349 to $299, establishing a new base price and even lower sales prices for the AirPlay 2 smart speaker.

Normally an Apple price cut would be met with applause, but few saw the 15% drop as meaningful. Why? There’s still a clear opportunity for a HomePod mini … or HomePod Air … or anything smaller, quieter, and more affordable with similar features.

expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP