Apple just unveiled HomePod, a $349 competitor to Amazon's Echo

  • Apple just unveiled HomePod, a $349 competitor to Amazon's Echo

Apple just unveiled HomePod, a $349 competitor to Amazon's Echo

Smart speakers have become the hot consumer product of the past few years, with Amazon leading the way.

Well, adding further, the company has announced that this new HomePod is basically created to work with Apple Music, which means that you will have to require a subscription to music streaming service.

Smart speakers have oddly become something that many people want and need in their household. Externally, the Siri-enabled smart speakers would be best described as a Mac Pro with a mesh.

There are spec differences too: HomePod features 7 tweeters, a 4-inch woofer, a 6-microphone array and an Apple A8 chip processor, while Echo features a 2.0-inch tweeter, a 2.5-inch woofer, a 7-microphone array and a Texas Instruments processor.

If Apple can outmatch the latter on sound, while providing enough smarts to compete with the former, the HomePod might have the makings of a good buy. It has multi-channel echo cancellation, real-time acoustic modeling and more. That company offers a similar wireless multi-speaker system for listening to music throughout the home, similar to HomePod's ability to chain together multiple speakers.

Given that in recent quarters, Apple has struggled with tepid iPhone sales, it may be hoping that the HomePod will help fuel its revenue growth. The speaker can automatically tune the audio depending on the space you are in. HomePod combines Apple-engineered audio technology and advanced software to deliver the highest-fidelity sound throughout the room, no matter where it's placed. Instead, it needs to be plugged into a power socket.

While Siri would respond well to your voice commands, the control is not only with it.

"HomePod ... is actually more of a competitor to a Sonos or Bose speaker", said Forrester analyst Julie Ask.

Apple has announced its own connected smart speaker to rival Amazon's Echo and Google Home, as the Californian company throws its hat into the smart home arena. Siri can also be employed to play songs through the company's streaming service Apple Music.

Besides, the virtual assistant can be used for stuff other than music. Conversely, Google Home will trail far behind with just 23.8% of the market, per eMarketer.

HomePod will go on sale in December in Australia, the USA and the United Kingdom and will cost American consumers $349 (A$465).