Apple HomePod praised for sound, panned for Siri integration

  • Apple HomePod praised for sound, panned for Siri integration

Apple HomePod praised for sound, panned for Siri integration

Apple's HomePod smart speaker is just around the corner, and with only three days away until the device officially launches, the Cupertino company has now allowed the first full reviews of the device to be shared online. WhatsApp is supported by Siri, but beyond that very few apps are.

Apple's HomePod sounds superb.

With the HomePod in the center of the room, for example, I heard distinct wedges of good (and less good) sound around the speaker. Most US stores no longer offer in-store pickup availability. Overall I found that the HomePod sounded best placed against a wall or in a corner, which is fine since that's where most people will probably place it anyway. The HomePod's bass is impressive for the size of the speaker, but in many songs, it's far too front-and-center in the mix. "Compared to the HomePod, the Sonos One sounds a little empty and the Google Home Max is a bass-heavy mess - even though Google also does real-time room tuning", Nilay Patel writes. At no point in our test do we play a single track that was anything other than absolutely correct. Smart speakers and digital assistants have exploded in the past two years, and Apple's been left to play catch-up with Amazon and Google on this round. It comes in both white and grey, and at seven inches high and five and a half wide, it's slightly bulkier than some speakers, but not to the extend that it looks out of place on a kitchen table. It was in charge of the audio components of a smart speaker, one that simply isn't as smart as its competitors. But if you prize music above everything else, the HomePod isn't a dumb choice. Many doubt that Siri is up to scratch in this area and its unclear how many customers care enough about sound to shell out for the best music experience. This basically provides complete silence for Apple when testing the audio quality of Apple products. Again, not a problem for Apple Music loyalists, but that is a bit hostile to the average consumer.

The speaker can't be used to call an Uber or Lyft, unlike the competition.

The Verge loves HomePod's sound and calls it "best in class".

Then there are the problems within Apple's own playbook, or rather the overreliance on Siri.

Nilay Patel from The Verge shared a similar perspective, praising the audio and build quality of the speaker, stating that the device sounded "richer and fuller than nearly every other speaker we've tested".

TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino praised the HomePod's ability to recognize commands while music is playing and while at a distance, but that this ability is hindered by the inadequate Siri.

And finally, you have to use Siri, now one of the most underwhelming voice assistants available.

And finally, The Independent is all about the sound and the setup process.

But, those same benefits come with just as troubling problems as the closed ecosystem is going to hurt the sales of the HomePod out of the gate when agnostic options like Sonos, Google, and Amazon exist.