(Apple HomePod, credit of Time Magazine)
Everyone’s heard of Amazon’s Echo line of products, and Google’s Home, both of which have been highly successful and are talked about by pretty much everyone. Apple, being a massive tech giant and a direct competitor to many products running Google’s esteemed Android operating system, naturally wanted to get in on the smart home game. So, they created the HomePod. Now, how is it, you may ask? That really depends; by Apple’s standards it’s not that great, considering pretty much anything connected to Apple’s name is an instant smash hit, but that doesn’t mean it’s all awful. As a competitor to Amazon Echo and Google Home, it’s pointless. It has next to no third party support, can only play from Apple Music, and has very little overall functionality. However, if you don’t look at it as a competitor to either of those products, it really isn’t bad. It’s basically an Apple-branded bluetooth speaker. And how is the audio quality? Really good. According to Techradar.com, the Apple HomePod is “excellent, with amazing sound and incredibly intuitive set-up” in the category of smart speaker. So, if you’re looking for a really good speaker, you’re invested into the Apple ecosystem, and you aren’t afraid to spend a fair bit of cash, then the HomePod is actually a pretty good choice, if you don’t have a wooden table, that is.
What if you aren’t Apple invested?
Don’t buy it. It just isn’t worth $350 for a speaker that exclusively works with iPhones and Apple Music. What’s that? You use Spotify? Too bad, you won’t be playing any music with this speaker anytime soon. Aside from that, there really isn’t that much to say. This is not a product you buy if you aren’t heavily Apple-invested. You aren’t going to get any use out of it, especially when you can just get a Sonos smart speaker that has Amazon Alexa built in, and with sound quality that many would consider pretty close to the HomePod. (Not to mention the fact that it’s only $150.)
(Sonos One smart speaker, credit of Amazon.com)
Bottom Line: If you’re invested in Tim Cook and his wonderfully expensive line of products, then go ahead. If you are a true audiophile with an Apple Music subscription, then this will be an excellent purchase for you. If not, or if you’re just looking for a good smart hub? There’s just no way to justify buying this device.