Apple's HomePod Now Available for Order

Apple's HomePod enters smart speaker fray

But nobody heard anything more about the HomePod until late November when Apple announced that the timing had slipped and that HomePod wouldn't come until after the holidays. The Sonos One plays music and other media over WiFi instead of Bluetooth, so you are getting better sounding music without the subwoofers and tweeters that are inside the Sonos One.

Amazon can consider itself to be the pioneer here, having been the first company to build a voice assistant into a static home speaker. HomePod will arrive in France and Germany this spring. Currently, the Apple Store app makes no mention of the speaker, but we do expect it to appear once the preorder floodgates open. That's not as seamless as with Alexa or Google, which let you initiate calls using a smart speaker just by voice.

After only one hour of seeing HomePod in action, I can't definitively say whether it's worth buying. Siri is definitely a big part of HomePod, but it's mostly there to facilitate your music experience, able to respond to granular commands about songs, playlists, and the like, as well as natural ones like, "Siri, turn it up".

I'm not the only person scratching their head over Apple's HomePod strategy. For its size, the Apple HomePod is the priciest offering in the market. So there isn't a clear victor in the Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo comparison here; one should simply expect slightly uneven results for the foreseeable future.

Features and specs are obviously also key, so who wins in the Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo battle here? Of course, the HomePod came out on top, though Google and Sonos made it a much closer fight than you might think for an Apple demo. Since these smart speakers are a fixture of your home, it's fair to go with a product based on looks.

The speaker will work with Apple Music and features are set to include smart home integration, voice messaging and, ultimately, multi-room audio.

At BESTAppleTV, we are also not sure of its success as an Apple TV addition. This is a bit of a bummer for families or people with roommates, since there's no way to set up multiple user accounts or tailor the music choices to each individual's Apple Music account.

One of those boxes is to approve personalization with the HomePod. It has built-in Siri, six microphones and HomeKit support to control compatible smart home devices.

But I walked away feeling impressed and surprised by how much I liked how it sounded, and found myself imagining how it would fit into my home life. Ironically the same price of the Apple Homepod that went up for pre-order today. We don't know yet how it will stack up to the HomePod, quality-wise, but if price is the consideration, then this is a goo deal.

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