Claiming that it will do to your home what the iPod did to portable music Apple is pushing this as the first premium speaker that combines intelligence with amazing sound quality.
To live up to that bold claim Apple revealed some of the specs that make it such a powerful device.
At under 7-inches in height it’s remarkably small. Underneath that fabric coating are seven custom-built tweeters and a huge four-inch woofer that is upward firing.
The HomePod is then able to use a technology called beam-sensing and real-time acoustic modelling which allows it to effectively ‘scan’ the room and adjust the audio to make the best possible sound in the position you’ve placed it.
Just like any other smart speaker the HomePod also has six powerful microphones that mean it can hear commands from the other side of the room even when there’s loud music playing.
Naturally it responds to ‘Hey Siri’ at which point a Siri-esque light appears at the top allowing you ask it some commands.
Now as we mentioned in our preview of the new features in iOS 11 Siri has been given a major overhaul which means that you’ll be able to talk to it in a far more natural fashion.
HomePod can also be used to control HomeKit compatible gadgets whether that’s the Philips Hue lighting system, Ikea’s own lighting system or perhaps a smart lock on your front door.
So is this a direct competitor to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home? Well in some ways yes, but in others definitely not. For starters it’s a lot more expensive than both, with Apple instead suggesting that this is a new product category that combines premium audio with the same intelligence you would normally get in a smart speaker.
HomePod will be available in Space Grey or White and launches in December. There’s no word on a UK price just yet but Apple has said that it will cost $349 when it launches in the US.
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