Apple HomePod review: Minimal, sleek design; produces the best sound you can find in a smart speaker

The hardware and software come together well to deliver one of the best experiences.

Agencies
The HomePod has seven tweeters, each one with an amplifier and a transducer.
ET Spotlight
Get it for: Rs 19,990
Key highlight: Superior sound output

It has been a pretty low-key launch but Apple’s smart speaker, the HomePod, has finally arrived on Indian shores, two years after its global debut. While the launch and availability — owing to current circumstances — may have been a subdued affair, the HomePod is anything but low-key or mellow when it comes to performance.


For starters, it is an absolute breeze to set up the smart speaker compared with Amazon Echo devices or Google Nest. If you are — and you have to be — in the Apple ecosystem, then it takes less than a minute to set it up. We connected our iPhone 11 Pro with the HomePod and it synced all the details — Wi-Fi, iCloud, Apple Music — in a jiffy.

The design of the HomePod is very Apple-like — minimal and sleek. Available in black and space grey, HomePod has a fabric mesh wrap-around design with no buttons. On top of the HomePod is a touch display that can be used to increase or decrease the volume. Play or pause music by simply tapping on it.

“Hey Siri” wakes up HomePod. The smart speaker is a testament to how far Apple’s digital voice assistant has come from its initial days. Siri is your new best friend if you get a HomePod as it performs all the tasks, from setting alarms to playing music, quite comfortably.

ADVERTISEMENT
The HomePod has seven tweeters, each one with an amplifier and a transducer. There are six microphones and a woofer as well. All these are managed by Apple’s A8 chip that combine to deliver stellar sound — one of the best you will find in a smart speaker at least.

HomePod has a feature called spatial awareness, which detects the location where the speaker is kept and produces sound accordingly. It sounds a bit far-fetched but it actually works. We tried it in a bedroom, inside a bookshelf and in the kitchen — and the audio was different in each location.

It is quite a delight to listen to music on the HomePod. Ed Sheeran’s annoyingly catchy Shape of You gave a glimpse of how well vocals were separated from instruments. Enya’s Orinoco Flow on the HomePod captured the highs, mids and lows perfectly.

At Rs 19,990, the HomePod is the ideal speaker for the inhabitants of the Apple ecosystem. For others? You are not allowed, Apple seems to be saying, as it doesn’t work with Android or Windows devices. If you are an Apple fan, go for it. As there isn’t another device for you to swoon over. For everyone else, there is always Amazon Echo or Google Nest.

ADVERTISEMENT
Virtual Meetings, 5G & Shared Spectrum: Top 5 Technology Trends We Will Get To See In The Post-Covid World
1/6

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the life and lifestyles of people across the globe.

In this new reality, communication technology offers solutions to overcome some of the challenges thrown up by the pandemic. With social distancing and working from home becoming the new reality, tech trends will have to update. Parag Naik, Co-Founder & CEO, Saankhya Labs tells us what trends in tech we can expect in a post-Covid world.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the life and lifestyles of people across the globe.In this new reality, communication technology offers solutions to overcome some of the challenges thrown up by t..
Read More

Already, applications like Zoom and Google Meet have seen a sudden spurt in users. From meetings with only 4-5 participants, to huge international seminars and conferences with thousands of participants all have already moved online. This trend is likely to continue in the post Covid world as people maintain social distancing etiquette

Already, applications like Zoom and Google Meet have seen a sudden spurt in users. From meetings with only 4-5 participants, to huge international seminars and conferences with thousands of participa..
Read More

Dedicated education apps have witnessed a huge spurt in growth as students are learning concepts on their mobile phones. A few colleges have also conducted tests online. It is expected that some of these trends will continue in the post Covid period as well.

Many universities and school education boards have recommended that schools and colleges should attempt to complete some portion of the curriculum online, even after the situation becomes normal.

Dedicated education apps have witnessed a huge spurt in growth as students are learning concepts on their mobile phones. A few colleges have also conducted tests online. It is expected that some of t..
Read More

With the increasing demand for faster and higher bandwidth networks, due to remote working, 5G which is the next generation network designed with “Service Based” architecture might get adopted faster.

5G provides greater quality of service based on the network ‘Slice”, which caters to a particular service type, such as IoT, Low latency applications etc.

With the increasing demand for faster and higher bandwidth networks, due to remote working, 5G which is the next generation network designed with “Service Based” architecture might get adopted faster..
Read More

Technology trends make it clear that in a post Covid world, more content will be watched and consumed on mobile devices, be it in form of video conferencing for a meeting, an online class, or Video for entertainment. Even before the pandemic, video occupied over 70% of the content transmitted over the mobile network.

This will rise exponentially in the post Covid world and will overburden mobile networks which are not designed to handle such load. To prevent network congestion and improve user experience, the communication companies will use “Shared” spectrum.

Technology trends make it clear that in a post Covid world, more content will be watched and consumed on mobile devices, be it in form of video conferencing for a meeting, an online class, or Video f..
Read More

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) will be playing an increased role in the communication solutions of the future. When communication is being done using shared spectrum AI/ML systems will be continuously monitoring the load on the various networks.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) will be playing an increased role in the communication solutions of the future. When communication is being done using shared spectrum AI/ML syste..
Read More

Download
The Economic Times Business News App
for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
Success
This article has been saved

*

+