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Apple HomePod vs Sonos vs Amazon Echo at WWDC Hands-On Area

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Apple offered a sneak peak at its smart home speaker, called HomePod, during their WWDC keynote yesterday.

The media got a chance to take a look at the device in a hands-on area after the presentation, however, due to a very loud environment we didn’t get a true indication of how the device sounds. A few people were lucky enough to get a dedicated hands-on session with the device last night.

The Verge said that the HomePod delivered audio that manages to outperform any other smart speaker of this size.

“It starts with the subwoofer, which delivers bass that doesn’t quite hit you in the chest but does manage to put other smart speakers like the Echo or Google Home to shame.

Regardless, the takeaway here is that when it comes to smart speakers, the HomePod is likely to be head and shoulders above its direct competitors.”

Business Insider also got a hands-on with the HomePod and here’s what they have to say:

So, if audio is so important to the HomePod — and will justify that whopping $349 price tag — how does it really sound?

The answer?

Really good.

Jason Snell from SixColors also has a hands-on with the HomePod. Snell said that the HomePod’s sound was quite good, with a powerful bass and great treble clarity. He said:

In general, I found the HomePod to sound quite good, with a powerful bass and great clarity in the treble. However, in a few cases—Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” was the one that really struck me—I felt that the Sonos Play:3 more accurately reproduced the feel of the track, while the (extremely early, pre-release version of the) HomePod’s clever audio processing technology spread the bass and vocals out so much that it didn’t sound right anymore.

Of course, with the HomePod half a year away from shipping, there’s probably a lot of software tweaking yet to be done in terms of audio processing.

Bloomberg Technology got an exclusive interview with Tim Cook, who reiterated that the HomePod was built with an audio-first mentality. You can watch the interview below:

Apple has always had a passion for music and the HomePod definitely showcases that. The smart speaker also comes at a premium price over its competition, which is pretty common for Apple products.

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  • Mike LaPlante

    Apple’s passion for music is why they came out with the Hi-Fi. That was a classic flop. The HomePod is overpriced compared to what’s out there right now.

    If Apple had made some serious improvements with Siri, it might be worth it. When it becomes available in Canada, the HomePod will be at least $450Cdn.

    Sonos has got some deals on right now until June 18. I’m going to check those out right now.

  • Sonos is a great product. Its survival though will be in how fast it can implement other smart audio devices/services such as Siri, Alexa etc

  • erth

    if you don’t need one now, i bet there will be a lot better deals when the homepod comes out.

  • Agreed about the Hi-Fi. Apple says that they care about music and they say a bunch of techy stuff about high-quality audio. It all sounds good and exciting. Then I hear what their products sound like and realize they don’t really care about audiophile quality stuff (like Steve Jobs claimed) but instead just want stuff to sound relatively good to the average listener.

    The Hi-Fi sounded okay. Nowhere near audiophile quality. Apple’s earbuds sound like crap, and while I haven’t tried the AirPods, I’m not expecting that they’re audiophile quality either. Beats headphones sound okay but are priced like they’re really good sound quality, which they’re not. They’re better than the standard earbuds, but you can get FAR better quality for the same price. I watched the presentation for the HomePod and I’d really like it to be stunning audio quality, but I’m really doubtful it’ll be where I’d expect it to be.

  • Michal

    i find it mildly amusing that all the hype about quality of this speaker despite it being mono sound source… and clearly overpriced for what it is, speaker that only works with apple music, with clearly inferior ‘AI’ engine when compared to essentially all others – imho

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