Apple HomePod - Things to know about the Wi-Fi speakers with Siri

Apple HomePod a first listen   Apple's sound system from what we can hear so far versus Amazon Echo and Sonos.          
    James Martin  CNET

Hence, if you are looking for a top-notch home audio device, the new Apple HomePod is the way to go. Whether you care about a lot of them is not what I'm here to talk about, but I did want to at least highlight the HomePod, which is Apple's Google Home and Amazon Echo competitor. While Amazon Echo and Google Home began stealing some market share from the Santa Barbara-based speaker company, Sonos prided itself on the excellent audio engineering that went into its speakers as well as the fact it played nicely with nearly every streaming music service out there. Introduced at Apple's WWDC 2017 conference, the 178mm tall speaker is created to work with an Apple Music subscription, and will go head to head with Amazon's Alexa ecosystem and Google Home this December.

Apple is also wise to be leveraging its Music service, said Thomas Husson, another Forrester analyst. And how does it stack up to similar products such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home? From there, the device will scan its environment, analyzing the acoustics so it could adjust the sound output based on where the speaker is, steering the music in the optimal direction. It will cost $349 and will ship in the US, UK and Australia from December.

In comparison to Amazon's Alexa, users may notice Siri's lack of capabilities as wider features such as being able to make orders using voice control have not yet been added.

Still, the HomePod costs a bit more than numerous traditional speakers with which it wants to compete.

To help in voice commands, Apple has incorporated a total of six noise canceling microphone array onto the HomePod. It also needs to be fun to use, Apple said.

Apple's WWDC keynote was packed full of big announcements yesterday. The HomePod is in a league of its own when the device's sound quality is compared to the one offered on Amazon's Alexa-powered smart speaker. If Apple or Google want to come call, my phone number is out there.

The HomePod now only supports Apple Music. However, experts believe that Google, which was a late entrant in the market, may be able to cut into Amazon's lead due to its strong artificial intelligence platform.

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