Tech

Published on January 23rd, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Apple’s HomePod smart speaker finally available for order this Friday (but don’t get too excited, Canada)

Smart speakers are the fastest growing segment of the home electronics segment these days. Both Google (with their Google Assistant-powered Home line) and Amazon (Alexa’s Echo et al) have sold millions of units, carving out a huge market lead.

Apple, which announced their HomePod smart speaker to great fanfare, wasn’t able to get the unit in stores in time for Christmas, digging itself into a deep hole. Can their Siri-powered devices claw their way back into contention?

All reports I’ve heard is that they sound fantastic–certainly better than Alexa and Google Home units–and uses all kinds of fancy tech.

From the press release:

  • Packed with Apple-engineered audio technology, HomePod uses advanced software for real-time acoustic modelling, audio beam-forming, echo cancellation and more, powered by Apple’s A8 chip, delivering a wide, spacious soundstage. Using spatial awareness to sense its location in the room, it automatically adjusts the audio to sound great wherever it is placed.
  • HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with directional control, and powerful technologies that preserve the richness and intent of original recordings. With an array of six microphones, HomePod can hear “Hey Siri” from across the room, even when loud music is playing.

There’s also an SDK for developers who want to come up with interesting apps that will work with HomePod.

We’ll see. The first batch of HomePods have arrived and will be available for order this Friday (January 26) and will appear in stores February 9.

Did I mention that Canada won’t be getting HomePod right away? Nope. US, UK and Australia to start. France and Germany in the spring. Canada? Who knows?

 




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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4 Responses to Apple’s HomePod smart speaker finally available for order this Friday (but don’t get too excited, Canada)

  1. markosaar says:

    I had been planning on buying a Google Home Max or two as soon as they’re available but … initial reviews are very underwhelming. Seems like it’s “fine” but not worth the price. Double a bitter pill for me as I wanted to set them up in stereo.

    Back to the drawing board for my main floor/entertaining space. (I have a nice stereo in the basement/TV room, but am hoping to find some kind of wifi solution for upstairs.)

  2. markosaar says:

    I should add, I just don’t think I’m the target market for Apple HomePod, not really an Apple household.

  3. Frank Black says:

    So it’s a late to the party Sonos One?

    • markosaar says:

      After doing my research, Sonos One or Play:Three look like the way to go for me (a pair of each.)

      Unfortunate the wife wants things like … furniture and paint first. Priorities!

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