Every time Apple introduce a new product, the excitement and hype is everywhere. The WWDC is no exception. Apple recently shared their developments in current product lines, as well as announcing their latest product believed to reinvent the future of home music. Introducing, Apple HomePod.
After the success of Sonos and Amazon’s Echo, (smart speaker devices), Apple got to work in creating the HomePod; adding advanced features and functionalities to trump competitors. Let’s explore what exactly is inside that little box.
Basically, the HomePod is a seven inch speaker which naturally is of premium Apple standard. The speaker functions as a hybrid between the Sonos and Amazon’s Echo, with a few special additions. When turned on, the HomePod scans the room by releasing a 360 degree beam of sound to identify its placement in the room for optimum audio performance. If the HomePod is placed near another HomePod, the two will automatically connect and balance the sound, turning into a widespread stereo spectrum that is conveniently controlled by Airplay 2.
According to Apple, the HomePod aims to “rock the house, reinvent home music and audio. The company have paid meticulous attention to the details of this device. The HomePod boasts the following features;
- High – excursion woofer: Helps the speaker analyzes the music and tone so that it can optimize sound quality and minimize any distortion.
- Six – microphone array: Apple applied their new technology called far-field voice system, which supports speech recognition. In addition to noise cancelling, with 6 microphones, the Apple’s digital voice assistant – Siri can detect your commands even when the HomePod is playing music loudly.
- Seven – beam forming tweeter array: this helps to enable consistent 360 degree audio, it is also responsible for creating the immersive room sensing, so that it can maintain the quality of sound no matter where HomePod is or where you are sitting.
- A8 chipset and Siri: operated by A8 chip (equivalent to chipset of iphone 6s), it is said that this chip can run effectively in the complex audio innovation and no delays in music streaming. Siri plays an important role for the function of HomePod as speech recognition and follow the commands. Siri can understand the contextual in a wide range from music, news to set up alarm or timer. Apple stated that Siri can also be a musicologist, in a simple word, Siri can give you recommendations of music with only a simple command like “hey Siri, play some lullabies for my baby”.
- AirPlay 2, functions similar to Bluetooth, but exclusively for Apple devices. If you have HomePods in multiple rooms, the speakers can communicate with each other through AirPlay 2 even when you are on the move. Therefore, you can play your music all around and rock the house.
Apple is yet to determine whether or not this will be compatible with other non-Apple devices. Airplay 2 and Siri only work with iOS or services that are supported by Apple.
The HomePod is available in two colours; white and space grey, covered with seamless mesh fabric. The announced price is $349 and will be first released in the US, UK and Australia at the end of 2017.