You heard the rumor and here it is, the much speculated Apple speaker. Called HomePod, this 7-inch tall yarn roll-like speaker is Apple’s answer to Amazon Alexa-enabled Echo. Coming from Apple, design is never a disappointment and so, we shall dispense with detailing the aesthetic. HomePod leverages on spatial awareness to know its location in the room and automatically adjust the audio to deliver “amazing audio quality.” With HomePod, over 40 million songs are available to you through Apple Music subscription and like the so many streaming music services available today, it learns your personal music tastes and helps you to discover new music.
An array of six microphones with advanced echo cancellation lets you ask Siri questions even when the music is blaring, far or near. Not surprisingly, it is a trusty home assistant too, letting you send messages, get information like news, sports and weather, and of course, control smart home devices – all by voice commands. You can also remotely access your home automations when you are away. A custom A8 chip works with a real-time software to manage the bass put out through an Apple-designed upward-facing woofer to ensure a deep and clean bass delivery with low distortion.
Other details include a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters – each with its own amplifier, automatic detection and balance of two speakers using both direct and reflected audio, and ease of setup which, for example, lets you hold an iPhone next to a HomePod and starts playing music in a matter of seconds. And oh, if you don’t already know, information will be sent to Apple servers, but rest assure that it will only do so when “Hey Siri” is recognized locally and whatever information sent will be “encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.”
All images courtesy of Apple.