Apple’s $349 HomePod sensible speaker is now available to preorder during the Apple Store app, with transport slated to get started on February ninth. Despite the lengthen within the speaker’s release, the HomePod will send with out options like AirPlay 2, which permits pairing and multiroom audio. Apple says the ones options are “coming this year in a free software update.” HomePod is powered by means of Apple’s A8 chip (that first gave the impression within the iPhone 6) and lines integrated Siri, six microphones, HomePackage give a boost to to regulate your suitable sensible house units, and the facility to robotically optimize sound for a given room.
We in brief performed with the speaker remaining yr. My colleague Dieter referred to as it “a cute little ovoid thing” that “sounds in point of fact excellent within the demos” with “more bass than you expect from such a small speaker.” But we’ll want to spend some actual time with it earlier than we will say it’s price $349.
Apple’s sensible speaker providing is the costliest of its competitors at this dimension. The a lot higher and extra tough Google Home Max prices $399, whilst the usual Google Home is $129, and Amazon Echo is $99.99. HomePod is additionally rivaled by means of the Sonos One sensible speaker. To ruffle Apple’s feathers, Sonos is providing two Sonos One audio system for $349, the cost of a unmarried HomePod. Sonos One helps Amazon Alexa integration, and it’s promising Google Assistant integration someday later this yr.
The HomePod is available for preorder now in the USA, UK, and Australia in black or white. The sensible speaker will probably be available in France and Germany this spring.