The new Apple speaker monopolizes criticism for its closed ecosystem and praises for its sound quality. A new product in a category that Apple has released for years but that was not very successful and abandoned in an inexplicable way for many. Now the HomePod is here to stay, and we have tried it to tell you our impressions firsthand.
A process of configuration in the purest style of Apple, quality of construction at the height of what is expected, and a surprising sound for its size. All this at the expense of a closed ecosystem that makes it ideal for many, not so much for others. All the details, below.
As soon as the HomePod is removed from the box one realizes that the product reflects the purest style of Apple. An impeccable design you look where you look, without buttons, without logos, without connectors. Only the cable that connects to the speaker breaks the uniformity of the product, and does so with a construction different from the cables that Apple uses in its products, to be covered by a mesh that gives it a much stronger than usual. Maybe because it’s not easily replaceable, maybe because Apple finally takes cables seriously … we’ll see.
However, the weight is much higher than I expected. It gives the feeling of being a solid device, and that is always a good feeling. Although Apple users are always accused of “boasting”, on that occasion those who enjoy watching the famous company logo will have to resign because there is no sign that it is a product an Apple, unless you pick it up and look at the base, where you’ll find it.
The HomePod configuration process is the same as Apple premiered with AirPods and has now extended to virtually any new device you bring home. Bringing your iPhone to HomePod just plug it into the socket you will see a window on your mobile screen and the configuration process will be almost automatic, without having to enter accounts or passwords. Of course, you will need to have double factor authentication activated.
We have become accustomed to this type of procedure with Apple, and one does not really value it until it uses devices from other brands. Many insist on not giving the merit it deserves, on the contrary, even go so far as to criticize Apple for not extending these functions to other platforms. I do not agree with this, if the closed systems have these advantages, that the closed systems live.
However, not everything that glitters is gold, and for the moment the HomePod has a serious failure that Apple must solve. During the configuration process you can allow the speaker to access your messages or your notes, for example, which is highly recommended if you want to use the speaker as something more than a device to listen to music. But if you do, you should know that whenever your device is connected to the same network as the iPhone, anyone can access those functions.
Voice recognition is something that Apple has long since achieved, as evidenced by the fact that only you can invoke Siri with the command “Hey Siri” on your iPhone.
In case you have never read an analysis of me on a loudspeaker or headphones before: I am not an expert in sound but it important to admit quality speakers and headphones are one becoming more demanding. And the HomePod, as all the experts except Consumer Reports said that it offers an absolutely spectacular sound.
The sound is very subjective, and also its perception is variable among people, but the HomePod is heard in a crystal clear and distortion-free even at maximum volume. Knowing the built of the HomePod, nobody should be surprised at how it sounds. Few (rather none) speakers of this size and price have seven tweeters and one bass player at their disposal to produce sound. And what no other speaker is sure to have an A8 processor that is able to capture the sound thanks to six microphones available to the HomePod and thus know how to take advantage of walls and other obstacles to produce the best possible sound depending not only on the room in where it is placed.
An accelerometer will know if we have moved the HomePod from site to recalculate the entire speaker environment, and thus distribute the sound by the different speakers placed strategically along the entire circumference of the HomePod. The final result is an excellent sound that allows you to enjoy the voices and instruments in a truly amazing way. In this section Apple engineers have done a great job. The sound is very well balanced, and its cylindrical shape together with the distribution of the speakers make you enjoy an excellent sound.