HomePod First Impression

Home Pod

Apple let members of the press get a close-up look at its new Siri-enabled speaker, HomePod following an unveiling at WWDC. Due to the loudness of the area, it was impossible for WWDC attendees to really determine HomePod’s sound quality. A few websites have received the chance to hear how HomePod sounds in a normal environment and shared their opinions of the device online.

Apple played listeners five songs across four genres and the device had “very good audio” according to Mashable. The HomePod starts up by playing 360-degree audio to itself. So it can learn the space it’s in. It adjusts any subsequent music that’s played with the knowledge of the size of the room.


“No matter where I walked in the small listening room, the sound was consistent,” mashable said this worked. Filling a room with sound, bad or good, is easy and rich. The highs were sharp, but not broken. The lows were sonorous, deep, but not chest-thumping.

One of Kendrick Lamar’s beat-heavy tunes and classic song with a far less complex mix sounded warm and true showed off the HomePod’s bass prowess. I heard to a pair of HomePods live recording of the Eagles’ Hotel California. I noticed that the audience cheers primarily came from one speaker along with some ambient music sounds. The mains came from the HomePod almost directly in front of me. I didn’t feel like I was at the live concert. On concord, I was still impressed with the audio quality.

Apple had in-room comparisons with its competitors includes Sonos Play 3. Amazon Echo, that the HomePod easily beat the two other speakers in pure music playback quality are noted by Mashable. The disadvantages users face if they don’t use Apple Music. It was unsure how any of the smart home controls would work as the press was only allowed  access to non-functional demo units. On Concord, was ultimately left impressed with HomePod calling it a “very good speaker” and looking forward to testing it more as December grows nearer.


The Greatest” by Sia, “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “Sunrise” by Norah Jones and a live performance of The Eagles’ “Hotel California.” are included as CNET heard the same five songs. HomePod’s audio was “bolder and more vivid” than Sonos Play 3 is said by the site. Generally, “a lot better that Amazon Echo.” How HomePod can separate vocals from ambient, how two HomePods in one room can recognize one another, instrument-based sounds are impressed by CNET. Automatically adjust playback for the best spatial sound output.

HomePod came off as more vivid than Sonos Play 3 and bolder in the experience I tried, and a lot better than Amazon Echo. I would also say the music sounded consistently crisp and vivid in a quiet space. 4t more so than the Sonos and Amazon comparisons on-hand. But the one thing I didn’t get to experience was how HomePod can listen, talk and suggest things. I couldn’t request music, or ask for the weather, or try any smart controls.


This is hard to tell what any of this means right now. A full review of the final product is the only way to determine any real meaningful thoughts on HomePod as a home audio device. Apple is clearly going for music over smart assistance as HomePod’s major draw right out of the gate. On Concord, it costs almost double the price of the Echo as the most expensive speaker of the three. Its superior sound quality is to be expected and also needs to earn that bigger price tag.

What HiFi in the controlled demo environment noted the HomePod’s strong crisp and bass vocals on Sia’s “The Greatest,” which made the Echo “almost pedestrian” in comparison. Even with TruePlay calibration on Sonos Play 3, the Sonos speakers “appeared uncharacteristically flat” versus HomePod. The site did note that throughout the session songs felt more bass-heavy than some of the other speakers in comparison. It remains unclear if Apple allows users to tweak audio playback in some way.


The HomePod sounded impressive, strong bass rang out as Sia’s The Greatest played out. Perhaps the overriding audio takeaway for the speaker. On concord, the vocals still seemed sharp and crisp. Comparing the Sonos Play 3 appeared uncharacteristically flat, while the Amazon Echo felt almost pedestrian.

We also heard a pair of HomePods playing a live recording of Hotel California by The Eagles. The attention to detail was striking, with different instruments sounding discretely realised. Did we feel like we were at the concert? Maybe not, but it did sound powerful.

HomePod’s audio is called “incredible” by Engadget and compared to both rivals in the demo area, “it blew them both out of the water.”

However, the HomePod sounded bright and crisp no matter the musical genre fed through it. It rendered The Eagles as well it did Kendrick Lamar. There’s a huge woofer and seven tweeters inside as a reminder. All meant to make audio sound as vivid as possible no matter where you are in a room.

Coming to Echo! I’ll put it this way, if listening to the HomePod was like listening to a CD. Then audio through the Echo sounded such as AM radio. It’s excellent for audiobooks in my experience. I would rather have the HomePod pump out my jams if given the choice.

HomePod official goes on sale as it is like before. But it has one clear edge over the competition now. It’s just a killer speaker.


The takeaway from Apple’s first impressions of Apple’s HomePod appears to be that it easily beats the competition offered up in the demo. On Concord, as many sites noted, that’s an expected outcome. We should still have to wait until closer to the HomePod’s holiday launch in December to see more true-to-life audio tests. How voice controls work with Siri, and how successful the intelligent assistant is at performing tasks within Apple’s new smart speaker system.

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