Amazon’s Echo is a voice-controlled smart speaker that not only plays your favourite music, it can also search the web, tell jokes and control the heating. It won several awards last year, all of them undoubtedly deserved. Google recently released its new Home speaker, which is also particularly impressive for its price tag. But both of them should prepare for stiff competition from Apple’s brilliant new HomePod.
The company announced the device at its recent WWDC developers conference in San Jose, California, promising it would deliver “amazing audio quality”. Although HomePod will not be officially released until December, a handful of local journalists managed to get their hands on one of them — and they are thrilled to say the least.
Both Google Home and Amazon Echo are superb devices, but their sound quality is nothing to get excited about. This is where Apple could introduce something new to the market: by delivering a smart speaker that can perform voice search in addition to providing the music for your next party in high fidelity.
The HomePod has a curved mesh design replete with seven beam-forming high-frequency tweeters and a single upward-facing woofer in order to produce clear, loud sounds and thundering bass. The device also boasts automatic room sensors which allows it to adjust the sound according to the acoustics of any particular room in the house.
Another reason it is expected to dominate the marketplace is due to the fact that it comes with a premium price tag. This can elevate the product’s popularity as it will be assigned a higher status value, as we have seen with such products as Beats by Dr Dre. In the U.S, the HomePod will cost $349 and when it arrives in the U.K., its price will probably be similar, perhaps between £270 and £280. Compare this to the £129 of the Google Home and the £149 of the Amazon Echo, and Apple’s HomePod won’t only produce better sound, but it will also be a great device to impress your friends.