Apple's Newest Home Speaker; Automatically Adjusts Sound Based on Where It's Placed

Bill Rogers
June 21, 2017

While Amazon Echo and Google Home began stealing some market share from the Santa Barbara-based speaker company, Sonos prided itself on the excellent audio engineering that went into its speakers as well as the fact it played nicely with nearly every streaming music service out there.

The speakers, driven by artificial intelligence and voice-enabled assistants - such as Amazon's Alexa - have become a leading trend in the tech industry and Alexa now boasts support for more than 10,000 apps.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller shared. A larger problem for HomePod is also one of its headlining features: Siri. The HomePod will cost $349, which is much more expensive than the $180 Echo and the $130 Home. If not, many people will be better off combining their Sonos speakers with Amazon's cheap Echo Dot, as both companies are now working on Alexa integration for Sonos. It also needs to have "spatial awareness" to make the music sound good no matter the room size.

As The New York Times noted, this year's conference was particularly heavy on Apple hardware announcements, but nonetheless there were some exciting updates for Apple's software products.

More news: Tigers' Brad Ausmus: Victor Martinez heart scare 'an eye-opener'

Apple's HomePod comes on the heels of a moment when Sonos has a 76 percent marketshare amongst CE Pros in the wireless audio category, while Amazon Echo has a 55 percent marketshare in voice control. For years, Siri was trapped inside the computers and smartphones, and finally, Apple has open the door for its own home - HomePod. In comparison, the HomePod was created to be your primary speaker. Alexa by Amazon has since then taken over, being made available to the consumer in the form of its hugely popular Echo devices such as the Echo speaker.

HomePod will be initially available in the US, UK and Australia this December. By saying, "Hey Siri, I like this song", HomePod and Apple Music will learn user preferences. It's more than a speaker, though, as it can tell you the news and weather, or control connected home electronics like lighting or shades.

Apple traditionally has been reluctant to bring its technology to other platforms and would be unlikely to start doing so with Siri.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

Discuss This Article