Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Smart Speaker War

Herbert Rhodes
February 11, 2018

Recode: "HomePod has what can only be explained by the most balanced audio, not just of any smart speaker but of any speaker I now own, which includes a number of Sonos speakers and a Bose Home Theatre system", said Recode's Ben Bajarin.

Apple's HomePod officially goes on sale today, with online sales of the devices expected to arrive next week. You don't have to manually tune it, as, say, with the Sonos One.

In the current market of smart speakers, it may be a little hard to decide on which device is compatible with your own personal needs and wants.

Using a variation of a Spotify meme that blew up past year, Sonos trolled Apple on HomePod launch day by calling it the "Fruit Machine" (via Business Insider).

Schiller explained that Sonos made good-sounding whole-home wireless speakers that weren't "smart speakers", while Amazon made "smart speakers you can talk to", but didn't sound great for music.

Likewise, The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said that "HomePod nails the speaker but struggles at smart".

"It won't work with Android at all", he added, noting that Amazon's and Google's devices can.

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When Siri isn't playing Apple Music mixologist, the virtual assistant can also answer questions.

Of course, these devices need to be compatible with Apple's Home service, in the first place. You can ask Siri "what's the weather tomorrow in Toledo, Ohio?" But if you want a useful smart assistant as well as the freedom to use whatever service you want, it's best to walk on by. Others prefer subtle white noise or unobtrusive ambient music play in offices to improve their concentration, provide some privacy, and mute varied conversations, HVAC sounds, and other environmental noises that are common in offices. It seems Apple forgot to imbue Siri with personality.

The Google Home Max works with Google Assistant.

HomePod boasts it's self-learning artificial intelligence based off of Siri, however, compared to Alexa and Google Home, HomePod is far behind in the race.

When it comes to music, Google, and for that matter Amazon, can help you play a song in which you can't recall the title and only remember a few lyrics. He also tried voice commands for apps like Uber, but the HomePod failed to complete those commands while the others did. Third, some functions of HomePod overlap with Siri in iPhone. However, coupled with the more than a decent AI functionality that Apple has built into the HomePod, this means that the device becomes an intriguing purchase for consumers, even if it doesn't quite match up to the competition in some departments. Another question: are there enough people out there willing to pay that much more for better sound? "That is not the case right now", said USA Today's Edward C. Baig.

Time: "With the HomePod, the company will have to prove that it can compete in a game for which somebody else wrote the rules".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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