Hey guys welcome back today I’m here to bring you the newest product out of the Apple line up and that is the Apple HomePod. Now this Hi-Fi speaker was supposed to be released last year but due to some unforeseen reasons it was delayed and was released to the general public on this past Friday. Now if you follow me over on my Instagram then you saw me in my stories do a live unboxing of this for you guys. If you are not following me I’ll have my Instagram handle right here on the screen for you guys as well as in the description below.
Now the Apple HomePod, where to start. I want this video to be more of the Pro’s and Con’s of this device so it will give you all the information you would need to help with your purchasing decision which I will include links to it in the description below for you guys to check out. So let’s start with the Pro’s since I like to have positive vibes. Now the initial look and design is a beautiful piece of hardware that I have to give two thumbs up to Apple’s design team on building one of if not the best looking Hi-Fi speaker out of its competition. And the fact that they were able to get all of this tech in such a compact device is very impressive. Especially when you compare it to the Google Home Max which is just huge. The top controls work flawlessly with 1 tap for Playing and Pausing your music, Double-tap for next track, Triple-tap for the previous song, Long-Press to activate SIRI, as well as your Plus and Minus digital buttons to increase or decrease the volume. You can also ask SIRI to adjust volume in terms of percentages from 1 to a 100%. Setup is very easy with the W1 chip all you have to do is simply make sure your wifi and bluetooth modes are on and place your device near the HomePod and it will prompt you to connect and walk through the setup process that takes about 2-3 minutes. The cloth-like material feels really good in the hands as well as I enjoy the weight of the speaker which is actually much heavier than I thought it would be. Which to me is always a good thing since I sometimes like to equate weight of a product like this to a great build quality, so this definitely passed the quality test for me. The sound is definitely top notch if not the best sounding Hi-Fi speaker I’ve heard. My assessment of the sound quality is that it sounds better than the Sonos One, the Google Home, and the Amazon Echo. But in terms of comparison to the Google Home Max, which is Google’s flagship Hi-Fi speaker, I would have to say it is really hard to say which one wins over the other as far as sound quality, since the sound quality from both is extremely solid. But if I had to pick one I would give the “best sound quality” award to the Apple HomePod. And that really comes down to the Spatial Awareness Technology that Apple has implemented into this speaker, where the HomePod will automatically adjusts the sound from bouncing off the walls in your space, to provide you with the best optimal sound regardless of where it is located. It’s hard to translate that audio sounding experience here on camera but that Spacial Awareness Technology is something you have to witness in person to really appreciate it. It comes with the patented A8 chip that also plays a huge part in the beautiful creation of this speaker. This chip is using beamforming technology so the microphone can hear you over the music regardless of audio level. And guys trust me I’ve tried and tested this with the volume being 100% and this is by far and you can quote me when I say this, “The Best Speaker using FarField Technology” out of any AI device on the market today. It literally can hear you say “Hey SIRI” from anywhere in the room regardless of the loudness level of your music, and you don’t have to yell at it. You can just speak to it in a normal tone voice and somehow it will hear you and activate SIRI for it’s next command. You have the ability to use Airplay to cast music from your iPhone to the HomePod. That means if you are listening or have a playlist from Spotify, Tidal, or Amazon Music you can just AirPlay the audio to this speaker and be able to listen to your music on this device. Now a lot of Youtuber’s out there have been saying that you can only play Apple Music on this device which is partially true, since it does not natively support third party music streaming services like Spotify, Tidal or Amazon Music, but I do want to let you all know that you can listen to other streaming music services using AirPlay. So don’t get too discouraged by thinking you can’t play your other music streaming services on this device, because that’s not true at all. Now call quality on this speaker is amazing. I tested this feature out by talking with Ashley over the phone, my good friends and family members and they all mentioned they could hear me just fine. And last but not least, not major, but worth mentioning is the cord length and protected material that it’s made out of. I’m glad the cord is long in length so it’s easy to reach wall ports that might be a bit of a distance away. Just wished that their lightening cables would have been made out of this same great material since inception, and maybe that would have saved me a few dollars with buying new cable chargers. Overall from a Pro’s standpoint this speaker sounds Amazing and definitely in the running and conversation as the best sounding Hi-Fi speaker on the market today. I definitely think Apple has some good things going on here and can’t wait to see what else comes from this.
Now that we have the Pro’s out of the way let’s talk about the Con’s of what I dislike about this new piece of Apple hardware. For starters, I just spoke about not natively supporting other third party music streaming services, which is honestly a huge turn off and really limits your potential customers to just Apple device owners. I personally think this was a terrible move and I think if they want this speaker to be more successful in sales, and be a true competitor in this market, then they need to open the speaker up to include music streaming services from major platforms like Spotify, Tidal, and Amazon Music. Now I understand Apple not wanting competitors on their platform but majority of your users use Spotify as a source for streaming music. Next would have to be the use of SIRI. SIRI is by far the worst AI out of and in comparison to Google Assistant, which is the front runner, and Alexa from Amazon Echo products, and even Microsoft’s Cortana. SIRI honestly just doesn’t know a lot besides the weather, little bit of directions, skip music tracks, adjust volume, and math calculations. And for some reason on the HomePod I feel that she’s gotten dumber. Simple questions she just doesn’t have an answer to, that I’m able to just ask Google Assistant and she always has an answer for me. Also it is not integrated with Apple TV from what I can tell. As of today you don’t have the ability to ask it to watch a particular TV Show or Movie and it automatically begins playing on your Apple TV. I don’t see any mentioning of this coming into play but I feel like this should have been implemented out of the gate. Also Apple not being ready for this device to be able to create a stereo setup. So coming later this year you will be able to buy a second one and create a left and right channel which would create a wider and more immersive sounding experience. Now this is something that I know would be an Amazing sound setup that would rival even some big audio companies like Klipsch speakers which is what I have in my home for surround sound. It’s just disappointing that we as consumers had to wait for the HomePod to be released and all of the features that were promised are not ready in 2018. And last but not least a con for me is not being able to have speakers communicate with each other that are on the same network. Currently you do not have the ability to play the same music on all of the HomePod speakers within your home. You also do not have the ability to be able to play different music in different rooms using these speakers just yet. Although this is a feature that will be coming later this year, I felt this is a feature that should be automatic out the gate for a speaker costing over $350. And we all know what “Coming later this year” means for Apple. It’s gonna be awhile. I just feel that in 2018 this should be automatic for a speaker of this caliber.
So now that you have heard my Pro’s and Con’s about the Apple HomePod let me know what you all think? Does the Pro’s outweigh the Con’s for you to still make a purchase? I personally think they do to a certain extent. I think the speaker is worth buying for yourself or a loved one if you have an Apple device. Because you can only use this speaker if you are an Apple owner. Because even if you do not have a Apple Music subscription and would rather use Spotify, Tidal or Amazon Music, you would still need AirPlay capability to be able to cast to the HomePod. So yes it’s worth picking up but I think the price range should maybe be more around the $300 price point, and not a penny higher. I just think with all of the key things missing $350 is a bit much to pay for this speaker. But I guess Apple said since Google is charging $400 for theirs, which I also think is over priced, they will try to under cut them by $50 to pull in those consumers. This may work but if you can find this for $300 I would say buy it but would not spend $350 on it.
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