Apple HomePod is the company’s Wi-Fi connected smart speaker that supports multi-room setups.
Apple’s smart speaker includes a collection of hardware that is used in concert to deliver full-range sound that is enhanced by adapting to its environment and working together with other units. The smart speaker supports Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, to answer questions and deliver information.
HomePods allow pairing for multi-room settings with stereo enhancements for nearby HomePods. The devices support a connecting distance of up to 20 meters. The smart speaker supports different streams to different speaker groups, encouraging the purchase of numerous HomePods.
With music as a focus, HomePod supports the following audio sources:
- Apple Music
- iTunes music purchases
- iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription
- Apple podcasts
- AirPlay of other content to HomePod from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and Mac
And the following audio formats:
- HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps)
- protected AAC (from iTunes Store)
- MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR
- Apple Lossless
For audio hardware, HomePod includes a six-microphone array to capture voice and commands from users from any direction - even with music playing loudly. Another on-board mic enables subwoofer calibration. Despite being a smaller subwoofer, the driver produces deeper bass, moving a volume of air by way of travel distance rather than surface area. For high range sound, the speaker has seven horn-loaded tweeters.
While the unit has been noted for its sturdy construction and sound quality, it is reportedly not serviceable by 3rd parties, which is standard for most Apple products. Repair costs are shown to be 80-85% of the original cost, according to Apple.