Apple’s latest HomePod has an ‘excellent sound’ but Siri has homework to do

Apple's latest HomePod has an 'excellent sound' but Siri has homework to do

Apple’s first smart speaker, HomePod, looks somewhat like a 7-inch-tall Mac Pro covered in mesh fabric, but performs brilliantly.

As with the AirPods, all you have to do is hold an iOS device (running the latest version, of course) up to the HomePod. From there, the iDevice will recognize there’s a HomePod in front of it and begin the setup process. You’ll be asked (among other things) whether you want the HomePod to take phone calls, access your messages and so on. These are “personal requests,” and they work only when the iOS device used to set things up is on the same WiFi network. Once you’ve zipped through Apple’s questions, you’re just left waiting for setup to complete. From start to finish, the process took about a minute.

HomePod has a unique array of seven beamforming tweeters. Each with its own amplifier and transducer. And each custom designed with a precision acoustic horn that focuses sound for tremendous directional control. Creating an all-encompassing sense of space — and consistent, high-fidelity audio everywhere in the room.

An Apple-designed A8 chip powers the most complex audio innovations in HomePod. Like real-time modeling of the woofer mechanics. Buffering that’s even faster than real time. Upmixing of both direct and ambient audio. Beamforming so the microphone can hear you over the music. And advanced echo cancellation. So you get amazing sound without even thinking about it.