HomePod Reviews: Outstanding Sound Quality, but Siri 'Struggles at Smart'

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Three days ahead of the HomePod's launch in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, Apple has now allowed the first full reviews of the device to be shared online. While opinions regarding specific features of the smart speaker fluctuate among reviewers, it appears that one constant remains: HomePod provides great, high-quality sound that beats most devices in the price range, at the cost of an underperforming AI assistant and the user getting further tangled into Apple's walled garden.

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    Image via The Verge


    Nilay Patel with The Verge emphasized this feeling of being trapped in Apple's ecosystem by stating that he thought the HomePod as one of the "loneliest" of Apple's devices. He liked the audio and build quality of the speaker, which he said provided an impressive amount of bass that never overwhelms, and ultimately sounded "richer and fuller than almost every other speaker we've tested."

    Still, his recommendation for HomePod was specific: it's only for those who live in Apple's walled garden and "prioritize sound quality over everything else."
    Joanna Stern with The Wall Street Journal noted that during her week of testing the HomePod, Apple's device "nails the speaker but struggles at smart." Stern noted that while Siri is a "good butler" for various HomeKit tasks, all of the usual issues remain when asking Siri other normal questions.
    Matthew Panzarino with TechCrunch noted that HomePod's ability to recognize commands at a distance, even while music is playing, is one of the device's strong suits, but also explained that most of these commands are still limited by Siri. Panzarino provided a few further details of other parts of HomePod, favoring the attention that Apple paid to the flexible, braided power cord and "seamless" ability to move HomePod from room to room and have it automatically connect to "any network known by your phone" within a few seconds.

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    Image via TechCrunch


    Panzarino also went further into details about the sound quality of HomePod, describing it as "precise."
    There are plenty of other reviews and opinions on HomePod coming out today, so below we'll list a few other reviewers and a quick snapshot from their respective articles.

    Megan Wollerton with CNET:
    Jim Dalrymple with The Loop:
    Brian X. Chen with The New York Times:
    Other reviews: USA Today, iMore, Telegraph, Pocket Lint, The Independent, and iJustine.

    Article Link: HomePod Reviews: Outstanding Sound Quality, but Siri 'Struggles at Smart'
     
  2. Heineken Suspended

    Heineken

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    #2
    There is nothing smart about any of them. All i need is weather sometimes, control my lights and play music which it does just fine.
     
  3. maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

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    #3
    "Sorry for being not so smart"
    kind regards,
    Siri
     
  4. deanthedev Suspended

    deanthedev

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    #4
    That’s a lot of people for Apple to pay off.
     
  5. Smartass macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Apple's ignorance on Siri's development in recent years is really starting to show up. Siri has become the Village idiot among smart assistants.
     
  6. lsutigerfan1976 macrumors 68020

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    #6
    This is where they’ve failed. I keep stressing this over and over. You cannot have a smart speaker assistant that’s not smart lol. There is a a percentage of people who will still buy the HomePod regardless. But the market isn’t in the speaker. The market is in the assistant!
     
  7. rams macrumors member

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    #7
    .. and the problem with homepod is *drumroll* SIRI!

    hey siri t.. DING
    HEY SIRI - DING
    HEY SIRI - nothing happens
    hey siri, turn off the lights

    (me every evening talking to my iphone, while my gf is laughing at me)

    no thanks i stay with sonos for now :)
     
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #8
    In a corner is exactly where you shouldn't put traditional speakers, because that's where they sound worst.

    One market will be all those people who want decent sound quality, while the housewife doesn't want any big, ugly box in the living room.

    On the other hand, still no reviews comparing HomePod to quality traditional speakers.
     
  9. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020

    WannaGoMac

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    #9
    Can't wait for some real audio reviewers to review these devices.
     
  10. Baymowe335, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018

    Baymowe335 macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Nonsense. Post some real examples.

    Siri = Alexa and is better than Bixby.

    GoogleHome appears to be better, but how often do you ask Siri things she can't do or answer? What specifically does she struggle with?

    I honestly think people here just repeat their negative thoughts on Siri based on what they read.
     
  11. adamjackson macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Am I the only person that thought the HomePod was easily 2x bigger? That photo from The Verge really puts it into perspective. I was thinking something taller than my blender and wider.
     
  12. Baymowe335 macrumors 68040

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    #12
    So basically, the best hardware available in the space with issues that could be addressed in a software update?
     
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #13
    As I said, totally wrong. Actually, for playing music I find an "assistant" quite pointless. I prefer scrolling through the music that I have on my Mac, see lots of album titles, and pick one. Or do you think I can remember 1,000 artists, 2,000 albums and ten times more songs and tell some assistant what to play?
     
  14. lah macrumors 6502

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    #14
    exactly. As long as it can turn on my lights and give me my morning forecast, its all good. More interested in a good sounding speaker. Don't understand the Alexa love affair. Will definitely be test driving this.
     
  15. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #15
    So, Apple’s entry into the smart speaker/home assistant game focuses on sound and not smart. Feels like a miss to me.
     
  16. Frobozz macrumors 65816

    Frobozz

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    #16
    “unless you live entirely inside Apple’s walled garden and prioritize sound quality over everything else”

    Stop right there. I do, and mine is arriving on Friday. Second, I want a HomeKit hub that is always at home. This is a no-brainer for me.

    I first and foremost want an amazing speaker and, ideally, the future features planned will open up functionality along the way. I’m looking forward to pairing speakers with an additional HomePod, and really would like the ability to discern between multiple people. Siri features are great, but I already have an Apple Watch, an iPhone, an iPad, etc.
     
  17. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    #17
    Siri does what’s required..can’t imagine ever needing a smart speaker to be really smart

    Just do basic tasks, play music, switch lights on and off, reminders for shopping list, play podcasts etc
     
  18. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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    #18
    I would hope a speaker that costs $150 more than Sonos One sounds better.

    The fact that it’s comparable says a lot about the value in Sonos One.
     
  19. BootsWalking macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Apple should use some of their billions in retained cash to buy up a few AI companies to bring Siri up to speed faster.
     
  20. Centris 650 macrumors 6502a

    Centris 650

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    #20
    Same. I get the news and weather from my Echo while I get ready for work. Sounds like the HomePod can do the same thing.

    On a side note: Every review I've seen blasting the HomePod for not allowing Spotify to work with it. Does anyone blast Amazon or Google for not being able to use iTunes? I'm firmly tranched in the Apple ecosystem and it sounds like the HomePod would work for me just fine.
     
  21. scottlitch macrumors member

    scottlitch

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    #21
    This is my experience every day. She's not that great. Apple should also take a cue from Alexa and have "Skills" like abilities.
     
  22. kyleh22 macrumors 6502

    kyleh22

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    #22
    Sounds like you haven't tried Google and Amazon's offerings. They are truly incredible at interpreting voice queries.
     
  23. Frobozz macrumors 65816

    Frobozz

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    #23
    I’d argue this is Apples entry into home audio, not home assistant. I’m not saying they shouldn’t compete there, or extend HomePod to include home assistant features beyond HomeKit. They should. But they have been pretty clear about their initial focus.
     
  24. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    #24
    Actually no for all those tasks it seems to work great
     
  25. Heineken Suspended

    Heineken

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    #25
    Somehow walking around a home and asking random questions equals smart these days.:rolleyes:
     

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