HomePod Turns Two, Lower-Priced Model Might Launch Later This Year

EdT

macrumors 68000
Mar 11, 2007
1,646
1,425
Omaha, NE
I seriously doubt that Apple has any intention of doing this, but with SONOS recent bout of ‘let’s see how many people we can piss off’ the opportunity is there if someone (anyone, not just Apple) wanted to move into the wireless speaker market. Bose is kind of in this field already but they seem to be shrinking rather than growing their presence. Not sure what Bose is doing.

For me to be interested in anyone’s product it must work with a line in source, be able to do 5.1 (minimum) surround sound, and be easily configurable with other speakers located on the net. Personally I don’t care about voice activation but if you don’t have it you won’t sell.

Make a new Apple TV with line in capacity and you now have an easy TV/video/music source to supply the HomePods from pretty much any video or music source people want with surround sound capability, multi independent zone functions and the ability to use turntables or whatever. Makes both products more useful.

//Edit-removed a repetitive statement and added a little bit more about Bose.
 
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il_teo77

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2015
27
21
The limitation of the HomePod is not the HomePod itself. It is SIRI.
Not many languages available, Siri can only be used for a limited set of things (especially if you have an english version HomePod and the rest is in italian), not able to recognize songs in other languages besides the one you set (except if you speak in a heavily fake english accented name of song or band). It could be much much more but somehow Apple has decided it isn't worth any effort. The main effort being SIRI!!!
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,501
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No it's not. The Zune was a really good product at a competitive price point, and abysmal marketing.

This is just overpriced and at the same time under-featured. But with 7 tweeters.
Thank you. The Zune hardware and the follow on Zune HD did something different and offered a great UI that was ahead of its time. The Zune desktop software (v.2, not the re-skinned WMP version that was 1.0) was heads and shoulders above iTunes.

It was drowned out by the tsunami of Apple marketing and the lack of success-or-bust determination by Microsoft.
 
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Machead2012

macrumors regular
Nov 16, 2011
143
89
The market has decided, and the decision is near unanimous...

THIS PRODUCT IS A FAILURE!!! PERIOD; NO CAP!!!

Regardless if the sales numbers are concealed its pretty obvious that you are correct but you will never convince the Apple Fan boys. Just try asking an Apple sales person about the home pod in one of their retail outlets.
 

citysnaps

macrumors 603
Oct 10, 2011
5,479
8,706
San Francisco
Apple should release a smaller 'minipod' to compete with google home and Amazon Echo. Google home is superior but Alexa is incredibly popular in the UK. I tried it and it's great at turning lights on or off, however, searching for things, asking questions, it sucks!
Nah... Apple is not in the commodity smart speaker business. Ditto with commodity displays, laser printers, WiFi routers, etc.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,766
7,329
Florida, USA
The limitation of the HomePod is not the HomePod itself. It is SIRI.
Not many languages available, Siri can only be used for a limited set of things (especially if you have an english version HomePod and the rest is in italian), not able to recognize songs in other languages besides the one you set (except if you speak in a heavily fake english accented name of song or band). It could be much much more but somehow Apple has decided it isn't worth any effort. The main effort being SIRI!!!
Is this such a big deal?

Based on the feature set of the HomePod, if I owned one I'd likely just use it as an AirPlay speaker. I would just AirPlay music to it from my phone and computer, the same way as I AirPlay to my JBL L8 and the old Apple TV plugged into the living room sound system now.

In fact the only reason I DON'T own one is because I don't NEED another AirPlay speaker right now; if I were to go buy an AirPlay speaker the HomePod would likely be it as it sounds good for the price and is well-supported by Apple. I would likely not even bother with the Siri features as I have privacy concerns.
 

DoctorTech

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2014
573
1,263
Indianapolis, IN
That’s just not true. The sound quality mightn’t be to your personal taste, and things like this are subjective, but a wide range of publications praised the high fidelity of HomePod audio.

I’d also take issue with your ‘useless’ statement re: Siri. If that were not also fakenews, I’d be at a loss to explain what it is in my kitchen that helps my family with various tasks & queries nearly every day (btw, not claiming Siri is perfect).
Agree 100%. I am not an audiophile and I would not pretend to be able to tell the difference between a $1,000 and a $5,000 pair of speakers. However, I can CLEARLY tell the difference between a HomePod and any of my old Echos (original "can" model, dots, spot and show). HomePod absolutely blows away any of these Echos I have owned and I trust Apple a whole lot more than Amazon on privacy issues. I also agree that Siri still needs some work but "she" works well for voice control of my Hue bulbs, LIFX bulbs, Eve lightstrips, Ecobee Thermostat, and Wemo outlets.
 

truthertech

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2016
2,006
2,159
will stick with Google Home and echo, thanks

Your Google overlords thank you. It's very helpful to have everything you say in your home added to your digital dossier under what they quietly call your "Universal Identifier." Best thing that ever happened to intel agencies, law enforcement and criminal hackers, not to mention Google itself. They have linked your Google Assistant to every email sent or received, every use of Google Maps, every photo, every document in Google docs, every web site visited and everything you've looked at on every site, every song played or movie watched, every social media visited via Google ID, etc., etc.
 

Xtir

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2013
101
44
Your Google overlords thank you. It's very helpful to have everything you say in your home added to your digital dossier under what they quietly call your "Universal Identifier." Best thing that ever happened to intel agencies, law enforcement and criminal hackers, not to mention Google itself. They have linked your Google Assistant to every email sent or received, every use of Google Maps, every photo, every document in Google docs, every web site visited and everything you've looked at on every site, every song played or movie watched, every social media visited via Google ID, etc., etc.
And Apple is any better..? read their privacy promises. Giving access to almost everyone, once it harms the profit. Except for law enforcement ofcourse, this should show the public Apple has high moral standards, and in the mean time aiding and abetting China (e.g. Uyghur) and Russia (e.g. Crimea). Everything for a buck! Even moral standards..
 

mi7chy

macrumors 603
Oct 24, 2014
6,152
7,143
Dumb speakers are outdated. Just blow out current inventory of HomePods for $199 for pair then get with the times and release a competitor to Amazon Echo Show, Google Home Hub Max, etc. with speaker+display+video conferencing+smarts.
 

Beerstalker

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2011
472
170
Peoria, IL
All those people who say the HomePod is too expensive, what Airplay 2 speaker have you found that sounds anywhere near as good for less money?

People really need to stop comparing it to bluetooth only speakers, or crappy speakers with Alexa/Google Voice/etc.

That said I would be interested in a dumbed down version of the Homepod with the same look and speakers as the original, but without all the processing power. No Siri, no touch controls, etc. It would probably still have all of the microphones, but it should hand off all processing to the "parent" unit. From what I understand that is pretty much what happens when you pair them right now anyway.

I've also mentioned in other threads I would really be interested in a soundbar like version made for hooking up to a TV. It could even pair with multiple of the dumbed down homepods like I mentioned above to create a real surround sound system.
 

triangletechie

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2017
537
752
NC
My only real issue with the Homepod is the inconsistency of stereo pairing. Just yesterday, the Home app showed them as paired, yet music was only playing out of one of them. And sometimes the pairing gets broken. Very frustrating.
 

EdT

macrumors 68000
Mar 11, 2007
1,646
1,425
Omaha, NE
Your Google overlords thank you. It's very helpful to have everything you say in your home added to your digital dossier under what they quietly call your "Universal Identifier." Best thing that ever happened to intel agencies, law enforcement and criminal hackers, not to mention Google itself. They have linked your Google Assistant to every email sent or received, every use of Google Maps, every photo, every document in Google docs, every web site visited and everything you've looked at on every site, every song played or movie watched, every social media visited via Google ID, etc., etc.
2 things, make that 3 things about your claims:
  1. people don’t care until they find out that it hurts them in some manner
  2. A lot of information is available at a lot of sources so not using a voice assistant isn’t improving their security much-Facebook, Instagram, Twitter users for example.
  3. One hell of a lot of people don’t care until they find out that it hurts them in some manner
Ever read a comment on the internet that basically says if you haven’t done anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about? It isn’t just driving or criminal activity that people have this attitude toward. Especially now pre-existing conditions are likely to become part of the reason your insurance balloons in cost, or you are jut flat out denied. Or if your credit rating suddenly tanks? You don’t own your credit ratings data, and the company that does isn’t required to be accurate or provide you with a copy. They may offer that information but in most cases it’s not legally required.

so, until it affects a person or family directly AND they know how and where that data comes from they don’t CARE if companies mine their data.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
6,386
1,819
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Agree 100%. I am not an audiophile and I would not pretend to be able to tell the difference between a $1,000 and a $5,000 pair of speakers. However, I can CLEARLY tell the difference between a HomePod and any of my old Echos (original "can" model, dots, spot and show). HomePod absolutely blows away any of these Echos I have owned and I trust Apple a whole lot more than Amazon on privacy issues. I also agree that Siri still needs some work but "she" works well for voice control of my Hue bulbs, LIFX bulbs, Eve lightstrips, Ecobee Thermostat, and Wemo outlets.
I also trust Apple against any other home digital product against digital obsolescence! They’re MOST likely NOT to sell their entire company to a competitor or one one else with a very different view of their products and services.

Also Apple has a glorious track record of keeping the final OS of their products available for updates or full resets: endless 13yr old + iPods, iPhones, 4yr old Watches ... yeah Apple!
 

truthertech

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2016
2,006
2,159
And Apple is any better..? read their privacy promises. Giving access to almost everyone, once it harms the profit. Except for law enforcement ofcourse, this should show the public Apple has high moral standards, and in the mean time aiding and abetting China (e.g. Uyghur) and Russia (e.g. Crimea). Everything for a buck! Even moral standards..

You lost everyone at the start when you equated Apple and Google in the area of privacy. Apple's not perfect, but no one is going to take you seriously and read on when you make a laughable claim.
 
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e-coli

macrumors 68000
Jul 27, 2002
1,841
808
Doesn't that mean there's another device involved nearby and powered on, processing the "Hey Siri..." command?
Yes. Your iPhone or iPad. Pretty uncomplicated.
- - Post merged: - -

I’d rather get a HomePod better speaker and no Idevices needed. But to each their own.
The HomePod is in no way better than a Sonos speaker. You should visit a Sonos listening room.
 

ipponrg

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2008
1,809
1,386
All those people who say the HomePod is too expensive, what Airplay 2 speaker have you found that sounds anywhere near as good for less money?
As a BT/Airplay speaker, I found that the Wren sounded significantly better than the HomePod.
 

gtkriz

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2015
22
8
Doesn't seem to have a high priority... the old one is still not available in many countries.
Amen to that... it's still not available in most countries. I'd buy a pair in a second if it was available.
 

Xtir

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2013
101
44
You lost everyone at the start when you equated Apple and Google in the area of privacy. Apple's not perfect, but no one is going to take you seriously and read on when you make a laughable claim.
Your point being?
 

Beerstalker

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2011
472
170
Peoria, IL
As a BT/Airplay speaker, I found that the Wren sounded significantly better than the HomePod.
I'll have to take your word on the sound quality as I have never seen/heard one.

Is the company even still around, their website seems to be broken, and many places that sell them say discontinued or out of stock?

Are any of them Airplay 2 compatible? Everything I saw just mentions Airplay, which I assume means just the first generation technology.

The Airplay models I did see for sale in stock were the same price or higher than the Airpod.