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

ipponrg

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Oct 15, 2008
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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.
That is unfortunate. It does look like they went out of business. I did own a Wren back in the day, and it was much better sounding than the HomePod. They probably did not have an Airplay2 speaker, but the Airplay1 was excellent.

The speakers themselves were very natural and did not sound artificial like Bose/HomePod.
 

DeepIn2U

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May 30, 2002
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The HomePod is in no way better than a Sonos speaker. You should visit a Sonos listening room.
I guess the answer is maybe yes or maybe no.
I'd like to have 5 Apple HomePods in the same listening room with ability to have all HomePods set into 5.1 channel setup as a proper/fair comparison.

I'd be willing to wage - at a loss - that Apple in such a setup would give the average user great surprise and Sonos a good run for their dollar value in such a comparison.

Sonos has a great view on how to have home wireless audio and ability to source from analog/old-school audio sources into the wireless room/home/studio. Yet with early February's mishap customer communication about rendering old devices obsolete and then back-tracking (!) I'm not confident such a Sonos listening room in 5yrs would even work compared to a single HomePod.

THIS is the major concern (even if Sonos remains independent and not purchased or independently and owned by another company). right now there is a nervousness about future longevity with Sonos. I sold my Play One faster (1 wk) than I sold the original limited edition Play:1 or the first HomePod I had just for this reason alone.
 
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Nozuka

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Is there even another company that has been supporting and updating their network audio devices as long or longer than Sonos?

And they were not going to be obsolete. They would have still worked. No new updates and not together with new speakers (which is also not true, if you use Airplay 2), but they would still have worked.

But i would never buy any network audio product that is several years old and likely close to being replaced.
 

Shanghaichica

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Apr 8, 2013
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Homepod was a rare tactical misstep by Apple imo. A simple 3.5mm jack and BT playback could have exponentially increased the potential audience for the Homepod. Yet here we are, 2 years on and the Homepod is still a limited release product with self-inflicted limited appeal. Too bad. They sound and look nice ('cept for that semi-permanent power cord).

If Apple does release a new version, hopefully they employ the mentality they did when releasing ATV+: make it available on as many platforms as possible. A new Homepod with better i/o is a more universally appealing product than an ecosystem locked, limited device. When a $20 smart speaker with good i/o can sound just as good, and often times better than your $300 unit... here's hoping Apple adds, at a minimum, a 3.5mm jack and BT playback to their next Homepod.
I can understand a 3.5 mm Jack not that I’d have any use for it but Bluetooth? Surely airplay is sufficient. I suppose Bluetooth would be useful if you want to connect it to your TV and you don’t have an Apple TV.
- - Post merged: - -

The current HomePod is worth $99 at the best. It’s basically a mono speaker with a very dumb smart assistant. If you want hifi music you can buy good quality speakers for less, if you prefer a smart speaker you can find Alexa speakers for much less. If you want both you can buy a good pair of speakers and connect them to amazon dot and still save money and achieve better music quality and a smarter assistant.
It’s worth more than $100 due to the sound quality. It’s a bit of a faff on having to buy an echo and then having to buy another set of speakers to connect those to. All of this stuff takes up space. It’s easier to have one device do everything.
 

69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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I can understand a 3.5 mm Jack not that I’d have any use for it but Bluetooth? Surely airplay is sufficient. I suppose Bluetooth would be useful if you want to connect it to your TV and you don’t have an Apple TV.
You sort of missed the point of my quote. I was speaking of a HomePod with universal appeal. Airplay does nothing to accomplish that. Airplay circles back to the ecosystem locked limited appeal portion of my comment. BT would be useful if you wanted to connect it to anything outside of the Apple ecosystem, hence the universal appeal.

It’s worth more than $100 due to the sound quality. It’s a bit of a faff on having to buy an echo and then having to buy another set of speakers to connect those to. All of this stuff takes up space. It’s easier to have one device do everything.
While I do think the HomePod is worth more than $100, your rebuttal of the echo devices carries little weight imo. You don't have to buy another set of speakers with an echo device. You can buy another set, but it isn't necessary since echos easily integrate into existing systems. That ties back to my opinion of Apple's tactical misstep with the HomePod. A simple 3.5mm jack and BT playback capability would have allow the HomePod to act as a stand alone device like currently, integrate into a user's existing audio set up, and branch out beyond the Apple ecosystem for use with any BT capable device.
 
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I7guy

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You sort of missed the point of my quote. I was speaking of a HomePod with universal appeal. Airplay does nothing to accomplish that. Airplay circles back to the ecosystem locked limited appeal portion of my comment. BT would be useful if you wanted to connect it to anything outside of the Apple ecosystem, hence the universal appeal.


While I do think the HomePod is worth more than $100, your rebuttal of the echo devices carries little weight imo. You don't have to buy another set of speakers with an echo device. You can buy another set, but it isn't necessary since echos easily integrate into existing systems. That ties back to my opinion of Apple's tactical misstep with the HomePod. A simple 3.5mm jack and BT playback capability would have allow the HomePod to act as a stand alone device like currently, integrate into a user's existing audio set up, and branch out beyond the Apple ecosystem for use with any BT capable device.
It does annoy me that apple hasn’t minimally enabled BT as a source, but I lose that thought when I hear the music that comes from the homepod.
 
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Shanghaichica

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You sort of missed the point of my quote. I was speaking of a HomePod with universal appeal. Airplay does nothing to accomplish that. Airplay circles back to the ecosystem locked limited appeal portion of my comment. BT would be useful if you wanted to connect it to anything outside of the Apple ecosystem, hence the universal appeal.


While I do think the HomePod is worth more than $100, your rebuttal of the echo devices carries little weight imo. You don't have to buy another set of speakers with an echo device. You can buy another set, but it isn't necessary since echos easily integrate into existing systems. That ties back to my opinion of Apple's tactical misstep with the HomePod. A simple 3.5mm jack and BT playback capability would have allow the HomePod to act as a stand alone device like currently, integrate into a user's existing audio set up, and branch out beyond the Apple ecosystem for use with any BT capable device.
Oh I’m not rubbishing the echo or the google home devices. I own 3 echos and 4 google home devices. As much as I like the HomePod it’s not enough on its own for me hence why I have other devices. I like the HomePod for its superior sound quality and good integration with my Apple devices but I still need stellar smart speakers that do more and that’s why I have to have other devices. I actually got rid of my stereo when the HomePod first came out but I understand that many people still have very capable sound systems that they would still like to use.
 
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69Mustang

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It does annoy me that apple hasn’t minimally enabled BT as a source, but I lose that thought when I hear the music that comes from the homepod.
I'm sure there are many more like you who are perfectly content with the HomePod. That's totally okay. I am not one of them. Although the HomePod has good sound, it lacks the versatility that would make it a buy for me. The i/o limitations are just too severe for me when good sound can be had without the compromises. As I said in an earlier quote, here's hoping Apple adds proper i/o to the HomePod's successor. Even retroactively adding BT playback would make it a more attractive proposition.
 
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sracer

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I'm sure there are many more like you who are perfectly content with the HomePod. That's totally okay. I am not one of them. Although the HomePod has good sound, it lacks the versatility that would make it a buy for me. The i/o limitations are just too severe for me when good sound can be had without the compromises. As I said in an earlier quote, here's hoping Apple adds proper i/o to the HomePod's successor. Even retroactively adding BT playback would make it a more attractive proposition.
It seems that this concept is a bit difficult for some to grasp. I think that difficulty is connected to how deep into the Apple ecosystem a person is. It is a challenge for some of them to think that there are those of us who DON'T have Apple devices at the center of our media and entertainment setups.

This loops back to the whole idea of how if nothing physically changes, a lower-priced model will suffer the same fate. The primary issue wasn't the price, it was the lack of flexibility and functionality for that price.

It might be a little too late though. The HomePod got our attention. When some of us saw the limitations, the interest didn't go away... it was re-directed to alternatives that DID serve our needs. How many who have the alternatives would toss it out to buy this lower-priced, less-flexible HomePod later this year? It might take quite a bit of time after that for people to give any HomePod another serious look.
 
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I7guy

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It seems that this concept is a bit difficult for some to grasp. I think that difficulty is connected to how deep into the Apple ecosystem a person is. It is a challenge for some of them to think that there are those of us who DON'T have Apple devices at the center of our media and entertainment setups.

This loops back to the whole idea of how if nothing physically changes, a lower-priced model will suffer the same fate. The primary issue wasn't the price, it was the lack of flexibility and functionality for that price.

It might be a little too late though. The HomePod got our attention. When some of us saw the limitations, the interest didn't go away... it was re-directed to alternatives that DID serve our needs. How many who have the alternatives would toss it out to buy this lower-priced, less-flexible HomePod later this year? It might take quite a bit of time after that for people to give any HomePod another serious look.
HomePod reminds me of the release of Apple Pay in 2016. I remember reading on these forums how it was felt Apple Pay would fail and how samsung pay/google pay/android pay were better solutions. Fast forward 6 years and Apple Pay is a monster. I’m guessing the ramp up for HomePod will be similar, slow but ultimately will be successful.

For me, after 2 portable Bluetooth speakers (Bose and Sony), an AirPlay 2 enabled home theater finally bought my first HomePod and want to get more for others rooms in the house.

Of course, ymmv.
 

markaceto

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Jun 8, 2017
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That's an understatement. I got an Echo dot for 99 cents over the holidays. Just had to sign up for Amazon Prime music and then cancel. For good sound I use my AudioEngine A5 Plus speakers connected to my Airport Express. Still the best solution for me. I have given Apple a hard time, but the Airport Express is a delightful product and has held up well for many, many years now.
Exactly this. There are those of use that patch our speakers to an AirPort, plug in our mice, etc... but Apple's solution to all of this I/O is to kill off their (excellent) wireless routers, laptop and phone ports, and push us to buy their sh*tty BT devices. They can pry the speakers and wired mouse from my cold dead hands.