Apple Unveils HomePod Siri Smart Speaker With A8 Chip To Counter Amazon Echo And Google Home

homepod white shelf
So, what did Apple do with those old design models for the Mac Pro? Apparently, it used them to create the HomePod, which is Apple’s take on the smart speaker movement that is sweeping the tech world.

The HomePod is a “Breakthrough Home Speaker” first and foremost that measures less than seven inches tall and features seven beam-forming tweeters at the bottom of the device and an Apple-designed woofer for rich bass. As you might expect, HomePod has full support for voice controls with deep Siri integration, which would put it in the same league as the Amazon Echo and Google Home; albeit with far superior audio more in line with Sonos products.

An array of six microphones are included the HomePod, which can pick up a person’s voice from across the room even while music is being played. As you might expect from a device that incorporates Siri, you can ask it things that you would normally expect with any iOS- or macOS-based device. You can do the mundane like inquire about sports or the weather forecast, or you can invoke HomeKit integration by asking the HomePod to turn on your downstairs fan or open your garage door.

The Siri integration and ability to tap into services like Apple Music are made possible due to the onboard Apple A8 processor, which was introduced with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus back in 2014.

homepod standing black

“Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes,” said Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller. “HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home.”

The Apple HomePod might have superior audio when stacked up against its competitors, but you’re definitely going to pay for that privilege (with probably a little bit of the “Apple Tax” thrown in as well). Whereas the Amazon Echo is priced at $180 ($50 for the Echo Dot) and the Google Home will set you back $109, the HomePod will be priced at $349 when it launches in December.