4 months ago


REVIEW Apple HomePod

REVIEW Apple HomePod £319 inc VAT from The HomePod is Apple’s smart speaker that’s controlled using Siri and designed primarily for high-quality music playback. It’s taken its sweet time to arrive, but arrive it has and our ears have decided that it was worth the wait. Naturally, this isn’t merely an AirPlay speaker. With Siri built in, you can use it for many other tasks – just as you can with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. From checking the weather and sports scores to setting reminders, alarms and timers, Siri is a pretty capable assistant. It can also control all your HomeKit devices, such as lights, heating and switches. 48 TECH ADVISOR • MAY 2018

REVIEW As you’d expect, the HomePod is very much an Apple product. It’s designed to work within the Apple ecosystem and it does this exceptionally well. And if you’re already well established in this world, the HomePod is a great addition. Design Whether in grey or white, the HomePod is a beautifully designed speaker. It’s larger in all dimensions than the Echo 2, a little smaller than the Harman Kardon Allure and roughly the same as the Sonos One. If you heard it before you saw it, you’d be surprised at just how compact it is. We love the seamless fabric which surrounds the HomePod, feels spongy to the touch and looks as if it’s been 3D printed. On top is a glossy plastic disc which lights up when Siri talks and hides touch sensitive volume controls. Tap the centre to play/pause, double tap to skip to the next track and triple tap to skip back to the previous one. Tap and hold to invoke Siri. It’s all completely intuitive, especially if you’re already used to controlling music playback with a button on your headphone cord. The captive power cable is slightly unusual, but aside from the worry it can’t be easily fixed if it gets damaged, it’s not a deal breaker. It’s not hugely long but should be long enough to reach a nearby power socket. Setup is quick and easy. As with recent iPads, you just hold your iPhone near the HomePod and it appears on the screen. A few taps later and it’s ready to go: Wi-Fi passwords, Apple ID and preferences are all sent wirelessly from your phone. MAY 2018 • TECH ADVISOR 49

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