Our HomePod arrived in the first batch sent out by Apple – in other words on Saturday February 9th.
I will not bother you with unpacking details – but go straight to the first impressions :
– Siri now works very well, comparable to the Google Home (there is one of those in the house as well)
– The integration with Apple Music works flawlessly (almost)
– The setup procedure is extremely good
– The Homekit integration is not up to scratch.
– Airplay works,
– The sound quality is good for it’s size, but not to audiophile standards.
Siri works a lot better than I’ve ever seen it work on any other device. To be honest I’ve been unimpressed with Siri until I got the HomePod. I’ve quite possibly been spoiled by the Google Home speaker, where voice recognition works extremely well. I have to add that I have a reasonably strong Norwegian accent – enough to make working with various voice recognition systems (except for the Goole home) has been a bit of a hit-and-miss affair on occasions.
But as long as the HomePod is not hidden behind anything it works every time, even at quite a distance (12 foot) and even when playing music. Very impressive, especially seeing some of the artists I ask for songs by have weird and wonderful names.
I used to design and build professional sound studios and speakers for a few years – and have decent speakers at home (QUAD ESL and REL Sub). So iI have a fairly good idea of what makes a audiophile quality speaker.
And the HomePod is not bad, and even fairly good for it’s size. It beats most small speakers, and among these I count the Google Home speaker and the Amazon Alexa speaker. And it’s very dependent on positioning. Putting it in a corner makes it produce surprisingly good bass, but it then struggles with the midrange.
Make no mistake – it’s built for background musing around the home or office where the convenient access to your Apple Music library trumps HiFi listening, and it does this in spades.
It makes me listen to more music than I have for a long time (I’m not allowed my HiFi speakers in our living room (understandably) – but the HomePod can be used – as it looks good, and is smaller than you would guess from the pictures I have seen.