Things We Love: Apple HomePod

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Apple makes good stuff. At least I think so. Enough that I have an iPhone, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac in my house and have recently been gifted an Apple TV to help finish out the set. The only thing missing was a HomePod, until a Black Friday sale made it too tempting to pass up. Ever since, I have come to love it as the core of my somewhat smart home.

Plenty of people will make fair arguments as to why the HomePod isn’t worth it—and they are probably right. Plenty of more affordable smart speakers are on the market and there are a few that can compete on audio fidelity. What they don’t have is a direct line to all my other Apple products.

Among the best selling points for Apple products is the fact that most of it just works. The HomePod is one of those products. Setup is super simple and activated by just bringing my phone close to it after plugging it in. After that, I can create some settings via the Home app and then it’s ready to go. After playing a little music, it automatically reads the room and adjusts to make sure sound is optimized for the acoustics. It even can detect when it is moved so it can run the analysis again without me having to think about it, ever. These are the small touches that make it such a great product.

Also, can we talk about how good it sounds. This is certainly one of the best smart speakers when it comes to audio quality. It’s a great speaker that looks good in my home. My previous smart speakers didn’t sound nearly as good and one I had to have set up with a separate Bluetooth speaker for playing music. It would also lose connection to this speaker randomly, at times, and though reconnection was a quick voice command, it was always irritating. None of that with my HomePod.

There’s even Siri built in here, and, while maybe not as “smart” as its competitors, does plenty for me. I don’t need super complex commands, just to turn off lights on occasion, play a specific playlist, or check the hours for a local restaurant. I also use Apple Music, so no compatibility issues here. All these tasks Siri can handle without issue. It can also interface directly with other things I’m doing on my phone or computers. This means it can take phone calls, read texts, and plenty of the usual smart device stuff. 

A better example is podcasts. I listen to quite a few podcasts regularly, mostly during my lengthy commute. Before, if I wanted to listen to them via a smart speaker, I had to make sure I was going to listen to the whole thing. Now, I can ask Siri to play the latest episode of The B&H Photography Podcast (which is already downloaded on my phone), listen to 15 minutes, stop it, and then the next day pick up where I left off on my phone as I leave my house to go to work. Amazing. I love it.

Apple products always tend to create controversy. Are you a HomePod fan or have it on your wish list? Or are you a disciple of another smart speaker setup? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section, below!

The “Things We Love” series articles are written by B&H Photo Video Pro Audio staff to talk about products and items that we love. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the writers and do not represent product endorsements from B&H Photo Video Pro Audio.

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