It’s all about the sound, right? David Pogue’s tests and Consumer Reports tests notwithstanding, professionals in the audio business seem to think Apple is on to something. Mark Sullivan:
We turned to NTi Audio AG, the Liechtenstein-based company that makes all kinds of acoustics testing gear and software. The company was kind enough to loan us a testing device, software, and a special microphone so that we could test the HomePod in a real-life natural habitat–my living room.
It’s true that the speakers and other components inside the HomePod are of very high quality. But it’s those algorithms–the intelligence of the speaker itself–that back up the claim that the HomePod is the best-sounding smart speaker on the market. Apple’s definition of “smart” speaker might simply be different than the common understanding–a speaker with a digital assistant inside. The “smart” in Apple’s definition might refer to “sound smart,” not “Siri smart.”
HomePod is heavy, unobtrusive, and sounds marvelous even with volume cranked up beyond reasonable.