Apple’s Siri-powered smart speaker, HomePod, is now finally up for pre-orders in the United States, the UK, and Australia. The $349 speaker will make its way to retail stores and customers who pre-ordered it on February 9.
HomePod will also be making their way to France and Germany later this year. The speaker will also gain multi-room audio and stereo speaker support with a future software update in spring this year.
While reviews of the speaker are not yet out, a couple of hands-on impressions have gone live since Apple provided details about HomePods availability earlier this week. The speaker sounds better than the bigger Google Home Max and the Sonos One, though its smart speaker functionality falls short of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant-powered speakers. This is despite Apple improving Siri specifically for the HomePod.
At $349, the HomePod is definitely not for everyone. But then, it offers better sound quality than any other speaker in the same price range despite its relatively small size. So, if you don’t have high expectations from Siri, HomePod might just turn out to be a worthy investment for you provided you are in the market for a new speaker setup for your home.