Home audio is a higher priority than ever with many people staying at home during the pandemic. You might be glad to hear that Apple’s HomePod is on sale, then. OWC has discounted the Siri smart speaker to $205, well under the $299 official price and very close to previous deals. The best bargain is curiously only for the white model (you’ll pay $208 for the black version), but it still represents significant savings whichever color suits your tastes.
The HomePod is one of the better-sounding smart speakers we’ve tested, with balanced output that automatically adjusts to the device’s placement in the room. It might be your ideal speaker if you’re deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem thanks to its easy setup, Apple Music integration and AirPlay 2 streaming. The company has also addressed gaps in its features since launch with multi-user support, music handoffs, radio streaming and Spotify support, among other upgrades.
With that said, some of the caveats haven’t changed. You’ll need an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch just to set up the speaker, so Android-only households need not apply. Siri and HomeKit are good at many tasks, but they don’t have the sheer flexibility or breadth of hardware support of rivals like Alexa or Google Assistant. And while Spotify support is present, it’s clear the HomePod is designed with Apple Music in mind for on-demand tunes. This is still a good speaker — it’s just not ideal if you want a truly platform-independent setup.