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Apple HomePod Review

Apple HomePod Review

Posted   02.13.18
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79 Engadget Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
79

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

It's no secret that the HomePod was designed to be a speaker first and an assistant second. What's really surprising was how much better the HomePod performs as the former. With an omnidirectional array of tweeters, one big woofer and an A8 chipset to manage everything, the HomePod pumps out bright, balanced sound that outshines the competition. Unfortunately, you have to be deeply invested in Apple's ecosystem to really use a HomePod at all. And Siri isn't nearly as capable as Google Assistant or Alexa in some crucial ways, leaving the HomePod feeling like a work-in-progress.

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Pros
  • Seriously excellent sound
  • Siri responds quickly to commands
  • Subtle design
  • AirPlay streaming works well
Cons
  • Siri is limited compared to its rivals
  • Can't identify multiple users
  • No Bluetooth streaming or audio inputs
  • Limited third-party support (for now)
79 Engadget Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
79

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

79
 

Users

Not yet scored
 

User Reviews

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Score Breakdown

 
81
Average Critic Score
 
90
TechCrunch
As the owner of a collection of shoes that is large enough to be known to cause visitors to exclaim “Imelda Marcos!” and pass out, I am the last person to make generalizations about what people feel it’s worth spending their money on. But if you own an iPhone, an Apple Music subscription and at least one HomeKit device, then you are the target market for a fantastic sounding $349 speaker that works best with all of that stuff.
 
80
The Verge
The HomePod is a remarkable new kind of audio device. It does more to make music sound better than any other speaker of this kind has ever done before, and it really, truly works. But unless you live entirely inside Apple’s walled garden and prioritize sound quality over everything else, I think you’re better served by other smart speakers that sound almost as good and offer the services and capabilities that actually fit your life.
 
80
CNET
Apple's HomePod won’t slay Amazon Alexa out of the gate. But if you’re an iPhone user who prizes sound quality above all, you should seriously consider this speaker.
 
80
The Wall Street Journal
It really comes down to what you want your speaker to do. If you want the smartest smart speaker, this isn’t it. But if you prize music above everything else, the HomePod isn’t a dumb choice.
 
90
The Independent
HomePod is a gentle improvement on the things Siri could do already and which other smart speakers do. Apart from one thing: the hi-fi playback, which is a giant leap forward. If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, this is easily the most attractive option, in every way. Even if you’re not, there’s still much to enjoy. Above all, the HomePod creates music which has great, unmissable presence, a rich tone and a wide, impressive soundstage.
 
100
What Hi-Fi
The best-sounding, most music-oriented smart speaker currently available.
 
70
New York Times
The $349 HomePod, which costs roughly three times its competitors and arrives in stores on Friday, is tough to recommend to you, dear reader.
 
80
USA Today
HomePod may be a latecomer on the smart loudspeaker scene, but Apple’s entry onto the dance floor is about to liven up the party. At least for well-heeled Apple die-hards who share my passion for all kinds of music.
 
60
Pocket-Lint
For now, it's just a speaker that sounds great, that isn't very smart.
 
80
The Telegraph
It really does sound great. But it also doesn’t play the radio.

The Latest

10.30.19
Apple re-releases HomePod update to avoid bricking speakers
10.30.19 in

Apple re-releases HomePod update to avoid bricking speakers

Multi-user support and handoffs have arrived (again).

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