Apple HomePod is a Giant Leap on the Wireless Audio Arena

Apple HomePod is a Giant Leap on the Wireless Audio Arena

Apple HomePod is a Giant Leap on the Wireless Audio Arena

This makes sense for a smart speaker, but with programs like the Alexa app for Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot, it will be an interesting choice if the Apple HomePod is truly to ship without an external way to control numerous features. Instead, it's celebrating the release of the world's newest smart speaker by offering two of the company's Sonos One speakers at a discounted price.

Apple have announced pre-orders are opening for their HomePod Virtual Assistant device on the 26th of January in the United Kingdom with delivery expected on the 9th of February. So while you won't be able to use the HomePod to order Dominos pizza - as one can do with the Amazon Echo - Apple is confident that the superior sound quality offered by the HomePod will compel buyers to pull the trigger. Friday is also the day the special Sonos One bundle launches. However, a slight delay pushed the launch to February 9 with pre-orders beginning this week.

Furthermore, Sonos will be enabling Google's smart voice assistant Google Assistant on its One speaker sometime this year, which also pulls ahead of Siri in terms of usefulness. Spotify is available on both Google Home and Amazon's Echo so it's going to be an uphill struggle to attract Apple users who already have one or other of these devices.

Announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last June, the Siri-controlled Apple HomePod was supposed to arrive in December.

Apple has positioned HomePod as a better-sounding speaker than the Sonos Play:3 which recently saw a price drop, and the Sonos One is even lower in the lineup. Lossless audio formats have always been preferred by the audiophile community, as they allow for unadulterated reproduction of high quality recordings, and although Apple's ALAC format has been the company's answer for this, the open nature of FLAC has made it a considerably more popular choice since it's more widely supported.

Perhaps the biggest strength of the HomePod is also it's biggest failing and that is the total reliance on Siri. Commands like, "Hey Siri, play blues" work as you expect.

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