- The takeaway: Learn why Apple’s smart speaker – the HomePod – is a great device for enjoying your favorite music thanks to features like Siri integration, spatial awareness and astonishing sound quality.
If you’re like us, you love all things Apple. You have a MacBook on your desk, an iPhone in your pocket and an Apple Watch on your wrist. The only thing left to complete your collection is the ultimate smart speaker – the Apple HomePod.
The HomePod works great with your iOS devices right out of the box. All you have to do is plug in your HomePod and your device will recognize and sync with it. And, you can pair the device with a second HomePod to create an even better smart speaker experience.
Once you start using the HomePod, it won’t take long for you to realize all the innovative features housed in Apple’s smart speaker. And when it comes to listening to your favorite music, the Apple smart speaker delivers a truly groundbreaking experience.
Using your HomePod to listen to music
Once you have your HomePod set up, listening to music on your Apple smart speaker is a breeze. With an Apple Music subscription, you can stream your favorite songs from your iPhone or Mac, or directly on the HomePod.
While you can only sync one iPhone with Apple’s smart speaker, your friends and family can still stream music from their iPhones using AirPlay. All they have to do is hit the AirPlay button on the Music widget from their control center, find your HomePod and hit play.
And with Siri, you can turn your HomePod into the perfect DJ. When you hear a song you’re really into, just say “Hey Siri, I like this song.” Then, Siri combines your liked songs with learnings from thousands of playlists on Apple Music to build a lineup that’s perfect for you.
Siri can also handle questions about songs. From easy queries like “Hey Siri, who sings this?” to more advanced searches like “Hey Siri, who’s the bassist on this song?”
Controlling your Apple smart speaker
The HomePod has six microphones to recognize your commands without you having to yell. Even with loud music playing, HomePod can still recognize and respond to your “Hey Siri” beckon from across the room. And, you don’t have to worry about Apple’s smart speaker invading your privacy. Commands are encrypted and sent anonymously to Apple servers so they’re not associated with your Apple ID.
Streaming music with AirPlay
AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary system that allows you to stream audio on and across Apple smart speakers and other devices. Released in May 2018, AirPlay 2 is Apple’s newest version of the protocol and adds the ability to stream music to multiple devices simultaneously.
Say you’re moving room to room cleaning your house and you want to listen to your favorite music to counter the boredom. With AirPlay 2, you could pull up a song on your iPhone and stream it to multiple devices – HomePods, Apple TVs, etc. – even if they’re scattered around the house. As long as the device has the “AirPlay” badge on it, you should be good to go.
Sound and acoustics
A great user experience doesn’t matter much if the sound quality isn’t up to par. But that’s not a problem with the HomePod. When you play music on a HomePod, flawless sound flows from the speaker and fills a room in a way that’s unexpected from a speaker that’s only seven inches tall.
Bass explodes from the HomePod thanks to an upward-facing woofer at the top of the speakers. The combined force of its six-microphone array and internal bass-EQ microphone allows the HomePod to analyze and compensate based on the environment and adjust the sound accordingly.
The only thing better than the sound from one HomePod is the sound from two HomePods. When you pair Apple smart speakers, the combo provides heart-pounding bass extension and commanding sound that fills each room with music.
The spatial awareness of Apple’s smart speaker
One of the reasons the HomePod is able to deliver brilliant sound is the device’s spatial awareness. Depending on where a speaker is placed in a room, sound can become distorted by surrounding items and the shape of the room. Soft furnishings like couches and chairs tend to absorb sound, while harder surfaces like shelves tend to reflect it. This can lead to an inconsistent listening experience.
But, that won’t happen when you’re listening to music on a HomePod. Apple’s smart speaker is equipped with spatial awareness to automatically analyze its surroundings and adjust its settings based on the acoustics of each environment. The HomePod can identify direct sound like main vocals and instruments and direct them to the middle of the room. At the same time, the HomePod can diffuse ambient noise and deflect it outwards to produce a consistent listening experience.
The HomePod also has seven beamforming tweeter speakers, each with its own amplifier. The beamforming tweeters surround the base of the HomePod to create a 360-degree sound pattern that fills every room.