Technology

New bundle drops the Sonos One back to its lowest price

New bundle drops the Sonos One back to its lowest priceā€

So while the HomePod is similar to Google Home, there may be features that will sell you on it. Even though it is a new kind of product from Apple, the company still makes about two-thirds of its sales from its smartphones.

The HomePod's colored circle on top indicates Siri is listening to a command. It has Apple Music on its platform, it has integrated Alexa, and you can control Sonos from inside the Spotify app. Unfortunately, there's no indicator on the HomePod to see at a glance if the mic is on or off. Both features are expected to be added retroactively via software update later this year. Whereas with Sonos' speakers you could have each Sonos One play either different music or the same thing synchronized to two rooms - or more, for that matter, if you have multiple Sonos speakers - right now the same can't be said for HomePod. The Sonos One isn't the only great speaker on the market but it is being compared to the HomePod so it's a natural option.

Express.co.uk was lucky enough to hear the HomePod a year ago and there's no doubting that its sound credentials are impressive. When it was blasting Ariana Grande at 90 percent volume, lower notes came through clearly, with no distortion.

You can pair two HomePods to create a stereo pair.

You can also ask Siri to do what have now become smart speaker staples: send or read Messages and Whatsapps, set reminders, find out what the traffic's like on your commute, or ask if you need to take an umbrella today. Bass-heads will have to wait for the Beats version of the HomePod, I guess. "It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, handsome design that is so much fun to use". The Alexa-powered smart speaker may not be as powerful or as large as Apple's, but for a limited time you'll be able to get two of them for the price of one HomePod. So if you prefer other music streaming services, like Spotify, the HomePod won't be the best for you.

Amazon can consider itself to be the pioneer here, having been the first company to build a voice assistant into a static home speaker. If you're holding your unlocked iPhone, it'll assume you mean to activate the assistant on your phone, whereas if your iPhone is inactive, it'll assume you're talking to the HomePod.

Apple fans are a seriously dedicated bunch who want the latest Apple gear on the first day it's available. The future is smart homes. Technically, preorders in Australia will begin on January 27, according to Apple's own website, though it seems like this could be due to the time difference, not because they'll start at a later time.



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