Apple’s long-rumored Amazon Echo competitor is real. It’s called the HomePod (yes, I know). “We want to reinvent home music,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the company’s WWDC keynote. The Apple Speaker is focused on music first, not Siri.
Apple’s SVP of Global Marketing Phil Schiller said Sonos aren’t smart speakers and Amazon Echos aren’t good speakers. So Apple wants to combine the best of both worlds. It’s a smart marketing strategy. HomePod is shipping later this year — it’s not quite ready for prime time.
The device is a pill-shaped circular speaker. It has a seven beam-forming tweeter array. It has a custom-made woofer and an Apple A8 chip. It has multi-channel echo cancellation, real-time acoustic modeling and more.
The HomePod can scan the space around it to optimize audio accordingly. Schiller spent a lot of time talking about how good it sounds. It’s hard to know for sure when you’re listening to a song coming out of giant speakers in a conference hall.
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