With the news that Apple is discontinuing the original HomePod I thought I’d share my use of the two that I have.
I picked one up for the home office on launch day pretty much and was blown away by the sound quality. I’d never heard something sound so good for it’s size. It sat on the shelf nicely and was a great little companion when I worked from home alone all day. I was so impressed I picked up a used model for the kitchen too.
How I use it
I only really use it as a speaker that I airplay music to. I very rarely used Siri for music, only really to check the weather or set a timer. My family actually speaks to it more than I do, I think I prefer to have more control over my music.
I also paired them up to test with the Apple TV and was again impressed with the quality. If it was easier to change the volume and if I could have somehow connected the PS4 I probably would have kept them on the TV.
The microphones on the HomePod are also impressive and you don’t have to speak loudly at all for it to hear you.
So for me, they are a speaker system that’s it. No smarts really just a great sounding speaker that I enjoy my music on.
Where they needed to improve
Sound is perfect but it’s implementation that needs improvement. The Home app I find to be infuriating to use and I have to search how to do a software update pretty much every time I want to do it. It’s slow to download software updates and I have found that lately it’ll fall out of sync with my iPhone and continue to play music when I’ve stopped playing it on my device.
Should you pick one up?
Personally I haven’t heard the HomePod Mini so I don’t have a comparison but comparing the original HomePod to my previous Sonos One there’s no competition, the HomePod blows it out of the water. This is true for both sound quality and ease of setup.
If you find the original HomePod cheap and want the best sounding small speaker then I still recommend picking one up. Apple will continue to support it via software updates and if you’re in the Apple ecosystem then you can’t go far wrong.