Review: Apple HomePod

Approved from Apple

Apple HomePod has very good sound and is easy to use. But smart steering seems too rigid and solid.

Apple HomePod
Karakter
Apple HomePod
We think
Impressive deep bass combined with clear, airy sound. In addition, the HomeKit system is very stable.
It's not just about adding products to control. As there are currently quite a few of. Does not speak Norwegian
Specifications
  • Type: Wireless smart speaker
  • Control system: HomeKit
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth (not for audio)
  • Connection: –
  • Speaker element: 1 bass, 7 treble
  • Dimensions: 14.2 x 14.2 x 17.2 cm
  • Colors: Gray, white
  • Web: apple.com
Ad
forfatter

HomePod is really elaborate in appearance. A 360 speaker that sends the sound (roughly) the same in all bills, and which you only know will work seamlessly as soon as you browse the Home app on your iPhone. Apple can do this with stability.

Adding products you want to control does not go smoothly. To add our Philips Hue lights, we need to enter an 8-digit code, which is on the box somewhere. That said, Apple has the most stable management of these. Even when the Philips servers were down and both Alexa and Google came to a standstill when we tried to do something with them, Apple did not ask twice. The light turned red when we asked for it!

Other smart products such as our iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner and Arlo surveillance camera, however, you have to download an unofficial HomeBridge to make it work. And even Apple TV has only limited control over it. Sound level, pause, start, back and forth. In other words, you can not ask it to put on a given program on Netflix, as both Google Home and Amazon Alexa can (then with Chromecast and Fire Stick). Apple is simply not in the same league.

In terms of sound, Apple is several horseheads ahead of both Google and Amazon’s speakers. Not least thanks to its built-in DSP which monitors the acoustics and adjusts the sound accordingly. But third-party manufacturers give them competition in terms of sound, and it does not quite hold that the Apple HomePod may be the one that sounds best, when the price is so high and the smart system is so inflexible.

Conclusion

The Apple HomePod sounds better than most smart speakers we’ve tested. Smart control is also experienced as very stable, almost without errors.

Unfortunately, not many third-party smart products are directly supported, so you have to resort to unofficial solutions – which then probably will not enjoy the same stability. It is also tricky to add those who are actually supported. The rigid structure behind HomeKit takes some of the excitement and fun out of the thing.

Also in this test

Libratone Zipp Mini 2

Looks like a thermos

Libratone goes against the flow, and the Alexa speaker Libratone Zipp Mini 2 looks like a thermos. It is portable, plays music well, and two can be connected in stereo.

12 hours of battery life makes the speaker very flexible. Clear sound on speech and approved sound on music.
There is a lack of bass, and the speaker falls short when you want to gobble up. As is well known, Alexa does not speak Norwegian.

Harman Kardon Citation 100

Looks Fantastic

This is probably the prettiest speaker we've seen in its class. However, the Harman Kardon Citation 100 fails to take sound advantage of its larger exterior.

The speaker has a beautiful finish in wool, and looks fantastic. Google voice control makes it speak Norwegian, and the sound is very clear and pleasant.
Does not play as big and powerful as the size gives hope for.

Marshall Stanmore II Voice Google Assistant

Concert from the bookshelf

Marshall Stanmore II plays much louder sound than the competition, without compromising the balance. It crushes them, quite simply.

No other smart speakers we have heard deliver this sound pressure. It just gets even heavier because it also sounds balanced and good enough for calm tones.
The sound can be experienced as a bit rough at the edges, and the appearance of the Marshall speakers does not appeal to everyone.

Hama Sirium 1400ABT

Bigger does not mean bigger sound

Hamas' smallest Alexa speaker Sirium 1400ABT is a bit larger than the Amazon Echo, but still fails to give us any greater sound.

Clear enough sound, and the speaker enjoys the functionality of the Alexa system.
Larger cabinets still do not produce louder sound than the smaller competitors. Cannot currently pair in stereo. Alexa does not speak Norwegian.

Google Home

Enormous potential

The Google Home system has enormous potential, but as a speaker this is not the best.

Perhaps the market's most successful voice control and merging of smart products.
Even if the bass is full enough, it murmurs upwards in the voice range, and destroys the sound from both the voice assistant and the newscaster. We miss routine commands in Norway.

Sonos One

A smarter Sonos

Sonos One will one day give us both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in one and the same smart speaker. But Google is waiting.

Sonos One withstands moisture and sounds good. With upcoming updates, it will be among the most versatile on the market.
Until further notice, it is Alexa who applies, who does not speak Norwegian. There are speakers with heavier bass.

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Clear voice

With ready-made sound on the voice assistant, only the language barrier stands between us and the automated work tasks.

A compact and appealing appearance, clear speech sound and also a stable and good control system compared to other devices. Two can be paired in stereo.
The sound is tame on music, you have to take some detours to get the speaker connected in Norway, and Alexa does not understand Norwegian.

Kygo B9/800

Smart speaker that can swim

Kygo B9/800 is the only smart speaker we know of that you can take with you to the swimming pool.

Withstands water up to a meter depth for 30 minutes. It even floats! Google Home makes the Kygo B9 / 800 an exciting portable speaker.
The sound can be experienced a little strained over time. For desktop use, the USB connector on top is not very nice, with a cable sticking up and hanging down.

Also check out

JBL Bar 5.0 is a simple and joyful soundbar, which does not need a subwoofer to provide enough bass.

The first active wireless speakers from Q Acoustics are easy to fit in the smart home. In terms of sound, they leave room for improvement.

Iron has polished up the concept, and an even better speaker has come out of it.

From Polk Audio comes the Magnifi Mini; a tiny soundbar that sounds like it was much bigger.

Shooting0 in 4K from the air has never been this easy.

The compact RF 70-200mm with f4 and image stabilizer is an expensive but razor-sharp zoom for Canon full-frame cameras.

Behind the dull exterior lives a powerful processor and an excellent graphics card - but they can not escape.

For some, the Yamaha amplifier will lack something significant, but it's not the sound quality we're thinking about.

Mola Mola Kula is a unique amplifier. We have probably never heard this abundance of details ever!

The Asus PA32UCX with Mini-LED is for professionals, and is in short the best PC screen I have seen. But it's not perfect, either.

With Samsung's new projectors, you can get a huge picture directly on the wall at home in the living room.

Bang & Olufsen has borrowed inspiration from the 1970s and created a convincing music machine that you can take with you.

With absolutely all the features you need, the Marantz NR1711 provides great home cinema experiences in a slim and sleek form package.

This is the modern surround receiver for those who want really good sound in the home cinema, but who are sober with their use of money.

Philips ultra-wide screen puts you in the middle of the action, whether it's games, movies or spreadsheets.

JBL Bar 5.0 is a simple and joyful soundbar, which does not need a subwoofer to provide enough bass.