The tech industry had been beaming with rumours for the past few weeks that tech giant Apple was planning on launching its very own Siri-powered smart speaker that could give Google Home and Amazon Echo a run for their money. The reason, the Apple masterpiece would allegedly come with a screen. Well now, the weeks of speculations have finally ended on a happy note with Apple officially unveiling its smart speaker called the HomePod at its recently concluded Apple Worldwide Developers Conference held in California, USA.

According to Apple, HomePod is much more than just a regular speaker because it is capable of adapting to wherever it’s playing. Combined with Apple Music, the smart speaker gives its users an effortless access to one of the world’s largest music catalogs. Through HomePod, Apple promises to take its user's listening experience to a whole new level as everything is controlled through natural voice interaction with Siri.

How Does It Work?



When a user places Apple's HomePod in their room, the smart speaker starts its work by first scanning the environment it has been kept in, then analysing the acoustics so it could adjust the sound output based on where it is, and them finally steering the music in the optimal direction for best listening experience. The HomePod guarantees its users an immersive listening experience no matter where the speaker is placed.

Design and Specifications



The elegantly designed, compact speaker combines Apple-engineered audio technology and advanced software to deliver the highest-fidelity sound throughout the room. It's also comes with something called the innovative signal processing, which allows Siri to process request from afar, even when the music is playing at full blast.

When it comes to design, Apple could have made a little bit more effort in the department as HomePod tragically trails behind Amazon Echo and Google Home. One look at the speaker transports the user to the cricket field as the speaker bears a strong resemblance to a stump covered with a mesh fabric for the speakers. The device comes with six microphones, which flank that device to listen and respond to anyone saying "Hey, Siri." If you thought that's it, no, there's more.

The device also comes with a seven-tweeter array that is responsible for gauging the sound quality and multi-channel echo cancellation. HomePod also supports Apple's proprietary Apple A8 chip, yes, the same processor that is currently powering iPhone 6.

The tech giant has also built-in a high-excursion woofer with a custom amplifier to play a wide range of deep, rich bass. A powerful motor drives the diaphragm a full 20 mm — remarkable for a speaker this size. HomePod also makes use of an advanced algorithm that continuously analyzes the music and dynamically tunes the low frequencies for smooth, distortion‑free sound.

HomePod comes in Apple's two classic colours, white and space gray.

Will HomePod Outdo Its Rivals?



Considering the fact that HomePod comes with the world-renowned smart virtual assistant Siri, you can talk to the speaker about a range of topics including sports, movies etc. The device will also be capable of controlling other smart home devices and maybe even become a musicologist. For example, if a user asks HomePod "who's playing the guitar in this particular song?", they will immediately get an answer to their query.

The HomePod is being considered a product that Apple has been wanting to create for sometime. It is a device that's both a good speaker and a good smart speaker. Apple is banking heavily on spatial awareness to achieve its goal of reinventing home music, though only time will be able to tell if it will be successful.

When Is It Coming to the Market?



The device that would cost a whopping $349 a pop is expected to start shipping in the US, UK, and Australia later this year. Unfortunately, Indians might have to wait till next year for HomePod.

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