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Apple launches the HomePod, a Siri-powered wireless speaker

Back in early May, we heard that Apple may be expanding its foray into the Smart Home market with its own Amazon Echo competitor. Now, at WWDC, Apple has made the ‘Siri Speaker’ official. The product is officially called the HomePod and it is designed to use spatial awareness to sense its location in the room and adjust audio accordingly. The Home Pod is also being primarily pitched as a wireless music speaker, rather than an all encompassing digital assistant.

The HomePod is designed specifically with Apple Music in mind, so it can offer you suggestions based on your music tastes to help you discover new artists. It also has six microphones to pick up on voice commands, which Apple says should allow users to interact with the speaker from across the room. The HomePod is also tied in to the Apple Homekit, so you can talk to the speaker to interact with other HomeKit accessories.

As we expected, Siri is embedded in the HomePod, so users can get updates on news, send messages etc. As a regular music speaker though, it is pretty well equipped with an in-built subwoofer for deep, clean bass tones and an array of seven beam-forming tweeter speakers that aim to offer clarity for mid and high tones as well as directional audio.

The speaker itself sits at just 7-inches tall, though Apple is offering the ability to stack two of them to deliver an additional boost to audio.

The HomePod is arriving in December this year in white and ‘space grey’. Initially, it will only be available in the US, UK and Australia. US pricing is $349, international pricing information will come a bit later.

KitGuru Says: Honestly I’m a little surprised that Apple didn’t think to release its own wireless speaker sooner, especially when you take into account how popular iPod docks/speakers were over the years. I do hope support for Spotify is added to the HomePod though, Apple Music is a decent enough service but transferring playlists is a pain. 

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