It seems that the anticipation surrounding the soon to be released HomePod is more centred around a desire to tear it down and declare Amazon Echo or Google Home to be the winner in the expanding voice assistant category than it is for the actual anticipation of the product. Once the reviews drop, we can expect plenty of:

  • It is too expensive.
  • Siri is worse than Alexa/Assistant/Cortana.
  • I cannot do X, Y or Z on HomePod.
  • The sound isn’t as good as X, Y, Z.
  • Apple is doomed.

In the meantime, I will be looking forward to reading about (and eventually hearing) how good of speaker it is.

2 years ago I bought a JBL Charge 3 for my girlfriend. It is one of the best purchases I have ever made. It sounds good, it’s portable, the battery lasts a good while and it is even waterproof. One thing it is not, is smart or have a voice. While the JBL Charge 3 is great, I am looking for something a little more permanent to pair with the Apple TV in the lounge while the JBL Charge 3 can go in the bedroom or go with us on holiday. As far as I am concerned, any smart/voice features are all upside. The jobs to be done in my case are:

  • Music
  • Audio for video
  • Podcasts

I would not underestimate the value of a good speaker. The real test will be to see how HomePod compares to higher end speakers and audio systems. It is interesting to consider HomePod not as an over-priced, under-featured voice assistant, but rather as a low-end entrant to the high-end audio market.