In response to the user’s voice, you can do some research or play music remotely. A convenient item “smart speaker” that can assist human life a little.

In such an atmosphere, Apple also released the company’s first smart speaker ” HomePod “. Originally scheduled to be released in December 2017, the release was delayed due to quality improvement, and it will finally be released on February 9, 2018.

The HomePod is equipped with the voice assistant “Siri,” which is familiar to Apple products.

everyone knows that Apple sticks to the design of the body, but it’s the same with the HomePod.

First of all, about the mesh fabric that covers the cylindrical body. Not only is it fluffy and soft to the touch, but it is also easy to hold for its size and weight. It seems that high quality mesh fibers are used, and it has an overwhelming sense of luxury compared to other smart speakers.

Most smart speakers have buttons on the top of the main unit, but the HomePod has a similar one.

However, the HomePod has a large touch screen instead of buttons, and you can perform some operations by touching it with your finger. It’s completely indistinguishable where the edges of the screen are, and the design is such that the body and screen are completely integrated.

The touch screen has a mechanism that changes depending on the situation, and at startup, a beating animation is displayed to let you know that you are setting up.

You can also call it by pressing and holding the center of the touch screen.

The volume control button is always displayed while playing music. You can also play / stop music by touching between the “+” and “-” buttons that do not display the icon but adjust the volume. It can also be used to stop the timer, so it’s a good idea to use it when you’re in a hurry.

By the way, most Apple products have the Apple logo, but I don’t know where the HomePod is in its normal state. Because it’s on the bottom of the HomePod.

Turn over the main body and you will see this street. However, it seems that no one will use it horizontally like this, so unless you put it on a transparent glass table, you will rarely see the logo.

Personally, I was surprised that the HomePod’s power cable is very sturdy. Speaking of Apple products, the familiar Lightning cable used to charge iPhones and iPads and the USB-C cable for charging MacBook’s immediately come to mind.

These cables are famous for their ease of disconnection. Especially with Lightning cables. However, the HomePod’s power cable is covered with a mesh, which makes it quite sturdy and doesn’t give any impression of failure. If you want to break the wire, you have to pull a tug of war or jump rope to break it intentionally.

Easy to set up in the smart speaker industry

Setting up your HomePod is very easy.

When you connect your HomePod to a power source, the HomePod launches with a pleasing sound effect. After that, when the iPhone is brought closer, a pop-up for setup is displayed on the screen. The image is the Air Pods setup screen.

There aren’t many settings, just set the language to use and the room where the main unit is installed.

n addition, HomePod has a function called “Personal Request”, and if you turn it on, you will be able to send and read messages and create reminders and memos, which will be described later, so if there is no inconvenience, turn on this function It would be nice to keep it.

If there is any inconvenience, a message addressed to you may be read aloud to your family. If you have privacy that you don’t want your family to know about, I don’t recommend turning it on.

What is the performance of “HomePod”?

So far, we have touched on the design of the HomePod itself, but from now on, I would like to mention the usability and performance of the HomePod.

Listening ability is quite excellent among smart speakers

First of all, about the basic performance of HomePod. Smart speakers are basically operated using voice, but in order to use them comfortably, the ability to accurately hear the user’s voice is required. This is the “liver” of smart speakers

All smart speakers are relatively good in this regard, but the HomePod is pretty good. However, it’s better to use the microphone instead of Siri, which can call Siri anywhere in the room because the microphone picks up the voice even from a distance of 3m or more.

“HomePod” has the highest level of sound quality in the industry

Now about the sound quality of HomePod. When talking about the HomePod, talking about sound quality is indispensable. Because Apple sells the HomePod as a sound quality-focused smart speaker. In fact, the staff at the Apple Store Grand Central Station, where I bought the HomePod, was totally appealing.

The HomePod is equipped with a large woofer and seven tweeters facing in each direction, allowing rich bass and treble to echo throughout the room. When I actually listened to the sound, it was quite powerful compared to other speakers, and it became clear why Apple was selling sound quality.

Speaking of Apple, it features earphones and speakers with well-balanced sound quality, but this HomePod is a more powerful type that emphasizes bass. With a sound that resonates on the floor, it is ideal for music in which bass is the main character. I haven’t tried it yet, but it might be a good place to watch an action movie.

The high-pitched tone is also quite good. The beautiful melody line of the piano can faithfully reproduce the sound, so it’s as if you were listening to live music in front of you.

Is there anything you can do with “HomePod”?

  • Create reminders
  • Schedule creation
  • Read aloud messages and emails
  • Compose and send messages and emails
  • Listen to the news (regional only)
  • Listen to the weather forecast
  • Listen to the stock price
  • Look up a word in a dictionary
  • Set timer / alarm
  • Hands-free calling
  • Playing Apple Music
  • Play music purchased from the iTunes Store
  • Play music with AirPlay from iPhone or Mac
  • Podcast playback
  • Remote control of HomeKit compatible accessories
  • Check traffic information
  • Translation from English to France / Germany / Spain / Italy / Chinese
  • Unit conversion (miles to kilometers, etc.)
  • Check sports match results and next match (supported sports are baseball, American football, golf, basketball, cricket, ice hockey, soccer, tennis)
  • Multi-room audio function using multiple HomePods (AirPlay 2)
  • Stereo sound function using multiple HomePods (AirPlay 2)