Apple’s long-awaited $349 Siri home speaker is finally getting a launch date. Apple announced this morning that the HomePod will be available for order on January 26th and you will be able to purchase in Apple Stores on February 9th. The initial release will see the speaker in US, UK, and Australian markets with Germany and France having to wait a little longer with a Spring window.
As a refresh, the HomePod is Apple’s entry into the growing market of wireless speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The Siri enabled unit will be able to play Apple Music and launch Siri requests wireless through your home. Apple is also advertising that the unit will support multi-room music playback, but this will not be available day one and the company plans to add via software update later this year. As with Siri on your phones, you will also have a HomeKit available for any certified home automation you already may have in your house.
Apple is pretty late to the party for this segment, but the marketing Goliath must believe they can still use their stellar advertising machine to make up ground quickly. It also sports a pretty decent spec sheet with an A8 chip powering the speaker with a large subwoofer and 7 tweeters inside. They also have echo cancellation and a spacial awareness feature much like the Google Home Max that will alter the playback according to the shape and acoustics of the room it’s playing.
Will you be dropping the $349 to put one in your home? It’s far from an impulse purchase, but for those that want premium sound, and Siri, many could see it as a worthy buy.