Apple’s HomePod lineup finally arrives in Singapore and it includes the 2nd Generation HomePod (in white and midnight), as well as all the colours of the HomePod mini (including orange, yellow, blue, space grey and white).
Above: homepod in midnight and homepod mini in yellow.
For the Apple user who subscribes to a vast portion of the Apple ecosystem, the addition of these speakers makes sense — and even more so if you want to set up a “smart home”.
Through Apple’s “Siri intelligence”, you can manage everyday tasks and control your smart home with simple commands, and even create smart home automations that will make your life more convenient. Siri will do extra things too, like notify you when a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is detected in the home, check temperature and humidity in a room, and use Intercom to send an announcement throughout the house. These cool functions need some fiddling with for the initial set up, but once it’s all in place, it’s quite easy to figure out the settings for future smart accessories you want to add on to your Home Kit.
You can check out the list of accessories that are compatible with the Home app on Apple’s website here.
Above: Homepod and the home app.
While these are smart speakers, every person considering one just wants to know, does it sound good?
Let’s start with the HomePod mini. It’s a small, omnidirectional speaker that has a full-range driver and dual passive bass radiators. As a standalone unit, it projects sound pretty well, and pretty far. It does a decent job of filling a small room with clear sound. I’d recommend this for smaller spaces that don’t require full stereo sound like the kids’ room or kitchen. And since it’s hooked up to the Apple Home app, it’s a great intercom to tell everyone that it’s time for dinner.
Above: inside the homepod mini.
The larger HomePod is a whole different ball game. As a single speaker, music and entertainment sounds clear and robust. But add a second unit and pair them up as stereo speakers, and get ready to be blown away. Classical music sounds beautiful, rock music has an exciting and full bass, while the vocals on pop tunes are clear and soulful. These stereo speakers make me enjoy my favourite tunes all over again, like I’m hearing them for the first time. I was so impressed that I sat my husband in front of the speakers and blasted Manowar, and he agreed that the sound was incredible.
Above: inside the homepod.
WHAT TO GET
The HomePod mini is an easy buy. It has a friendly price point, is small and discreet, and serves its purpose as a speaker, intercom and smart home controller; plus the fun colours make the device all the more enticing.
Above: homepod mini in blue.
Now if you really take your home audio seriously and want to invest in a system that sounds pretty damn good, the HomePod is it. But you need to get two and pair them up as a stereo set to really experience the awesomeness of the sound system. A pair of HomePods will cost you $858, which is just slightly more than mid-range bookshelf speakers from major audio brands like Audioengine and JBL. But the HomePod is no doubt sexier in every way — being able to connect to Apple’s Home app and control things, tapping into Apple’s music catalog, and of course, in looks. These were definitely worth the wait.
HomePod (2nd generation) ($429) and HomePod mini ($139) is available for order from APPLE.COM/SG/STORE and in the Apple Store app starting March 30, with availability in stores beginning April 6.