Importance of Natural Resources

Why Does the Apple HomePod Exist?

– Hey guys, this is Austin. This is the Apple HomePod and at $350, I have exactly one question,
“Why does it exist?” Now no, I’m not trying to say this is some useless product or that it
is not meant for anyone. When you consider that the world is filled with Amazon Echos and Google Homes that cost 40 or $50, a $350 speaker that has Siri inside, that’s a little bit of a hard sale for most people. So in classic Apple fashion,
the unboxing is super simple, no giant stabbing knife needed. So this has come out today
and it’s a little bit late. I think this was originally
supposed to come out late last year. But the idea here is that
this is a very high end, a very good sounding speaker
that just happens to have Siri. You know what I’ll say,
this looks really nice. So it has this fabric
mesh all the way around, it’s nice and soft. It’s definitely a little
bit of a different look. Although the power cable’s built in, okay. We also have designed
by Apple in California with what I assume is yes,
a single Apple sticker. Not a lot of accessories
with your $350 smart speaker, but all that matters is
how does it actually sound. Alright, so, $350, a lot of money. But I will say there
actually are some nice things about the hardware. So like I was saying, this
fabric finish feels pretty nice and it even comes across
to the power cable. There’s a lot of attention to detail here. What you won’t find with
the HomePod is anything besides this power cable. So there’s no USB, there’s no Bluetooth. There’s not even going to
be any kind of aux input which now that you think about it, Apple’s killed the headphone
jack on everything else. It makes sense to kill it on the speakers. What you will see however
is a little tiny grid of LEDs that are below the sorted frosted panel on the top. So it’s kind of cool, but
there’s not a proper screen. It’s more for kind of
giving you notifications and sort of a little
bit of a colorful thing when Siri’s listening. Like EarPods, the setup is going to be pretty straightforward. So if you have an iPhone and yes, you’re probably gonna want to have a lot of Apple products for
the HomePod to make sense, you’ll see a little setup icon right here. Do that and it should
sync it with the Apple ID. One thing you probably will want with the HomePod is Apple Music. So it does support Airplay
so things like Spotify and YouTube will work. However, if you actually want it to work properly just using your voice, you’re going to want to use Apple Music. They’re very specific. The HomePod is for people
who have everything Apple. Before we get started, I’m going to give everyone a warning. The words Hey Siri and
Hey Google are about to be spoken many many times. You’ve been warned. – [Siri] Sorry, I can’t
search the webpage. – The main reason to pick up
the HomePod though is for music and at least on paper,
this sounds pretty good. So you’re getting seven microphones that are paired up with an Apple AA chip which not only are going
to be listening for you to call Siri but also
it’s going to be able to tune the music for your specific room. Now to do that, it uses
the total of eight speakers inside this guy. So there’s seven small speakers that are spread out all the way around to be able to give you a full 360 sound, but there’s also going to be
a single four-inch subwoofer. So at this point, if you have Apple Music, you can just tell it to play a song. However, if you’re like
me and use Spotify, you’re gonna have to
airplay it from your phone. So of course you’re gonna
be listening to this on YouTube so everything
is going to be compressed, but we do have a microphone
here to hopefully give you a decent idea of what this
sounds like in person. Let’s give it a try. (soulful music) I will say one thing. This does a really good job of giving you that full 360 sound. No matter really where this is placed, you’re pretty much going to hear the same thing around. Something else is immediately apparent. This guy, even though it’s obviously a very small speaker, has a lot of bass. (heavy metal bass music) It’s also really apparent
that they’re doing a good job of making sure
it doesn’t bottom out. So even though there is a lot of bass, it’s not really overpowering
the rest of the music. And even when you crank
it up to higher volumes, it stays surprisingly well put together. And I guess for a $350 speaker, you hope it sounds pretty good, but I’m pretty impressed. Hey Siri, pause. One thing I will say is
that the microphones do a really good job even
when you’re cranking it to be able to actually
hear you pretty well. However, I think the best
way of actually being able to properly test how well
this sounds is put it up against its biggest competitor. When I say biggest, I mean biggest, the Google Home Max. So if you guys are not familiar, the Google Home Max is very much the sort of Google
competitor to the HomePod. And yes, it is much
larger, but there’s a lot of things that are going
to be very similar. So this has Google Assistant
whereas this has Siri. They both have multiple speakers inside that are going to be working together and they both also do have a version or the sort of room sensing technology that will tune the
sound based on what kind of environment that you’re in. There are some advantages
to the Google Home though including the fact that
not only does it have a USB port, but it also supports Bluetooth as well as Aux In. So you know if you’re
not living in 2018 yet, this has got you covered. However, the price it runs
is kind of surprising. Whereas the HomePod runs
a pretty expensive $350, Google will charge you $400
for the Google Home Max. Hey Google, play Hotel California. – [Assistant] Okay, Hotel
California by Eagles. (“Hotel California” by Eagles) – So at first glance, they’re actually surprisingly different. So the Google Home Max is louder, kind of expected with it
being a much larger speaker. However, it completely lacks
that 360 directionality of the HomePod. So from the side, it’s kind of okay, but from the front, it is very very loud. Now the HomePod, even though
it’s a little less bassey, I think does a much
better job of making sure that you really hear all of
the different instruments. There’s a lot of
separation between the two. But let me just do a few other songs and kind of fully actually test to see what these guys sound like. Although to be fair, Hotel
California is the only song anyone actually needs to listen to, but I guess I could play
like two or three other songs if you really want me to,
for some weird reason. Hey Google, play Like Whoa from Logic. – [Assistant] Like Whoa by Logic, sure. Playing on Spotify. – Okay, so after listening to these both for a little while, my
impressions are pretty firm. This sounds good. It’s decent in the vacuum,
but there’s a lot of bass and it is very directional. The HomePod, there’s just
so much more separation. You hear all the different instruments. You hear the different vocals. Like everything is very sort of layered whereas this, it feels a little
bit flattened in comparison. It’s a good speaker, but there’s no doubt, the HomePod sounds phenomenal. However, that’s just
one piece of the puzzle. So sure, if you’re just going to buy one of these for pure audio quality, you can stop watching now. But I think what a lot of
people are interested in is how the actual assistants
on these guys work. Hey Google, when do the Olympics start? – [Assistant] Competitions
of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games begin on Wednesday, February seventh, 2018,
and ends on Sunday, February 25th, 2018, PST. – [Austin] Hey Siri, when
do the Olympics start? – [Siri] The 2018 Winter
Olympics will be held February ninth to the 25th
in PyeongChang, South Korea. – Hey Google, how many cups in 42 gallons? – [Assistant] 42 US liquid gallons equals 672 US customary cups. – Hey Siri, how many
cups are in 42 gallons? – [Siri] 42 gallons is 672 cups. – Something I’m noticing is that Siri is a little bit more curt and gives you like much shorter
answers where Google will actually give you all the detail. Hey Google, what’s the news? – [Assistant] Here’s the latest news. From NPR News Now, at 3:00 p.m. today. – [Man] Live from NPR News… – Hey Siri, what’s the news? – [Siri] Here’s the latest news from NPR. – Hey Google, play the
latest episode of Reply All. – [Assistant] Okay,
playing the latest episode of Reply All, number 42
Blindspot rebroadcast. – [Man] This episode of Reply All… – Hey Siri, play the latest
episode of Reply All. – [Siri] Sorry, I couldn’t find Reply All in your music. If you have an Apple Music subscription. – No, Podcast. Hey Google, what do you think about Siri? – [Assistant] Full respect. Being an assistant is hard work. – Hey Siri, what do you
think about Google Assistant? – [Siri] I think the
acquisition of information and intelligence by human beings through a virtual assistant
is a very good thing. – (laughs) Google’s like, Siri’s great. I think the information by
human-like beings is excellent. Alright, so what have we learned? Well I think that they’re actually fairly evenly matched as far
as the assistant side. So for the basic stuff,
they’re going to be very similar for things like turning on and off your lights or
kind of feeding out traffic or the basic kind of things. Now I think as you get to
be a little more advanced, I would give the slight
edge to Google Assistant, but I think a lot of
people have sort of been complaining about Siri. At least based on this,
they’re not that far off. Now as far as the music side goes, it’s definitely a HomePod win. But for me, if you’re not going to be really serious about
music, I think it’s hard to recommend either of these. So in my house, I really like using the Google Home Minis as well
as the standard Google Homes. They’re much less expensive. Unless you’re really
serious about the music, they sound totally fine,
especially if you’re really focused on the assistant side. So should the Apple HomePod exist in 2018? Yeah, it’s actually not bad. So to be fair, you need to be totally into the Apple ecosystem. So I’m talking Apple Music, iPhones, Macs, the whole thing. But if you are, this is a really really good sounding speaker. So I’m curious, what do you guys actually think about HomePod? Let me know in the comments below and I will catch you in the next one.

Reader Comments

  1. I have been a HomePod owner for around 4 months now. The sound quality is excellent no matter what song you are playing. Airplay works perfectly allowing me to stream music from my iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro.

    On the other hand my friend owns the Google Home Max which has okay sound quality but for the size of the max it’s not a great quality/size ratio. As for Google Assistant it repeatedly disconnects itself from the internet, meaning you have to constantly reconnect it. Also the max needs it own shelf or table due to the size meaning it’s not practical to have on your desk.

  2. Why does apple exist?

    (ahem apple is trash I have very big hate I don't care what you little apple fanbois think)

  3. Nope, for the assistance side, Google home is way WAY better than the Homepod, which has been dubbed as the dumbest smart speaker in the market. It cannot handle calendar events, gives customized web based results, recipes, can only handle one timer at a time, and so much inferior points. The only good thing abt Homepod is the sound, nothing else. Google home just crushes the homepod.

  4. Or I could just purchase a normal soaker… for less, that sounds good/better and may be rugged and have a headphone jack and battery bank. Hmmmmmmmm… "B-but siri-" Sucks I know.

  5. So wait. The advantage of the homepod is that i can give 360 sound…. But it doesnt have batteries…. So…. You need to have it in some corner to have it plugged in to an outlet, unless you want powercables running to the middle of your room, which defeats the whole"sleek" thing…. So googles thing being directional is bad in what way? If you stick it in a corner and plug it in, it will fill the room just as well as the homepod, whilat having usb and aux and supports any and all devices, not just ios.

  6. a standar apple power cable would be nice also the ability to connect via bluetooth or wireless to other devices… without that simple things, I rather buy an Aura from harman kardon a million times instead of the home pod

  7. I mean, of you're gonna spend $100+ for a wireless speaker you can also talk to, the Homepod or the Echo plus would make more sense to me solely for the 360 degree audio. Or if it's imparitive that it be Google, just the regular Google Home

  8. Apple never learns from their mistakes. They still make their products costly. For eg. The Cheese Grater($12000)

  9. Honestly Google Home Mini for the win lol. Cost effective, speaker quality is decent and it gets pretty loud, plus Google’s AI just puts Siri to shame. This coming from an unapologetic Apple fanboy. Ha

  10. 350$?! Fuck me! ?
    And 400$ for the google thing?! Oh gosh. If you need Siri or google assistent ok…
    But if you don't, i defenetly would buy a good pair of speakers with that money

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