Friday, Jan 20, 2023, 20:48 Hardware

First Impressions Of The New HomePod Smart Speaker – HomePod 2023

The just released HomePod will officially arrive to many homes on February 3rd, although delivery times in the meanwhile have increased significantly and now reach into March. Despite this, select testers have already had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the HomePod's second generation and to place its sound quality under the microscope. The latter was considered a significant appeal of the original HomePod – but how good is the new device's sound quality? Multiple testers have offered up their early reports in hopes of providing an answer to this question. The trial occurred at an internal, Apple event, to which several journalists were invited.

Of Convincing Quality – Thus Far
Of course, it's difficult to 100% objectively evaluate the quality of a speaker, when not positioned in a familiar environment. This is all the more so the case when the manufacturer has had the opportunity to carefully assign the loudspeaker to a specific place within a room prior to its visitation by critics. However, thus far, all opinions are unified that the new HomePod's performance was convincing – even though the device's number of internal speakers (tweeters) has decreased from seven to four since the previous generation. One CNET editor stressed that the demonstration was even more convincing than the previous generation's 2017 performance during the introduction of the first HomePod. The Verge also reiterated that it had at least not perceived any decrease in quality. How exactly the new generation of computational audio (now with "advanced" added to the title by Apple) performs in the field will have to be determined by further tests.

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A Recycled Idea With All The Old Problems
Functions now synonymous with the HomePod sector for years received special praise. This doesn't only refer to the device's sound coverage, but also to its ability to couple with other loudspeakers, creating a stereo pair. Additionally, new features such as sensors enabling the device to determine environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature are also present. Overall, however, the device still feels exactly like its first generation iteration – like a recycled idea that still includes all the exact same unaddressed problems with the platform, as per The Verge. Furthermore, the device was really conceived for Apple Music in the first place – line-in audio and full Bluetooth support are both still lacking, seriously limiting the device's full functional capability in an attempt to artificially increase the reliance of customers on the Apple ecosystem.

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