Fixing You HomePod Nearly as Costly as a Brand New Device

Apple HomePod

The Apple HomePod's sound quality is very good, but not as good as competing "smart" speakers like the Sonos One and the Google Home Max.

You know something is durable when it takes a hacksaw for the iFixit team to tear it down. Apple has definitely made a decision to cash in on this opportunity and quote a $279 price to replace the HomePod entirely if it is damaged.

Apple Music doesn't yet have the same global dominance as the music streaming service Spotify.

AppleThe Apple HomePod went for sale on February 9, and includes an updates Siri voice assistant out of the box.

Sealed with three layers of adhesive and screws (one obscured beneath the 3D mesh, developed to allow sound waves out without letting dust in), HomePod is the very definition of don't-do-it-yourself: iFixit had to slice through the casing with a saw and ultrasonic cutter to access and remove the woofer.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the HomePod at a keynote address in June 2017, saying that it would "reinvent home music". It can't load the necessary Apple Music resources so it simply shows a blank white screen in the card, shown in the following screenshot. While you can use Airplay to stream music from other music services, you need an Apple Music subscription to get the most out of the speaker.

"HomePod is an Apple-only device, so it is much more limited in what it can control in terms of smart home gadgets", said Martin.

The HomePod will serve many music fans well, but CR testers did hear some flaws.

Our own Ced Yuen wrote: "Thankfully, the HomePod sounds great for a speaker this small".

Apple says that more features such as multi-room audio and stereo pairing of HomePods is coming later this year. But unless you're a member of the Cult of Mac, best to hold off on a HomePod for now.

The bottom line? Overall the sound of the HomePod was a bit muddy compared with what the Sonos One and Google Home Max delivered. While Siri already lags behind Google Assistant and Alexa, Homepod doesn't even ship with usual Siri that you use on iPhone. If you swipe down from the top you'll be able to check for any available updates. It is the sole instance when you'll be better off repairing a part of the HomePod than buying a brand new spare part.

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