Initial Impressions of the Apple HomePod

Being the fanboy that I am, I picked up a Space Grey HomePod on launch day. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews out there, but here are my two cents:

  • The design is, as expected, beautiful and the build quality is incredible. It's hard to believe that it weighs as much as it does. Is it filled with lead?
  • I'm no audiophile, but I'd put the quality on par with a pair of Sonos One's setup in stereo and much better than a stand-alone Sonos Play 3, which are the speakers we have in our kitchen and dining room.
  • The way the HomePod fills a room with sound is pretty amazing. I was standing near my stereo pair of Sonos One's while some classical music was playing softly from the HomePod on the other side of the room and I thought that the music was coming from the Sonos pair. It was kind of trippy.
  • I'm not sure what to say about Siri. I don't own an Alexa or Google device to compare it to, and I don't typically use Siri on my iOS devices. All I can say about the HomePod is that it's worked flawlessly for playing Apple Music, turning on and off Hue lighting, and simple tasks like setting a timer or checking the weather. I'm impressed by Siri on the HomePod, and the HomePod is forcing me to use it, but again, don't have any competitive devices as a comparison.
  • It took me a day or so to figure out how to control HomePod with the Music app on my phone. Here's a link to the official user's guide - the short answer is you just open the app on your iPhone or iPad, click on the AirPlay icon and select the HomePod. 

I bought this for my office, where I listen to music and podcasts directly from my iPad all day long, and think it will be a nice addition. But I wouldn't consider it as a replacement for our Sonos system at home given how many other audio sources we stream (Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify).