True to Apple’s style, the hype was crazy for the Apple HomePod. However, it’s not on sale in Malaysia, and we still can’t get it here to date. I see that Singapore is going to sell it, but it’s still not on sale. Yet, you read many many articles on how badly it’s sales is… they blame it on pricing, on sound quality, the fact that they are late to market it, Alexa is better, but come on… it’s only available in 3 markets?
I was in Melbourne, Australia when I first saw the HomePod. It was in the Chadstone Apple Store in Melbourne, and my initial impression was not great. I didn’t realize how tiny it was, until I saw it for myself. But delivers great sound.
From my perspective, the biggest flaw of the demo unit was that it was in a HUGE store, in the front part of the store which was open to the mall. I’m illustrating it in the image below. It was that small.
When I switched it on it played music but due to the vast open space with lots of background sounds from the store and the mall, the sound quality was ok, but the bass levels were missing. I’m no audiophile, but the sound quality was pathetic.
What I believe would help is if they did what Bose does with their demo rooms. I remembered a long time ago when I first saw their Acoustimass products, and how I was blown away when they pulled off the fake speaker boxes to reveal that the amazing audio that were delivered by their tiny speakers.
If the Apple HomePod is shows off in a room the sound quality would be shown off well and would definitely get the consumers attention.
Another point that might help is if Apple Stores had a HomeKit room that would show off all of its HomeKit accessories and how it would interact with them via Siri. They were all over the place, light bulbs from Philips Hue, to the Nanoleaf Aurora, to the home sensors from Elgato Eve and more. The prices as usual are pretty standard, and you can check them out by going to the Apple webstore for Australia.
In the end, I walked out without buying it.
Went home and started to wonder if it was the environment as mentioned above was causing this, but didn’t think about getting this, and went about my holiday.
After a couple of days, I was thinking that if I was going to start my Home Automation journey, I needed the HomePod. But this time round, I went to JB Hifi and bought it. And as I guessed, I was right. At home, I unboxed it, plugged it in, and the sound quality was amazing in the bedroom. Deep low bass, nice high trebles, good mid level. Moved it into the dining room which has a larger space, and it was still impressive.
What I didn’t expect and was pretty amazed with, was that voice Siri commands, we’re fast. There are times when I use my iPhone X, I would have to have a slight pause between “Hey Siri”, and my question. I’m not sure if you’ve experienced this, but I believe it would be when you’re not saying it loud enough, or the internet connection is bad. With the HomePod, I din’t have to pause, and also I didn’t have to say it loudly.
I’ll be covering the Apple HomePod more indepth in the next article. There are just a couple of points that I’ll cover. Most obvious what on what I was going to do with the plug. Since Australia uses Type I, and Malaysia uses Type G, I had to make a choice between replacing the Type I, or using an adapter. Stay tuned.