Apple speaker thingy
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  1. #1

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    Default Apple speaker thingy

    Anybody got one yet? What's it like for GBP 319?
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    Got mine today. It's already packed back up again to be returned.

    Speaking as an Apple fanboy who uses Apple Music, my overall thoughts are:

    * Sound is very good, but there's still no escaping the fact that it can't give a good reproduction of a stereo sound image, if that's what you prefer (without buying two and waiting for a software update later this year). Highs are very bright and clear, bass is good too for such a small speaker. But I have to compare them to my existing setup, which is a pair of Harmon Kardon Soundsticks (a 2.1 system with a dedicated sub). I've had these for about 10 years and they still sound great to me. I much prefer the stereo sound coming from them in front of me on each side of my desk to the sound of the HomePod located somewhere in my office. All this talk of beam forming but its still very obvious that the sound is coming from one particular direction. I also find the dedicated bass on my Soundsticks a bit warmer. I'm no audiophile so I can only go on what sounds good to my ears.

    * Siri remains the weak link. Some reviews had given the impression that Siri had improved but it really hasn't. In only half an hour usage, it failed once to hear me say "hey siri" when I was sitting only 6 feet away, it took three attempts to get it to play a particular song. I couldn't find out the right incantation to make it change the colour temperature on my HomeKit controlled lights. It's not very clever - even though it appears in the "Home" app and knows what room it is in, if you tell it to "turn on the light" it has no context awareness and turns on all the lights in the house, not just the current room, which to me is the more logical response.

    * Generally, I'm not that keen on Siri as the primary UI. You *can* use the updated Control Centre in the latest version of iOS to control it and even queue up music in the Music app but then you may as well just be using AirPlay and any AirPlay speaker (the HomePod still connects to Apple Music directly though, even if you control it from your phone). I enjoy browsing my collection, be it in the Music app or even iTunes on my laptop. I don't always know off the top of my head what I want to listen to, so the primary method of using it being "Hey Siri, play xxx" doesn't really work for me.

    In summary: it does sound really good for such a small speaker, but not appreciably better than my existing speakers to justify the price and Siri is still crap.

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    And you need an existing apple device apparently otherwise you cannot do anything with it.

    Not sure how try that is.

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    Thanks for the feedback. Appreciated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCyclingProgrammer View Post
    Siri is still crap.
    While Alexa isn't fantastic, she's pretty smart (IMO). Sound quality on the Echo devices isn't magical, but it's good enough for ambient. I think that Apple are far too late to this party.

    But thanks for the very helpful review, it's most appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Platypus View Post
    While Alexa isn't fantastic, she's pretty smart (IMO). Sound quality on the Echo devices isn't magical, but it's good enough for ambient. I think that Apple are far too late to this party.

    But thanks for the very helpful review, it's most appreciated.
    Amazon need to add an optical/digital output seems something they could add easily to the 100 one with plug in external microphones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vetran View Post
    Amazon need to add an optical/digital output seems something they could add easily to the 100 one with plug in external microphones.
    I guess the issue is with external links, people would buy the cheaper Dot. It's not a tactic I like though - make your product good rather than trap people. It's the reason I like the Chromecast - 30 and plug it in to whatever you want.
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