"The HomePod sounds noticeably richer and fuller than nearly every other speaker we've tested", the Verge wrote. And now with the Homepod currently sold out for its release date, we'll have to wait and see how Apple's sales pan out for the remainder of Q1.
Amazon Echo essentially houses Alexa, the personal assistant developed by the huge company. This time, Apple's briefings included playing a selection of songs on HomePod and three competing speakers, asking Siri a series of questions it could answer, and in some cases demonstrating multi-HomePod features that were left out of the initial software release. With many speakers and sound systems, there is a zone of perfection. In particular, those who already own Android devices will definitely benefit from the Google Assistant, and the ability to collaborate with other Android-driven hardware. But it must be said that the Amazon device delivers the best AI capabilities.
In answering to your "Hey Siri" vocal commands, Apple's assistant can perform numerous same table-stakes tasks as Amazon's Alexa on Echos or the Google Assistant on Google Home speakers - from setting timers and reminders to informing you of the weather and traffic, turning on smart lights or solving math. It's cylindrical in shape and slightly less than 7 inches tall, making it about the same size as a Sonos One, but considerably smaller than the Home Max. Again, it would be reasonable to say that Apple doesn't quite keep up with the competition in this department. The claims are extensive, and iTWire can report when hearing the three devices in one room there is truly no comparison.
Meanwhile, the Google Home Max can be combined with Chromecast Audio or speakers with Chromecast to play music across multiple rooms.
It's worth noting smart speakers launched by these brands are mainly based on speech recognition of English.
My HomePod arrives today, and I haven't yet gotten back to set it up and compare its audio quality at home with how Apple's demonstration sounded in store.
There is no doubt that Google has a big advantage over the other two competitors thanks to its emphasis on searching, and this is indeed reflected in the performance of its system.
That's how I was able to play Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, SiriusXM and other services through the speaker, without any assistance from Siri.
While the store was busy and noisy at Michigan Avenue, I was impressed by how well HomePod's audio came across.
Siri data is retained - to help tailor music recommendations and other actions - but only on your device, not on Apple's central servers.
Two weeks ago, Apple invited me to a "listening party" for its new HomePod speaker in downtown Manhattan. This coupled with a wide range of products and low prices, TrendForce finds consumers are more willing to buy Amazon Echo.