If you damage your HomePod, don't bother repairing it yourself

Apple HomePod Google Home Max Sonos One and other speakers in the Consumer Reports listening lab

As it pertains to Apple's new HomePod smart speaker, the cost of an out-of-warranty fix is almost as much as buying a brand new one, which could nudge buyers towards purchasing an AppleCare+ add-on.

For more, read a full review of Apple HomePod on our sister site, PCMag; also check out their list of The Best Apple HomePod Alternatives.

To my ears, the HomePod is better in the lower, bass frequencies and is impressively good at bouncing sound off walls with its seven tweeters to create an immersive stage.

The bottom line? Overall the sound of the HomePod was a bit muddy compared with what the Sonos One and Google Home Max delivered. Apple's $350 gadget is powered by its smart assistant Siri. Apple shares are up 2.4% Monday and 21% over the past 12 months.

While sound quality is a chief concern for many looking to purchase a high-end smart speaker, this is far from the only consideration when trying to decide on a new feature.

If the reasons mentioned above aren't good enough to keep you away from a Homepod, you can get one here.


And when it comes to smart speakers, audio has been the pain point. If you have difficulties with setting it up or want to get the most out of it, you can either access this mini user guide or watch a set of three tutorials recently rolled out by Apple.

Here is something that you do not see every day on a smart speaker. And via the Sonos App, owners can stream music from their service of choice-be it Spotify, Apple Music, internet radio or 80 other streaming services. It appears that you can pull the fabric mesh off with a drawstring, but everything else on the device will require tearing things apart (even if they aren't broken).

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For me (and my ears), a pair of Sonos One speakers sounds very comparable to HomePod at the same price.

The HomePod will be compatible with Apple's HomeKit, allowing users to leverage voice-control over their home's array of smart devices from thermostats and lights to smart locks and security cameras. Will they introduce larger HomePods? Steve Jobs once said an Apple Boom box sounded better than his six-figure Wilson Audio speakers so we guess that sound quality is yet another thing to go down the loo.

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