HomePod sounds incredible, and with access to more than 90 million songs in the global Apple Music catalog and deep integration with your Apple devices, it’s the must-have smart speaker for iPhone users. HomePod fits in even more places and delivers amazing sound, the power of Siri, and simple and secure smart home controls, all while protecting your privacy. In this article, we’ll highlight 7 benefits of owning an Apple HomePod, kicking off with the room-rocking audio.
6 Benefits of Apple HomePod
Here are some of the advantages of having an Apple HomePod in 2022:
1. Genuinely Impressive Audio
The sad truth is that the vast bulk of smart speakers fail roundly to deliver on the audio front.
At first glance, it might seem unthinkable for a product to miss the mark in terms of core functionality, but that’s the thing.
For many smart-speaker customers, these dinky devices are simply portals for controlling other devices with voice commands.
Here is where being honest about your needs and usage habits can help you get the best device first time round. Think about how you will use the device, not what features it has and how you could theoretically use it.
Despite what smart speakers permit in terms of controlling other connected devices hands-free, for most people who buy Echo, Home or HomePod speakers, the main reason for purchase is listening to music.
HomePod is designed first and foremost as a speaker, so if you place real value on the quality of the audio you’re listening to, you won’t regret the stiff investment. Apple packed a lot of audio power into a small speaker. It’s loud enough to fill a room with sound. Bass, mids and treble are all distinct and easy to detect. Compared to the latest Echo Dot and Nest Mini, the HomePod Mini is clearer and less distorted.
Apple’s S5 processing chip powers some behind-the-scenes software to help make the audio clearer, pick up audio commands even when the music is loud, plus sort out direct and ambient sounds with echo cancellation.
Room-sensing tech baked in means Apple HomePod will optimize the soundscape to the living space. Using the multi-directional speakers, microphones, accelerometer and S5 chip, a lot of processing happens for real-time adjustments with the audio. The HomePod analyzes the room by listening to reflections of the sound off of surfaces, so it knows when it’s on a shelf, against a wall or in the middle of the room.
Energy is beamed into the centre of the room and reflects off the walls so that no matter where you are, the music sounds full and clear. You can stand behind the HomePod, in the corner of a cluttered room or directly in front of the speaker and you’ll have a consistent sound, much to my surprise. The impressive technology means there isn’t just one sweet spot for listening like other speakers have.
Room-sensing tech baked in HomePod works well with just one speaker, but when you have two HomePods set up through a simple stereo pairing process, the audio quality is even more full with an extra dimension and the hardware creates even better low and high frequencies. If money is no option, using stereo HomePods is the way to go.
In short, the technology makes for a very impressive music listening experience. Detail can be heard at all volume levels, making for crisp acoustics and deep bass. It is impressive that the high quality and detail in the sound can come from such small speakers.
You’ll be able to use AirPlay to stream audio from your phone to HomePod without needing to pair like you would with a Bluetooth set-up. AirPlay delivers superior audio compression, too. Connectivity with AirPlay is robust, but you will need to hook up to a WiFi network.
Analyze how you intend to use your smart speaker. If music is your first love, Apple makes sure you’ll hear all your music at its very best.
2. HomePod is the best way to listen to Apple Music
Apple Music doesn’t yet have the same global dominance as the music streaming service Spotify. As of 2021, Apple Music has estimated about 98 million users worldwide. Spotify, which has scored first place, has approximately 116 million users as of 2021.
Still, 98 million users is nothing to scoff at, and many of them are most likely looking for a way to get the most out of their music.
The iteration of Siri built into HomePod can be sorely lacking in places. Fortunately, Siri comes fully to the fore with Apple Music.
Siri will gradually become accustomed to your tastes and can soon start presenting you with playlists based on artists and genres you listen to on a regular basis. You can say things like, “Hey, Siri, I don’t like this song,” and the device will adjust the music accordingly and remember for the future.
It also learns what you like over time, so if you say, “Hey, Siri, play some party music,” it will present you a playlist full of the types of artists and genres it knows you like.
Ask, “Hey Siri, play my station” and you’ll get a customized playlist based on the contents of your Apple Music library.
AirPlay yourself a podcast and listen to something stimulating as you get ready for your day.
While these capabilities may not be must-have features, they’re certainly enhancements to any listening experience. Plus, everything syncs between the Apple Music you’re enjoying on the HomePod and the version on your phone, so your preferences will carry over when you leave the house.
If you’re already a committed Apple Music fan and iOS user, you’ll find Apple HomePod the perfect way to get the very most from the service.
3. Tight Integration with Apple Ecosystem
When you buy an Apple HomePod, you’re not only getting a HomePod, you’re getting a small cog in the grand symphony that a machine is. In this case, you’re buying a part of Apple’s Ecosystem. This is basically a fancy way of saying that almost every if not every piece of tech Apple makes works well with the rest of their devices.
The HomePod is designed to work best with Apple’s ecosystem, and that means being deeply tied into iOS, AirPlay, the Apple TV, and Apple Music.
In fact, you’ll need an iOS device to even set up the HomePod: Either an iPhone 5s or later, iPad Air/iPad mini 2 or later, or a 6th-generation iPod touch — essentially, anything that can run iOS 11.2.5 or later.
The setup process for the HomePod is simple. You simply hold your iPhone next to speaker and an automatic pop-up takes you through the process — a couple of minutes at most. Your iPhone’s Apple ID will be the profile associated with the HomePod and its calendar, reminders, messages and music library.
Phone calls and text messages are both supported, which is not the case with Alexa.
When it comes to potential security concerns, the HomePod stands above the rest in its efforts to safeguard your voice data.
Currently, Amazon, Google, and Apple process your voice-based requests on their servers; the speakers don’t currently have enough computing power to do that sort of processing on-device. But that processing only happens after you speak your wake word (which is processed locally on-device), keeping your general conversations out of the record.
But what happens to that audio data after it’s on their servers? Both Amazon and Google store it for a limited amount of time in order to catch transcription errors, but in the meantime, that data is linked directly to your account.
In contrast, Siri (and HomePod) anonymizes your data through an unlabeled identifier; as a result, even if law enforcement were to request to analyze the recordings after the fact (or some ne’er-do-well manages to break into Apple’s sever), they can’t be traced back to the device you used to make that request — or the device’s location.
If you want the most secure voice assistant out there for your smart speaker, consider HomePod.
5. Enjoy Basic Smart Home Control
It’s no secret that most people invest in a smart speaker at least in part due to the ability to control other compatible connected devices.
Not only will HomePod be able to control your HomeKit-enabled lights, switches, shades, fans, and other accessories — it’s also a HomeKit hub. As such, it lets your HomeKit devices talk to your iCloud account remotely; if you’re out of the house and your HomePod is active, you can still control your lights even without being on your Wi-Fi network. (Note: The fouth-generation Apple TV and later also offer this feature.)
If you’re hooked into HomeKit and you need a HomeKit hub for remote access, you can both control your lights and access them from afar with HomePod.
And you can get that job done while listening to your favorite tunes in fine style rather than enduring a tinny whine.
6. You can use Your HomePod as a TV Speaker
Speaking of entertainment, another advantage of HomePod speakers is as the output for Apple TV, making for an immersive audio experience no matter what you’re watching.
The experience used to be fiddly, but it has improved with newer tvOS releases. A pair of HomePod speakers will certainly sound better than the speakers built into your TV so it’s worth taking the time to set this up if you have HomePods in the same room as your Apple TV. It’ll be a huge improvement over your TV’s stock speakers, turning movie night into a true surround-sound cinematic experience.
The bonus advantage of using Apple HomePod instead of regular external speakers is that you’ll also get all the perks of a Siri-powered smart home. You’ll be able to control your TV with voice commands like, “Hey, Siri, play Dexter season 4, episode 1,” and you won’t even need to bother with the remote control.
You’ll need to make sure your TV supports ARC or eARC technology to use your HomePod as a TV speaker, but most modern smart 4K TVs do, so you likely won’t need to upgrade to an entirely new TV at least.
7. Smart assistants
Apple’s HomePod is equipped with Siri, Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant. As with Amazon and Google’s various speakers, HomePod uses a trigger word — “Hey Siri” — to activate its six-microphone array and start listening for any commands. (You can also always touch and hold the top of the device to talk to Siri.) When Siri is listening to you, its patented animated waveform will appear on the LED screen along the top of the speaker.
Siri on HomePod is similar in many ways to its iPhone counterpart: You can ask the assistant to play your music, send iMessages, set timers, convert measurements, play podcasts, check the news and sports scores, look into traffic or weather, get language translations, control HomeKit accessories, hand off a call from your iPhone to your HomePod, create lists, and even use third-party messaging, reminders, note-taking, or to-do apps through HomePod.
Advantages of having an Apple HomePod: now you know!
So, these, according to us, are the seven of the most important benefits of owning an Apple HomePod. If you’re tied into the Apple ecosystem, the HomePod has a great advantage. It hooks into both Siri and Apple Music, provides a HomeKit hub for any HomeKit accessories, works natively with iOS, offers a one-tap setup with your iPhone, and supports Apple’s flavor of multi-room audio.
Audiophiles will appreciate the speaker’s sound quality, while privacy advocates will like the HomePod for its greater anonymization in the home voice assistant industry.