HomePod Vs. Google Home Max: Comparison Of Price, Features, Sound

Apple’s new Home Pod smart speaker will feature mesh that is “almost acoustically transparent” when it launches in Australia on February 9

It is notable that the three mega-corporations have all released speaker systems, but how do they stack up against one another?

With that in mind, I blasted the speaker in my family room and basement, as well as in a large USA TODAY photo studio and in an even more expansive, near-empty newsroom.

Amazon Echo essentially houses Alexa, the personal assistant developed by the huge company. Siri doesn't know any, while Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa both tie for groaningly terrible dad joke of the year. As such, each player has its own advantages. This is especially so when compared to the Google Assistant, which is integrated in the Google Home Max. Alexa and Google can draw upon lots of information even before you add third-party skills; Siri on HomePod can get stumped by requests an iPhone can handle.

But the capabilities of these assistants are increasing at lightning speed.

In the current market of smart speakers, it may be a little hard to decide on which device is compatible with your own personal needs and wants.

Apple's new HomePod is a state-of-the-art speaker, but it's got a ways to go before it's considered "smart". The HomePod also allows hands-free voice calls. Again, it would be reasonable to say that Apple doesn't quite keep up with the competition in this department.

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But delays in its production have left Apple trying to play catch-up in the sector, which is now dominated by Amazon's smash hit Echo product, and also features Google's Home device. It can't yet control iOS devices or Apple TVs, and it can't distinguish between multiple users' voices. The claims are extensive, and iTWire can report when hearing the three devices in one room there is truly no comparison. The ads do not usually speak well for the company writing them.

"Indeed, the perception out there is that Siri, despite being on tens of millions of iPhones and the first virtual assistant to make a name for itself, just isn't as smart or useful as Alexa and the Google Assistant".

Apple is launching shipments of its HomePod smart speaker Friday, but by all accounts, the emphasis with HomePod is much more on the speaker than on the smarts.

"HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple", stated Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing in. It stands just under 7-inches tall, and besides invoking "Hey Siri", you can control HomePod by tapping the top of the speaker. I found that when music was at a high volume, HomePod generally heard my "Hey Siri" voice commands from across the room, a good thing. It's not uncommon for Apple products to sell out on the first day, so selling out almost 2 weeks later is a bit of a red flag but expected. CEO Tim Cook even misspoke during Apple's recent earnings call when he said that you could summon Siri on HomePod to hail a Lyft or Uber. "It was better at hearing me over loud music than my other smart speakers, and very good at hearing me from across rooms with weird echoes", said The Verge's Nilay Patel.

Early reviewers have often disclaimed their own audio expertise, but have generally opined that the $349 HomePod sounds decidedly superior to the $80 Amazon Echo, similar to or a little better than the $199 Sonos One, and at least a little better than the $399 Google Home Max.

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