Birchtree
By Matt Birchler
I've been writing here since 2010! Back when personal blogs were all the rage. Kids, ask your parents.

Goodbye, HomePod

Apple announced they are discontinuing the original HomePod, and I’m sad to see it go. I thought it was a good time to look back on the last 3 years of writing about the HomePod and see how things held up. After all, it’s not often I get to look back on my writing that covers the entire history of a product!

Apple’s HomePod looks like a “hobby” device built for a niche, not a mainstream hit

Apple is surely going to do a better job of marketing the HomePod than Sonos has done with their speakers, but I’m still skeptical of their ability to make people care that much about incredible sound quality.

I actually overestimated the marketing angle here. Sonos continues to be the major name in this space and HomePod never really broke through.

2018 Holiday Season Proposal: HomePod mini

Apple should introduce a new model of HomePod, the HomePod mini. They by no means need to make a device to compete directly with the $50 (and less on sale) Echo Dot and Google Home Mini), but they need to get something more affordable out there.

I continue to be amazed how close I was on this article.

Searching for that AirPods Feeling

So while I like the HomePod and think it is a good product in its own right, I just don’t feel that same magic that I was hoping I would. I’m looking forward to see what other people think, but if my response is at all indicative of the average Joe, I don’t know if the HomePod will grow to the level of adoration (and by extent, sales) of AirPods.

Narrator: it didn’t.

My review

The HomePod sounds amazing. I don’t know much about sound quality and the most expensive pair of speakers I ever owned cost $99, so this sounds way, way better than everything I had in my apartment. I did take it over to my parents’ house and compared it to a $500 Bose Soundtouch 30 and I thought it sounded better than that too (my dad disagreed, but said it was close).

And:

The above graphic is as close as I can get to succinctly stating who this is for. If you are an iOS-only user and if you subscribe to Apple Music and if you care more about audio quality than a robust digital assistant, then the HomePod is for you. That sounds a little harsh, but I think it’s accurate.

Narrator: it was.

9 Months With HomePod

When I set up my HomePods as a stereo pair, I was immediately in love. Some people say that the 3D sound stuff Apple is doing makes stereo unnecessary, but that’s a load of garbage. Setting up two HomePods to output in stereo is wonderful, and blew me away with the sound quality improvement.

I still feel this way. That same stereo pair is in my living room and I love it. Apple recently made it easier to keep them permanently paired with an Apple TV, and they’re great! I still wish they had an AUX port so they could work with anything for decades down the road, software updates or not.

Show Comments

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love. You can also check out my side projects, Quick Reviews and Quick BIN Lookup.