Apple HomePod to launch on February 9, features revealed

Posted January 26, 2018

HomePod is priced at $349 U.S., which can be seen as expensive when compared to smart speakers from Amazon and Google.

Sonos has an offer for prospective HomePod buyers: Ditch Apple and buy two of our speakers instead.

Previous year there was a lot of excitement surrounding smart speakers with built-in personal assistants, specifically the Google Home and Amazon's Echo range. The company is going to start selling a bundle of two Sonos One smart speaker for only $349, which is the same price as Apple's newly launched HomePod smart speaker powered by Siri.

Sonos will also be adding Google Assistant and even AirPlay 2 support to the One in 2018, which will let you use Siri through your Apple devices.

"HomePod brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness - together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence - in a lovely design", Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Apple, said in a statement.

Considering how the Sonos One uses Alexa and supports voice controls for Spotify and other streaming services, the One sounds like a better deal than Apple's HomePod, which supports voice controls only for Apple Music. According to Sonos, two of its One speakers.

When it's released next month, Apple's HomePod will only work on the iCloud account owned by the person that set it up out of the box, Refinery29 reported on Wednesday after having the opportunity to briefly take the smart speaker for a spin. Translating the process from one of their most successful peripherals over to the Apple HomePod would be a way to keep the experience across their ecosystem consistent, which has historically been a priority for the company. That means you'll be able to play any any audio - including Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix streams - from an iOS or macOS device, like iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers, on the Sonos One.

Apple promises the smart home device will deliver, "stunning audio quality wherever it's placed". You can "play, pause, skip a song, or adjust the volume". So far, the Sonos One hasn't been included in that partnership.

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise to see that the spec suggests the HomePod is only compatible with other Apple products and software.