Skip to content

Why did the original Apple HomePod fail? Let’s count the ways

Why did the original Apple HomePod fail? Let’s count the ways

Why did the original Apple HomePod fail?  Let's count the ways

Credit: Apple

Apple may still be in the HomePod business, but the original high-end speaker is gone. Apple has just offered its original hi-fi smart speaker an unceremonious funeral following a late update of its website on Friday.

The timing of the news could have been surprising, but the substance was less. The larger and more expensive homePod (which Apple promises to continue to support) has disappeared in a language familiar to Apple’s high-quality speakers, while the arrival of a smaller and more accessible control last fall he proved to be a harbinger of things to come.

Originally sold for $ 349 before Apple cut its price to $ 299, the HomePod brings to mind the iPod Hi-Fi, a large white speaker with an iPod docking station that landed with a bang in 2006. shook the iPod Hi-Fi, which was avoided. even by Apple believers, after only a year.

[ Further reading: Everything you need to know about Apple HomeKit ]
HomePod, on the other hand, had a fair share of fans and it’s easy to see why. Dressed in an attractive canvas cover, HomePod ranks as the most sophisticated speaker Apple has ever built, complete with a sustained, high-performance speaker surrounded by seven tweeters, each driver powered by its own amplifier.

Powered by Siri, the HomePod was – for a time – the only smart speaker that acted as a “home hub” for HomeKit, Apple’s smart home platform. And with the arrival of AirPlay 2, you can arrange a number of HomePods in a multi-audio setup to play different songs in every room of your home.

HomePod won a niche audience, many of whom actually bought more HomePods. But it never broke out in the mainstream as smaller and cheaper smart speakers did from Amazon and Google and there are a lot of reasons why.

It was too expensive

First, the price of $ 349 – so. Even after Apple delayed it to $ 299, it’s a lot of money to pay for a single speaker, although the premium price of the HomePod is a very important thing for Apple to do.

Of course, Apple was not the only one to offer an expensive smart speaker. The $ 299 Google Home Max was our favorite smart speaker for music, but it was also discontinued.

homepod white 04 idg stock IDG

HomePod extremely well designed, but too extensive and limited.

His sound was not good enough

Of course, in the world of audiophiles, $ 300 for a speaker is peanuts, but HomePod isn’t really suitable for audiophiles either. In our review, we called the HomePod sound “very good”, but we also thought about it Sonos Play: 5 and Google Home Max were better.

We were also hampered by the omnidirectional design of the HomePod (“how likely are you to place the speaker in the middle of the room?”) And the sound signature too low (“not surprising, given that the speaker doesn’t have level drivers medium ”).

It has limited streaming support

Beyond the way music plays on the HomePod, there is the issue of the number of streaming services that the HomePod natively supports. Until recently, the answer was a big one: Apple Music.