It might not be perfect, but Apple’s HomePod smart speaker has its uses, especially if you live within Apple’s ecosystem. I use it to add items to my to-do lists, quick calculations, and listen to music. It is sitting behind my computer screen, and I usually stream music to the device using AirPlay. It sounds lovely – and way better than my decade-old Sonos speaker.
However, since the pandemic related lockdown, I have been using HomePod for making calls. For once, I feel I am getting more value from its $300 price tag.
It has a six-microphone array, making it easy for the device to pick up the speech from a soft talker like me. I tell Siri to call someone, and it uses the Phone to connect with them. In some cases, I ask Siri to facetime someone. Like my mom and I do Facetime Audio calls all the time. I can run to the kitchen, grab some water and come back, and not miss a beat.
This is achieved by talking and listening directly to the speaker and doesn’t involve AirPlay. HomePod doesn’t work with Zoom or other video calling services. There is an awful delay when you try to use AirPlay with Zoom. Apple’s inability to integrate HomePod well into its desktop OS has limited its utility. And that’s a shame.
I want to use a pair with my desktop and create a fantastic audio experience. It is a great sounding (smart) speaker – much better than anything on the offer from its Amazon, Google, and Sonos.
- My initial review of HomePod
- How to use Alexa as a speakerphone
- How to use Google Home as a speakerphone