As usual with his hardware reviews, Mr. Ginter’s written impressions are interspersed between some gorgeous product shots. On the HomePod itself, Mr. Ginter reaffirmed what most other reviewers noted (excellent speaker, okay digital assistant), but I like the way he put it here:
HomePod is a speaker. And a really, really good speaker at that. She plays music unlike any other device on Planet Earth, and her ground-breaking bass has ushered in new sounds to songs I’ve heard since I was five years old. I’ve listened to Streets probably three or four times a week for the last five straight years and there are certain parts of Adam Clayton’s bass guitar I didn’t know existed until about a month ago.
The notion of discovering new music within your old music is wonderfully romantic and certainly something a high quality speaker can help with. But not all speakers look as good as HomePod or produce the same level of audio fidelity for the price. That’s the selling point.
I have more thoughts on this HomePod-is-a-speaker-not-a-voice-assistant angle, but they ended up being long and rambly so I’ve cut them from this piece. In general though, I think that we should review products by primarily measuring them against what they set out to accomplish, not by what the competition is doing. Mr. Ginter’s review does that.