I finally had a listen to an Apple Home Pod, after recently listening to the Bose 500 speaker. Overall I found the HomePod just... alright. It had very clean sound but surprisingly nothing special. In contrast I found the 500 sound very pleasing and the speaker very functional.
The HomePod had a nice build and size but felt as if it was lacking in sophistication. Not very Apple like at all. HomePod now offers live radio options like Tunein and iHeart radio and other music services like Amazon Prime. This is a step in the right direction.
The Bose 500 on the other hand was more appealing in appearance, had the informative LCD screen and of course will tie into the Bose multiroom home network system.
HomePod seems like another Apple experiment. It serves a very limited function and just doesn’t seem like it is part of something bigger. The HomePod is a single speaker with a stereo option by adding a second speaker. TV connection can be achieved using an Apple TV. Apple makes no claims about HomePod being a home theater solution.
The 500 like it’s SoundTouch counterparts are part of a whole home solution.
I am truly an Apple fan but sound reigns supreme and the Bose home audio solutions sound great and are much more sophisticated and evolved. I give full marks to the Bose SoundTouch and Smart Home lines over Apple’s Home Pod.
My first impression of HomePod sound was “meh.” In fairness I was listening to the speaker in an Apple Store. This was a pretty open environment not the best for evaluation of a speaker. However, the Bose 500 is listened to, another electronics store, similar non favourable acoustics, the 500 still sounded better to me.
The HomePod is definitely an new entry into a home audio for Apple. I would probably have a better impression of the whole home capabilities of the product if there were more options like multiple speakers for home theater. There are reasons to think Apple may have bigger plans for HomePod...see the following:
Conslusion: People looking for an alternative to Bose Smart Home Speakers and Home Theater solutions will be hard pressed to find better solutions. I don’t think HomePod would be a present contender as a home theater solution.