Apple HomePod: Australian Pricing, Specs And Availability

Apple's stab at the cluttered 'smart speaker' market is due to hit Aussie shops in under 24 hours. We take a look at the price, specifications and where you can buy it.

The HomePod is Apple's answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home. Its chief selling points are Apple Music and Siri, which puts it firmly ahead of other smart speakers for heavy iOS users.

It's essentially a music speaker and digital assistant in one that can be used to play music (while simultaneously learning your tastes), and handle everyday tasks. You can also use it to control your smart home with compatible devices.

The HomePod's other main claim to fame is sound: with a large woofer and seven beam-forming tweeters arrayed 360 degrees around the HomePod's body, it purports to offer superior audio quality to other "standard edition" smart speakers on the market. (Google and Amazon both provide higher-end models with beefier speaker arrangements, however.)

If Apple can be believed, the HomePod is also equipped with spatial awareness software that automatically adjusts to give you optimal sound depending on where it’s placed.

Apple HomePod pricing

The Apple HomePod is selling in Australia for a hefty $499. This is a signficant markup compared to most competing smart speakers on the market.

For example, the Google Home sells for $199 (and can regularly be found for less) while the Amazon Echo is $149. Granted, these are the standard-edition models. But even the top-of-the-range Google Home Max and Amazon Echo Plus sell for US$399 and $229, resectively.

Apple HomePod specifications

Apple HomePod
System requirements iOS 11.2.5 or later
Dimensions (mm) 172mm high (6.8 inches)
Weight 2.5kg
CPU Apple‑designed A8 chip
Audio Technology High-excursion woofer with custom‑engineered amplifier, Array of seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom‑engineered amplifier, Six-microphone array for far-field Siri, Internal low-frequency calibration microphone for automatic bass correction Direct and ambient audio beamforming, Transparent studio-level dynamic processing.
Wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, Direct guest access, Bluetooth 5.0
Audio Formats HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV and FLAC
Audio Sources Apple Music, iTunes Music Purchases, iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription, Beats 1 Live Radio, Podcasts, AirPlay other content to HomePod from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and Mac
Touch Surface Tap or hold + or – to turn volume up/down, Touch and hold for Siri, Tap to play/pause music or Siri, Double‑tap to skip, Triple‑tap to skip back
Power Built-in power supply

Apple HomePod availability

The Apple HomePod will be available to buy in Australia from 9 Feburary. You can pre-order it from the Apple Store right now.

In addition to buying through Apple direct, you'll be able to get the device from JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys and pretty much any other reputable retailer that sells electronics.

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Comments

    Whilst it would be a hilarious, massive fail if it only supported 802.11ac (most people I know use a crappy wireless-N router that came for free with their internet connection), I'm pretty sure it supports 802.11b/g/n too.

    The HomePod is a speaker first, and from all reviews, a first rate speaker. So the price is probably appropriate.

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