HomePod is here, and it’s a winner!
After waiting a couple more months than initially expected Apple’s HomePod pre-orders were delivered on February 9. HomePod Is Here, And It’s A Winner!
Down here in Australia, we had the pleasure of taunting our US friends by getting our hands on it at least 12 hours ahead of them.
First Impressions, HomePod is very much a winner.
The courier delivering mine commented on how heavy it was for such a small box. It certainly is a solid little beast.
I won’t bore you with pics of the outer box, however, will say it is solid and has the inner box suspended in a shock absorbing cardboard cradle.
Pulling the unit from the outer box, you are presented with the familiar Apple product packaging, wrapped in a protective film.
Once the film is off, it’s an easy slide the top section off to reveal the HomePod in an inner cradle. with another protective film protecting the OLED display on the top.
Removed from the base cradle, the braided mains cable is revealed
from there it’s a simple unwind the cable, plug it in and begin the stop process.
There is a little quick setup guide included.
After plugging in (and switching on the outlet) it’s a simple matter of waiting for the A8 processor to boot and signify it’s ready for setup with a deep bass tone.
Beginning setup is as simple as holding your iOS device close to the unit and waiting a few seconds for the initial setup screen to appear on your device.
Here is where I was faced with my only obstacle. For some reason, my unit would not proceed with setup and displayed a 2FA warning screen, which led me to AppleID settings on my phone (same issue on my iPad Pro I tried) though a quick check of another family member’s iPhone in the house had that one proceed through setup without any issues.
With the issue obviously being with my AppleID, I decided a first step would be to sign out of AppleID on the device, then back in, and if that didn’t work, look at changing security back to 2-step, then re-enable 2FA.
Luckily simply signing out then back in was all that was needed and setup proceeded without any further issue. ***A note, it was also necessary to sign out and back in on the iPad Pro when I tried setting up with that later.
Once past that minor roadblock, the first option is to name the room where the HomePod will reside.
A screen pops up advising how to use Siri and a note on information that is sent to Apple, with a link to the full privacy statement.
The Personal Request screen requires some thought before proceeding. As Siri on the HomePod is not capable of distinguishing voices, my recommendation is you select NOT NOW. With Personal Request enabled any person can ask Siri to read and send messages from your iPhone if it on the same network. Apple needs to step up on this issue!
In the final step, your iCloud account name is displayed prior to transferring settings to the HomePod. There is the option to change settings later in the Home app.
The Setting Up process takes a short time, then you are presented with the Done screen.
Once setup is complete, it’s as simple as ‘Hey Siri…’
I did find the mic’s a little sensitive to position. If you are standing over the HomePod, Siri often will not respond.
I also found Siri did not respond on several other instances.
Those couple of minor niggles aside, the sound is awesome!. A tip, place the HomePod on a hard surface. The tweeters fire downwards and use the surface to bounce sound. On a soft surface, highs seem to be absorbed and are attenuated.
While HomePod works best with Apple Music, it will work well with Music Match and also is easy to set up with AirPlay. I connected to a MacBook and selected a USB SoundBar output along with HomePod for a ‘surround sound’ experience.
Yes, folks, HomePod Is Here, And It’s A Winner!