HomePod for $200? New facilities and holiday promotions make a rival AirPlay 2 speaker

My original review of Apple’s HomePod intelligent orator leaned heavily on confidence for destiny facilities that seemed so obvious, they were inevitable. Some facilities like calendar entrance and mixed timers showed adult after several months. More recently, HomePod has gained mixed user support — a underline glaringly blank during launch for a intelligent orator with home in a name.

HomePod was a tough recommendation during a start, tuned usually for business low in a Apple ecosystem with Apple Music, Podcasts, and HomeKit control. A reduce $299 sell cost and some-more artistic facilities like formation with Shortcuts automation and Handoff support make HomePod some-more interesting.

Take $100 off and HomePod is aggressively rival with other AirPlay 2 speakers feature-wise, arguably best in a category sonically, and officious tempting.

The $200 HomePod isn’t usually something Apple should build and recover in a future. It’s here currently and expected to cocktail adult a few times between now and Christmas. 9to5Toys is already tracking HomePod discounts including Best Buy’s early $199 Black Friday price accessible today.

HomePod for $199 is good for perplexing out your initial intelligent orator with Siri or shopping one as a present for someone though profitable full price. The ignored cost also creates it some-more affordable to supplement an additional HomePod in another room in your home, or emanate a stereo span of HomePods (a $400 set that creatively sole for $700).

Discounts aside, HomePod is also packaged with some-more facilities than ever this year. HomePod is now able of some-more than usually personification song with Siri. Top facilities include:

  • Built-in Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and HomeKit control regulating Siri
  • Stereo pairs and multi-room playback
  • AirPlay 2 playback from iPhone and iPad apps
  • Answering and creation phone calls with Siri
  • Sending and receiving or checking messages
  • Managing calendar events, environment reminders, and formulating mixed labeled timers
  • Asking Siri for continue reports, news reports from sources including The Washington Post and NPR, and responding ubiquitous questions
  • Home heart support for HomeKit automations and remote access
  • Handoff aim for music, podcasts, and phone calls from iPhone
  • Initiating Shortcuts and portion as a orator aim for Shortcuts automations
  • Ambient sound playback for relaxing credentials audio
  • Support for mixed users in a home for determining particular song libraries, calendars, reminders lists, messages, and phone calls

For an apples-to-apples comparison, demeanour by a facilities of a $200 Sonos One AirPlay 2 speaker though a same turn of iPhone and Apple formation to establish that creates a many clarity for you.

HomePod lacks Bluetooth playback and a built-in battery for portability, though during $199 it’s usually $10 some-more than a Libratone Zipp AirPlay 2 speaker that lacks voice control and built-in Apple Music playback.

If you’re simply looking for an AirPlay 2 orator target, a Sonos and IKEA bookshelf speaker is tough to kick during $99, though HomePod’s $199 holiday price that we see currently and expected again before Christmas is a tough one to kick — creation HomePod a plain recommendation interjection in partial to new new features.

If we skip out on a holiday HomePod pricing, there’s still wish for a smaller (and presumably cheaper) chronicle being expelled in a future, though Apple hasn’t announced a HomePod mini or HomePod 2 yet. You can find used, refurbished, or open-box HomePods for less, though typically within operation of about $20 reduction a one-year guaranty that comes with code new units.

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