HomeBlogWhy I'm Returning The Apple HomePod

Why I'm Returning The Apple HomePod

Published February 20, 2018

Last week, I stopped by the local Apple Store and bought myself an Apple HomePod.  Today, I returned it to the very same Apple Store.

People are asking me why I returned it.  They know I am an Apple fan boy and for me to return something from Apple is shocking to some. Heck, I bought a car I did not like because it was one of the few that had Apple CarPlay support two years ago.  When I posted that I am returning the device on on Facebook, the responses included "The Apple universe is cracking," and "Wait... what? You are returning an Apple product? Inconceivable!"  But yes, it is true, I returned it.

Why? The short answer is I am not a music person. I barely ever listen to music and because of that, I do not appreciate the sound quality from the speaker.  Don't get me wrong, it sounds amazing, but as someone who doesn't really listen much to music, I simply do not appreciate what sound is coming out of the speaker.  Since it is around $350, it is not worth the money over a Google Home device that is a lot cheaper. Yes, Google has a Google Home Max which supposedly sounds almost as good, but again, I won't appreciate it.  The Google Home Mini devices are solid sound quality for me anyway.

It does shine with listening.  Often I will have to walk over to a Google Home device and talk to it.  Apple's HomePod listens incredibly well.  You can quietly say "hey Siri" and it will listen no matter how loud the music is playing.  Not so much with the Google Home devices.

I put the HomePod in an alcove and the sound was interesting. When you stood in front of the alcove, it sounded wonderful.  But if you were towards the other side of the room, the brilliance in the sound quality seemed to evaporate.  The Apple HomePod learns the room and fills the sound in the room. I think the alcove kind of tricked it.  Here is how that room looked, the HomePod is in the picture (excuse my horrible drawing):

Another issue with the Apple HomePod is that it is dumb. Well, Siri is dumb.  Google is way smarter and I said because of that, Google will win the assistant game.  

I honestly do not see how it would be possible for Apple to even come close to Google in terms of smarts.  Maybe Apple wins with sound quality but in terms of being a smart assistant, it doesn't even come close.

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Barry Schwartz is the CEO of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. Barry is also the founder of the Search Engine Roundtable and the News Editor of Search Engine Land. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search marketing industry. Barry graduated from the City University of New York and lives with his family in the NYC region.

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