The world of tech is abuzz because, as of today, the brand spanking new Apple HomePod speaker is available for pre-order. If you’ve been eagerly waiting, you’ll be happy to know that early birds will see their speakers shipped two weeks from now, starting February 9th.
However, before you get your wallet in a twist, we want to break down some of the cons of this purchase. Yes, it’s a sexy-looking speaker (available in black or white), and many of us are hardcore Apple fans. But this isn’t the most efficient option when it comes to home audio.
Listing reasons not to grab the Apple HomePod speaker may seem counterintuitive, given our widely accepted culture of iPhone addiction, but we believe in being savvy consumers. Just because a tech company kills it with some of our favorite smartphone and laptop designs, that doesn’t mean they automatically stake claim on the best of tech across the board.
So we’ve collected a few reasons you may want to opt out of purchasing the Apple HomePod speaker — at least for the version available in this initial launch. Knowing Apple, there will be many upgrades yet to come.
1You can’t use Spotify.
You heard us right. If you’re a fan of the streaming beauty of Spotify, the Apple HomePod will be a no-go for you. The Apple HomePod only accepts voice command for the paid version of Apple Music ($10 a month), so you’re out of luck if you rely on other streaming services. You can, however, technically rig your phone up to the speakers — it just defeats the purpose of voice command.
2It costs $350.
Listen, it is a sexy speaker with solid sound capabilities. But $350 is a lot of money to spend when competitors such as the Amazon Echo Dot hover around $100, and Sonos is currently offering two speakers for $350 (powered by Alexa). If you have the cash and think it’s worth the leap, go for it. But if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, the Apple HomePod may be a bit steep to justify.
3Siri is not the best home assistant.
This may be controversial to the Siri stans out there, but compared to Google Assistant and Alexa, Siri has difficulty contextualizing more nuanced questions and requests. While Siri can certainly set alarms and reminders and play music, even asking her questions like “can you sing me a song?” elicits no answer. Meanwhile, Alexa is always ready for conversation.
4It’s missing two crucial features.
Originally, the Apple HomePod boasted that HomePods could successfully detect and communicate with each other to create balanced sound in your home. This feature is currently unavailable, though Apple claims it will be released “later in the year.” Likewise, the Apple HomePod also advertised support for AirPlay 2, which lets you control the music for several rooms at once. This is also not available, as of yet.
5Cheaper speakers offer good audio.
While the Apple HomePod might offer crisp, quality sound, you don’t have to dole out $350 to score a good home audio system. As mentioned earlier, competitors offer more affordable prices and a solid sound experience.
Regardless of what you decide, it’s always smart to weigh your options.