As with the AirPods, all you have to do is hold an iOS device (running the latest version, of course) up to the HomePod. The HomePod was set up on a credenza next to the Sonos One, the Google Home Max, and the second-generation Amazon Echo; the HomePod definitely sounded the best of the group, but the Sonos One - which costs half as much - kept pace.
Standing at seven-inches tall, the HomePod packs a 7 beam-forming tweeter array and a four-inch upward-facing woofer - all powered by the Cupertino company's own A8 chipset. The Sonos One is the latest speaker from the company, and it has Amazon's Alexa abilities built right in.
None of this is particularly new technology - Google and Amazon devices can do this too - but it certainly makes HomePod more appealing, especially given its other limitations. HomePod will arrive in France and Germany this spring.
"It's still an odd announcement; Apple provided only a short demo of the device in June, so people courageous enough to order will be going in blind".
Depending on who you ask, the HomePod is one of two things. The plan, Sonos says, is to support AirPlay 2 - the streaming music system that Apple will rely on for HomePod's eventual multi-room feature - later in 2018.
Unlike the Echo, HomePod is meant to be a high-end audio device.
Yes it's been longer coming than intended, but as of yesterday you can now pre-order Apple's music speaker with Siri built-in - the HomePod. With a voice command, Siri will be able to find and play music based on what they the user usually listens.
Excellent design has always been Apple's calling card, and the HomePod is a compact, stylish device available in tasteful white and space grey finishes which won't look out of place anywhere from your living room to your bedroom or kitchen. Google joined the market in 2016, two years after Amazon debuted its pioneering Echo.
So now the battle begins as the market decides what it wants more in a smart speaker device. Meanwhile, other smart speakers already support multi-room music playing.
The final piece of the HomePod puzzle is its smart home functionality. You're able to configure it to control certain scenarios through the HomeKit app on a paired iPhone - for example, saying "Hey Siri, good morning" could cause connected lights, blinds and kettles to turn on, roll up and start boiling. Asking Siri to then play the news then provided a morning digest from the news source of your choosing.
However, Apple didn't open pre-orders until the morning.
Apple's HomePod is about to ship to customers and we all want to know as much about it as possible before it gets here.