You can pre-order the HomePod this Friday

Apple’s HomePod wireless speaker arrives in stores beginning Friday, February 9 and is available to order online for $349 this Friday, January 26, in the US, UK and Australia. It will arrive in France and Germany this spring.

The HomePod is just under seven inches tall and looks like a piece of furniture. It will be available in both space gray and white. Combined with Siri, HomePod can send a message, set a timer, play a podcast, check the news, sports, traffic and weather, and even control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories.

HomePod.jpeg

According to Apple, the HomePod uses advanced software for real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, echo cancellation and more, powered by the company’s A8 chip, delivering a wide, spacious soundstage. Using spatial awareness to sense its location in the room, it automatically adjusts the audio to sound great wherever it is placed.

The HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with directional control, and technologies that preserve the richness and intent of original recordings. With an array of six microphones, HomePod can hear “Hey Siri” from across the room, even when loud music is playing.

Apple says setup is as easy and intuitive as setting up AirPods:  simply hold an iPhone next to HomePod and it’s ready to start playing music in seconds. The Siri waveform appears on the top to indicate when Siri is engaged, and integrated touch controls also allow easy navigation.