Today at Best Buy, you can grab the HomePod for just $199.99, which is probably the price Apple’s smart speaker should have sold for at the beginning. That’s $100 down from the $300 it’s been selling for lately, and $149 down from the $349 price tag Apple slapped on it when it first hit the market. Best Buy sold it for this price during Black Friday, and I find myself wishing Apple would just keep it at that price.
You can read our original 2018 review of the HomePod for more information, but keep in mind that a lot has changed since we wrote that. The HomePod’s biggest limitations were always related to software, and over the last couple of years Apple has introduced helpful new features like the ability to make phone calls, keep track of multiple timers, and hand off calls from your iPhone. It’s a lot better now.
It seemed to take forever, but you can also now use AirPlay to tie multiple HomePods together and set up a stereo system around your house. And with prices like this, a setup like that doesn’t sound quite as extravagant or far-fetched as it once did.
Thanks to limitations with Siri, the HomePod still isn’t going to be as useful or fully featured as a smart speaker from Amazon or Google. On the bright side, though, I find it handles most common tasks I use it for with ease, whether that’s checking the morning weather, asking for a rundown of the latest news, or adding items to my Reminders app. I rarely feel like I’m missing out.
It was always a good speaker from a technical level, as the speaker design allows your music to sound much the same regardless of where you’re standing in a room. In fact, I sometimes think the HomePod is a little too good. I live in an apartment building, and Apple’s subwoofer is so beefy that I worry that it’ll make paintings fall off the wall in units three floors down. And since the HomePod doesn’t have an easily adjustable equalizer, you essentially just have to deal with it.