The Apple HomePod has been getting rave reviews since it launched last week. Its limitation to Apple Music has been largely criticized but its sound quality was universally praised and many called it the best-sounding smart speaker out there.
But Yahoo Finance’ David Pogue decided to test that by making a blind shootout between the $150 Amazon Echo Plus, the $200 Sonos One, the $350 Apple HomePod and the $400 Google Home Max. Spoiler alert: the Apple HomePod finished second to last.
The test involved a panel of five people, among which a sound technician and a professional violinist, sitting behind a thin layer of fabric (so they don’t see which speaker is playing), being subjected to five different-style music scores, played in succession from the four speakers.
After the test was done three out of the five panelists chose the Sonos One as the best all-round speaker and the other two chose the Google Home Max. The Amazon Echo Plus was dead last, leaving the Apple HomePod in third.
Watch the video for the full test. Some of the panelists chose the Apple HomePod as the best for one of the music scores.
For comparison’s sake, the Google Home Max uses 2 tweeters and 2 4.5-inch woofers while the Apple HomePod relies on 7 tweeters and a single 4-inch woofer.
But this test shows that while certainly sounding great on its own, the HomePod might not be that impressive when directly compared to its rivals.