Don’t worry if you missed out on the last time the HomePod was on sale — the deal is back. Best Buy is once again selling Apple’s smart speaker for $200, or a full $100 off the usual price. At that cost, it could easily make sense if you’re in an Apple-centric household and want a speaker to lift your mood or control your smart home.
The HomePod has long been one of our top picks for sound quality, punching well above its weight (or rather, size) — especially now that you can create stereo pairs and groups. And while the initial feature set was underwhelming, to put it mildly, Apple has gone some length to improve things with multi-user support, audio handoffs, live radio and Spotify voice control. This is your go-to speaker if you thrive on AirPlay streaming and HomeKit.
With that said, some of the usual caveats still apply. You need an Apple mobile device just to set up and manage a HomePod. While you can use Spotify, the HomePod still favors Apple services. And while Siri has made strides forward since the HomePod’s debut, it’s still true that Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are better in key areas (such as general knowledge and multi-step commands). The HomePod is great if you don’t expect to leave the Apple ecosystem any time soon and are comfortable with what Siri has to offer, but you may want to consider alternatives otherwise.