HomePod was Apple’s offering in the Bluetooth speaker cum smart assistant segment and became the most popular choice for iPhone or other Apple product users. You could control it with voice commands using Apple’s virtual search assistant, Siri. It was designed to go with an Apple Music subscription and offer more with a quick and straightforward “Hey Siri!”.
In a surprising move, Apple decided to discontinue the original HomePod while the HopePod mini stays on. This announcement concerns the lower-priced smart speakers from Google and Amazon dominating the market in the past three years. It affected HomePod’s sales adversely as these devices could work on operating systems other than iOS too along with a host of other versatile features to boast of.
The HomePod became a handy tool for people who were used to it and had the relevant Apple Music Subscription required to stream music on it. Now that it has been discontinued, users are left with a void and are searching for HomePod alternatives to fill it. We have listed our picks down below!
Best HomePod Alternatives
This smart speaker easily tops the list of HomePod alternatives. The Sonos One should be your choice if you are a music lover and like to get work done alongside. It comes with built-in Amazon Alexa, and that itself adds to Sonos One being the best because Alexa is the world’s fastest and most accurate smart assistant in the technology world.
The speakers on this one offer absorbing sound, which fills the room, and if you’re one for the great music while you work atmosphere, this is the deal. It is an excellent HomePod alternative in terms of sound, except that it doesn’t match the richness of sound from the HomePod. Concerning the bass, too, HomePod fares better. But as long as you can compromise with these, there’s no reason not to go ahead and buy the Sonos One.
This smart speaker also ticks the box for seamless connectivity across devices, as you can connect to an iPhone, iPad, Smart TV. Android device, or other mobile phones with Bluetooth and play audio. Another additional feature that may help you if Alexa isn’t your jam is that Sonos One also comes with an integrated Google Assistant. Needless to say, there is a world of things you can do with Google’s services available at your voice command.
2. Google Home Max
The icing on the cake for Sonos One was that it comes with Google Assistant support and Alexa. What could be better if Google comes out with its smart speaker? Google Home Max brings the versatility of Google to a speaker. Streaming across numerous platforms without interruptions is one of the benefits.
Google’s Home Max is a great smart speaker for audio quality, something that lacked in the Sonos One a little. You can connect to all your Google smart home gadgets like a Chromecast, Ecobee, or smart bulbs. Although there are more haters of the Google Assistant than Amazon Alexa or Siri, it is a resourceful and more flexible HomePod alternative in many departments if given a fair chance.
HomePod was popular, but those who were able to shake off Apple loyalty and talk about the device’s flaws always mentioned Siri’s inability to understand many things. Plus, you don’t need an Apple Music subscription or any subscription for that matter to listen to your favorite tunes. Amazing! But Google has improved their smart speaker range a lot, and the upgrades reflect in their recent launches.
If you’re already a fan of Bose’s high-quality products, this smart speaker is likely to be your HomePod alternative of choice. It is the pricey one on the list, but with that comes superior quality and performance. It doesn’t lack in the sound department, as you may have thought with Bose. Amazon Alexa is integrated and has no problem hearing your voice commands even from a distance.
Bose Home also offers AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth support, which adds to its features. Apart from Amazon Alexa, you get the option for Google Assistant as well. There is no doubt that this smart speaker’s sound quality is impeccable, the bass, the richness, and the fact that the sound fills the room perfectly.
The enhanced sound and features combined make this speaker a unique device and a contender in the race to become your HomePod alternative. It costs more than the speakers listed here, so you will need to consider your budget before opting for this one. Like Apple, Bose has its Music app. It works great; you can manage your playlists and music according to your preferences. But with that, you also have the flexibility of using apps like Spotify to stream your music.
Amazon Echo quickly bags the “most affordable” tag of the list. Alexa has gone on to become one of Amazon’s most successful ventures in the world of technology. And rightly so, as many “Siri vs. Alexa” comparisons have shown, it offers much greater flexibility with its virtual assistant Alexa. Amazon Echo may not offer the best sound experience, but Alexa’s accessibility more than compensates for that.
But they improved the sound of the Amazon Echo Studio, so you can opt for that and enjoy all the benefits Alexa’s skills can give. Streaming music from various services, including Apple Music, makes it a versatile and easy-to-use speaker. It comes available in three different colors: Gray, Sandstone, Charcoal, and Heather.
They offer a wide range of sizes too, like the smallest Echo Dot so you can choose the size that fits your requirements. With an Echo Studio, you have an intercom system to keep your family synced. Amazon keeps adding more features and silks to Echo’s already long list, making it more innovative with each update. This is hands down the best smart speaker for Alexa.
5. JBL Link 500
This smart speaker pack wonders in its small size. JBL’s Link 500 carries forward the name of the company in providing an immersive sound experience. The audio system is wonderfully crafted and will impress you if you have a love for music. Google Assistant is integrated into the device, so all features that come with it automatically become available to you. Setting alarms, checking the weather, streaming music are just some of the things you can do on the JBL Link 500.
Seamless connectivity is another benefit that makes JBL a good HomePod alternative. Whether it is a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any other device, as long as it has Bluetooth, you won’t face any problems in connecting. It is also possible to pair the speaker with an inbuilt Chromecast so you can play the same songs in all the rooms for a multi-room song experience.
The sound quality is crisp, clear and the highs and lows are distinguishable. The experience is, as with any other JBL speaker, excellent. It comes with lots of basses and is more compact than other speakers in this segment.
Needless to say, a smart speaker from Bose will excel in the sound quality department. Crisp, immersive, and not tinny or bass-heavy. It is on the expensive end but sounds impressively remarkable for its small size. This speaker’s unique design is a point of attention when someone sees it for the first time. The handle is a beautiful design feature and adds a functional aspect to it as it becomes easier to carry it around. The thermos of the future that can belt out your favorite hits!
Apart from acing the sound experience, Bose Soundlink Revolve+ also has one of its competitors’ most extended battery life. This makes it highly portable and will last you for the whole party! A multi-room sound experience is possible, and you can also pair a second speaker for just a louder experience.
It isn’t all about the sound quality; you can get a lot of work done with it too. It comes with an integrated microphone for attending speakerphone calls. It is loaded with Google Assistant and Siri to help you do your chores using voice commands. Another highlight feature of this speaker is that it is water-resistant.
This is the most attractive smart speaker look-wise. It features zip detail at the bottom. You can unzip to change the grille fabric with another design or color. These interchangeable jackets stand out. This adds to the style and the speaker’s minimalistic Scandinavian aesthetic. As for functionality, this speaker caters to your work needs too.
It comes with built-in Alexa and WiFi support, which is a big help when it comes to providing essential features. You can talk to Alexa from six far-field microphones integrated into the speaker. The battery lasts up to a whopping 12 hours, which is enough to get you through your work and party both! The sound quality isn’t the best, but these drawbacks can only be noticed if you have a trained ear or compare it directly to other competitors.
It doesn’t support Google Assistant, so if that is something you cannot compromise, go for a different speaker. The capacitive control panel offers various options, making it easier to control the speaker’s options. If you’re looking for a decent speaker that offers sound optimization, Amazon Alexa, and a funky design, then Libratone Zipp 2 is your perfect HomePod alternative.
Ultimate Ears MegaBlast is a highly portable speaker with a sleek design. It is probably the loudest portable smart speaker on this list. If you’re on a budget and still want a stylish speaker that reflects your aesthetic, you’ve arrived at a choice. Despite a visible lack of features, unlike its competitors like the Amazon Echo or the Sonos One, it sounds impressively good.
It offers an immersive experience with crystal clear sounds. The UE MegaBlast comes with voice-controlled Alexa support to help your questions be answered, or your music played hands-free. Compatibility is excellent as you can connect to almost any device as long as it is Bluetooth enabled.
Streaming music from a host of different platforms is also beneficial and adds to the ease of using this speaker. This speaker’s body is waterproof with an IP67 rating, so this is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a speaker to take to your next pool party! Also, it is a comfortable size which is very travel friendly.
The smart speaker market is constantly evolving and churning out new and improved gadgets. This list will also keep updating as and when something new comes up. If you think nothing can come close to the HomePod because of its deeply integrated Apple ecosystem, this list will make you think again. There are many disadvantages of using the HomePod covered with one of these speakers, including using services like Alexa, Spotify, and Google Assistant. If you’re looking for HomePod alternatives in 2021, look no further!
You may want to take a peek at:
- HomePod Mini Review: $99 Siri Smart Speaker for iPhone Users
- How to Use Handoff with HomePod Mini and HomePod
- How to Set a Sleep Timer in Apple Music on iPhone, Mac, and HomePod