Sonos busts out new Beam sound bar, plus AirPlay 2 support

By

sonos beam
Sonos Beam is sleek but packs a punch.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos is making a power play to take over your living room with its latest smart speaker called Sonos Beam.

Beam is a new sound bar that is smaller than Sonos’ Playbar and Playbase, but it also packs some new features like a five-microphone array and it plays well with Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and of course, Siri.

Watch out HomePod, this thing looks amazing:

Facebook delays smart speaker until October

By

HomePod
Facebook's HomePod rival could arrive in six months.
Photo: Apple

Facebook’s smart speaker will reportedly launch in October, a new report claims. The social media giant’s entry into the AI speaker market already home to Apple’s HomePod, Amazon’s Echo and Google Home was allegedly delayed several months as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

As a result, Facebook has cut its 2018 order volume by around 20 percent, although orders for 2019 will remain unchanged.

HomePod inventories pile up after early demand dies quickly

By

Apple HomePod volume controls
HomePod sales are already suffering.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has been forced to cut HomePod orders as inventories continue to build up in its retail stores, according to a new report.

The $349 speaker enjoyed a promising start when it made its debut in February, but demand has fallen quickly as smart speaker shoppers turn to more affordable options from the likes of Amazon.

HomePod vs. Sonos One: Which should you buy?

By

Smart speakers
Similar size, similar price, which should you buy?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

HomePod’s arrival makes the smart speaker market even more confusing for the average consumer. Amazon and Google are dominating right now, but HomePod’s closest rival is actually the Sonos One.

It’s in a similar price range, it’s about the same size, and both speakers focus on sound quality above everything else. I’ve now spent over three weeks with both the HomePod and the Sonos One to help you figure out which one you should buy.

Check out our comparison video below.

HomePod first-day sales topped all smart speakers (except Echo Dot)

By

Siri display
Siri is an embarrassment for Apple.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new HomePod is one of the best-selling smart speakers ever, according to new sales data from The NPD Group.

Not only is the HomePod killing it, but Apple’s new AirPods and Beats headphones are dominating the market so well they reportedly account for 44 percent of all dollar sales for headphones in 2017.

Everything you need to know about HomePod

By

HomePod news, HomePod reviews and HomePod how-tos
The HomePod may be the best speaker you can buy for under $85,000.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s HomePod arrives in homes today. It’s already sold out online, but if you’re lucky you might still snap one up in an Apple store. And you probably should, because the HomePod looks to be just about the best small speaker you can buy — in terms of musical performance, anyway.

If you want to find out how to set up and get the best of your new HomePod, or if you want to read a bit more before deciding whether to get one, you’re in the right place. Below you’ll find all our HomePod coverage: how-tos, reviews, tips and opinions.

Move over HomePod? Facebook has two smart speakers on the way

By

the Facebook logo on an iPhone 6 Plus
Facebook wants to take its next step into your home.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The HomePod may have just dropped, but Apple’s not the only tech giant to be getting into the smart speaker business in 2018. According to a new report, Facebook will be launching two smart speakers this year — with July being given as “the latest” that they could make their debut.

This is what it’s like to control the HomePod

By

The HomePod was a no-show in 2017.
HomePod's launch could be right around the corner.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s HomePod speaker has once again leaked new information about its self ahead of its launch, including how you’ll manage its settings once you finally get one.

Screenshots from HomePod testers in France have leaked out online showing the different settings options you’ll be able to choose from in the HomePod iOS app.

We could be waiting another 4-6 weeks for HomePod

By

HomePod
Apple's smart speaker was originally scheduled for the holidays.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s eagerly anticipated HomePod smart speaker will launch in the next four to six weeks, claim tech analysts at the research firm GBH Insights.

The artificial intelligence-infused smart speaker, powered by Siri, was originally supposed to launch in December 2017. However, with just weeks to go, Apple wound up delaying the launch until an unspecified time in early 2018, saying that “we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers.”