Got $400? Apple HomePod vs stereo Sonos One vs Google Home Max
Got $400? Apple HomePod vs stereo Sonos One vs Google Home Max
4:41

Got $400? Apple HomePod vs stereo Sonos One vs Google Home Max

Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers
[MUSIC] For the longest time, if you wanted a smart speaker that is a connected speaker with a built-in voice assistant, you had to be content with the Amazon Echo. While it's an insanely popular product, it offers the widest compatibility of any competitor. Its main problem is it doesn't sound very good. What if you want something that is good of playing tunes? Enter the Apple HomePod. Apple says this is a music speaker first and smart speaker second. But at $350, is it the best option for the money? For example, at that price you can get not one but two Sonos Ones which also incorporate Amazon Alexa and work in stereo. I've compared notes with CNET's own audio [INAUDIBLE] Steve Gutenberg To get his take on the smart speaker phenomenon. Now Steve, you're predominantly a two channel type of person. But you spent a lot of time with the Apple HomePod. What's surprised you about it? How fussy it was to use, really. I mean, I thought it would be more Apple friendly. It knows I'm an Apple person. Just to say, hey you're one of us, but it was aloof it was distant. Distant as far as sound quality is concerned? Well, distant, it sounded small but then it sounded big. Sound quality changed a lot from when I changed one tune to the next to the Right and I think it's got something to do with the lobes. Ah-huh. The system of like- Right. Sterio sort of beams. Right. Which change depending on when you move the speaker around. Ah-huh. But, what are one of its best qualities? Its size. Okay. I'm running out of best If you're into the whole Apple eco system it's a great thing. What about base response? Makes a lot of base for a very small speaker. And I would say that is its best quality more so than any of the other three speakers here. It has a surprising amount of base. Yes, quality or quantity. Whatever. This is a really good product if you want to stick it on your bench and you are cooking or doign something like that. You need to ask Siri something. It's really good for that. Absolutely. Now compared to something like the Google Home. How do you think it compares? Size matters. It sounds like a bigger, more satisfying speaker. I mean, I imagine that some people especially will buy the max, wanna party and have fun and stuff and I think it's a more fun, can play louder or rock and roll. That's right. And also it has a 3.5 millimeter [INAUDIBLE] -> I know that. So you can I guess hook it up to Anything you want. Like a TV, you could use it as a center speaker for TV, which is something you can't do for this. Or for the Sonus ones. Really? But, we've obviously compared these three speakers. Which one is the winner for you? The two. The two ones, actually, are definitely my far and away favorite. Because they're the closest to sounding like, and pardon the expression, a Hi Fi. So what is it about these that these can't do? They're one. Okay. They're mono speakers. They just had a more contained and sound like coming out of a box, as opposed to sound filling a room. Right. So what would you use the Sonos Ones for? See, I could imagine the Sonos One as being someone's home audio system, in terms of listening to music, as opposed to just having it on as background. I would say the Sonos Ones would definitely fit that bill. Right, even if it was, say, on a side table or something, would you still buy If you had a choice between any of these three products. If you wanted something that you could use for background music, would you still choose the ones? Background music, I think they're all acceptable for background music. And if that's the priority, just to have sound, I would Would say to the home pod [UNKNOWN] Right. I guess it depends on which ecosystem you tied into. That's true. If you're in Google, you probably get this one, if you're with Apple, this one. Mm-hm. This one is going to be the interesting product because coming this year sometime you're going to get Google and Amazon, the problem with that being the mics aren't as sensitive as either of these two products. Right, you were saying before we started that the voice recogniztion on the Sonus is- Yeah, the microphones aren't as sensitive as either of these two products. That is Apple iPod's biggest claim to fame, apart from the base response, is that its microphone is very sensitive. Okay. Very good. But I think for me, for $ 350 the Sonos one is really good product. And as you're saying it's a great stereo replacement. [MUSIC]

Up Next

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?
240419-site-does-having-an-apple-watch-make-me-use-my-iphone-less-4

Up Next

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones
240417-site-google-pixel-lab-exclusive-1

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones

Boston Dynamics Retires Its HD Atlas Robot
p1022506-00-00-01-20-still001

Boston Dynamics Retires Its HD Atlas Robot

What's the Future of Phones? Expert vs. AI
240412-site-what-is-the-future-of-phones-expert-vs-ai-v1

What's the Future of Phones? Expert vs. AI

I Touched Disney's HoloTile Floor: Behind the Scenes at Imagineering
disneyholotile-site

I Touched Disney's HoloTile Floor: Behind the Scenes at Imagineering

Can I Live With a Nokia Flip Phone in 2024?
pana3004

Can I Live With a Nokia Flip Phone in 2024?

How Google Captures 3D Images for Immersive View
240207-yt-google-map-immersive-view-v03

How Google Captures 3D Images for Immersive View

How to Get the Best Answers From an AI Chatbot
ai-prompts-seq-00-05-21-15-still006

How to Get the Best Answers From an AI Chatbot

It's Almost Here: My Big Questions for Vision Pro
231218-yt-omt-visionpro-v03

It's Almost Here: My Big Questions for Vision Pro

CNET's Best Smartphones From 2023
cnet01

CNET's Best Smartphones From 2023

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

What to Expect at Apple's May 7 iPad Event
240423-yt-apple-ipad-ipad-pro-pencil-v02

What to Expect at Apple's May 7 iPad Event

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?
240419-site-does-having-an-apple-watch-make-me-use-my-iphone-less-4

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones
240417-site-google-pixel-lab-exclusive-1

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus
240419-wtf-atlas-vs-optimus-v04

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus

What is the Fediverse?
240418-fediverse-winged

What is the Fediverse?

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission
240418-site-omt-the-core-problem-of-apples-green-goals-v1.jpg

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro