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Why the Discontinued Apple HomePod’s Price Is Still Rising

there is no good alternative

  • The full-size HomePod will be discontinued in 2021.
  • The used price is higher than the starting price of $300 for a new product.
  • There are no good alternatives to HomePod yet.

Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash

When still on sale, Apple’s HomePods cost $300 each. Now the average eBay selling price is $375, pay more as.

The original HomePod sounded good, but sold in so few numbers that when Apple stopped selling it in 2021, the rest of the stock still had a 2018 manufacturing date. However, it is now discontinued and the price of used speakers is rising. What’s up?

As Apple journalist Jason Snell wrote on her personal blog, “For a small group of users (the full-size HomePod is too small to continue to be a sustainable product), HomePod was the right combination of features.” “[W]If it goes away, it won’t be a good alternative.”

cult hit

The obvious answer is that HomePod is a fantastic product with a cult following in the wrong market. A $300 speaker with a room sensor that can adjust the output to suit the room is a scam. Even if you buy two to make a stereo pair, they’re still cheap compared to many high-end speakers that don’t match the HomePod in terms of sound quality.

Unfortunately, the HomePod wasn’t sold as a high-end hi-fi accessory. It was marketed as a smart speaker to compete with low-cost cylinders such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s various offerings. And as we’ve seen, nobody wants to pay $300 for a smart speaker. Especially where the incompetent Siri lives.

“Compared to other major smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, the HomePod lacks features. Customers expected more from the speaker, but they’ve found that it relies heavily on iPhone for almost all of its features. Marketer and smart speaker user Peter King told Lifewire in an email.

If this theory is correct, demand will continue to be high, even though the HomePod hasn’t sold well in its lifetime. If you want great-sounding speakers with integrated AirPlay and a wacky smart assistant, there’s no alternative to HomePod.

HomePod Alternatives

If you’re on the market for good audiophile speakers that also work with Apple’s Wi-Fi streaming AirPlay protocol, you don’t have many options. Apple’s HomePod mini is great, but it’s really not that great.

The Sonos speaker works with AirPlay, so it’s optional, but you’ll pay a similar or higher price than HomePod. Alternatively, you may choose a wired or Bluetooth speaker, but depending on your configuration, portability or audio quality may be compromised.

My preferred option is to use a non-smart speaker pair to connect to an AirPlay capable speaker. A newer Mac, for example, can also act as an AirPlay receiver. Just like any other speaker, it appears right in the AirPlay selector on your iPhone. In other words, the MacBook Pro can act as a speaker.

apple homepod

Justin Sullivan / Associate

Or – and this is the interesting part – you can use any speaker connected to that Mac. As long as your desktop Mac is permanently connected to a pair of high-end studio monitors, you can stream from your iPhone to some great speakers.

If you don’t have the latest Mac, you can use AirFoil, a dedicated wireless streaming app for iOS and Mac from Rogue Amoeba, the best of audio software.

HomePod 2.0?

AirPlay to Mac works amazingly well and you can share it with anyone on your network. But it’s still not a HomePod and it should be easy to use your Mac. It’s an inexpensive option only if you already have a Mac connected to your speakers, or if you have a spare new Mac that can support them.

But could Apple release a full-size sequel to the HomePod? It is possible, but if it sounds as good as the original, it will be too expensive to compete with other smart speakers. Can Apple ditch Siri entirely and make just a nice speaker? It would be a clear statement of the purpose of the product.

Unfortunately, Apple has a long history of glaring failures in the speaker market. Early reviews of the HomePod as we know it and the $600 AirPods Max were poor, despite their amazing sound. But it dates back to the 2007 iPod Hi-Fi speakers. This speaker was released by Apple less than two years ago.


More information

Why the Discontinued Apple HomePod’s Price Is Still Rising

There’s no good alternative

The full-sized HomePod was discontinued in 2021.
Used prices are higher than the initial $300 price for a new unit. 
There’s still no good alternative to the HomePod.
Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash

Back when they were still on sale, Apple’s HomePod cost $300 a pop. Now, the average eBay selling price is $375, and you can pay a lot more than that. 

The original HomePod sounded great but sold in such low volume that when Apple stopped selling it in 2021, the remaining stock still showed a manufacture date of 2018. And yet now that it has been discontinued, the price for used speakers is rising. What’s going on?

“For a small category of users—too small for the full-sized HomePod to continue as an ongoing product—the HomePod was the right combination of features,” writes Apple journalist Jason Snell on his personal blog. “[W]ith it gone, there’s nothing around that’s a good replacement.”

Cult Hit

The obvious answer is that the HomePod is a cult favorite, a fantastic product in the wrong market. A $300 speaker packed with room sensors that could tune the output to match the space is a steal. Even when you buy two to make a stereo pair, the price is low compared to many high-end speakers, many of which still don’t rival the HomePod for sound quality. 

Unfortunately, the HomePod wasn’t sold as a high-end hi-fi accessory. It was sold as a smart speaker, which put it up against cheap talking cylinders like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s various offers. And as we saw, nobody wants to pay $300 for a smart speaker. Especially one that has the incompetent Siri living in it. 

“In comparison to other leading smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, HomePod lacks functionality. The customers expected a lot more from the speaker but found it heavily dependent on iPhone for most of its very few functionalities. It was only natural the sales fell after the first few weeks of hype,” marketing expert and smart speaker user Peter King told Lifewire via email. 

If this theory holds, then it makes sense that demand remains high, despite the HomePod never selling well when it was alive. If you want a great-sounding speaker with AirPlay integration and a bumbling smart assistant, there’s really no alternative to the HomePod. 

HomePod Alternatives

If you’re in the market for a good, audiophile-level speaker (or speakers) that also works with Apple’s Wi-Fi streaming AirPlay protocol, you don’t have many options. Apple’s HomePod mini is fine but not really great-sounding. 

Sonos speakers work with AirPlay, so that’s one option, but you’ll be paying a similar or higher price than for the HomePod. Or you could choose a wired or Bluetooth speaker, but then you lose mobility or audio quality, depending on your setup. 

My preferred option is to use a pair of non-smart speakers and hook them up to something that can do AirPlay. For example, recent Macs can also act as AirPlay receivers. They show up right there in your iPhone’s AirPlay chooser, like any other speaker. This means that your MacBook Pro could act as your speakers.

Justin Sullivan / Staff

Or—and here’s where it gets interesting—you can use any speakers connected to that Mac. If you have a desktop Mac permanently connected to a pair of high-end studio monitors, you can stream to those fancy speakers from your iPhone. 

If you don’t have a recent Mac, you may be able to use AirFoil, a dedicated wireless streaming app for iOS and Mac, from audio software supremos Rogue Amoeba. 

HomePod 2.0?

AirPlay to Mac works surprisingly well, and you can share it with anyone on your network. But it’s still not a HomePod and requires a Mac to be permanently available, which is only a cheap option if you already have a Mac connected up to speakers, or you have a spare Mac that is new enough to support it. 

But will Apple ever make a sequel to the full-sized HomePod? It’s possible, but if it sounds as good as the original, then it, too, will be too expensive to compete with other smart speakers. Maybe Apple could leave Siri out of it altogether and just make a fancy speaker? That would be a clear statement about the purpose of the product. 

Unfortunately, Apple has a history of excellent failures in the speaker market. The HomePod we know about and the early opinions of the $600 AirPods Max were lackluster, despite their amazing sound. But this dates back to 2007’s iPod Hi-Fi speaker, which lasted less than two years before Apple ditched it.

#Discontinued #Apple #HomePods #Price #Rising

Why the Discontinued Apple HomePod’s Price Is Still Rising

There’s no good alternative

The full-sized HomePod was discontinued in 2021.
Used prices are higher than the initial $300 price for a new unit. 
There’s still no good alternative to the HomePod.
Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash

Back when they were still on sale, Apple’s HomePod cost $300 a pop. Now, the average eBay selling price is $375, and you can pay a lot more than that. 

The original HomePod sounded great but sold in such low volume that when Apple stopped selling it in 2021, the remaining stock still showed a manufacture date of 2018. And yet now that it has been discontinued, the price for used speakers is rising. What’s going on?

“For a small category of users—too small for the full-sized HomePod to continue as an ongoing product—the HomePod was the right combination of features,” writes Apple journalist Jason Snell on his personal blog. “[W]ith it gone, there’s nothing around that’s a good replacement.”

Cult Hit

The obvious answer is that the HomePod is a cult favorite, a fantastic product in the wrong market. A $300 speaker packed with room sensors that could tune the output to match the space is a steal. Even when you buy two to make a stereo pair, the price is low compared to many high-end speakers, many of which still don’t rival the HomePod for sound quality. 

Unfortunately, the HomePod wasn’t sold as a high-end hi-fi accessory. It was sold as a smart speaker, which put it up against cheap talking cylinders like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s various offers. And as we saw, nobody wants to pay $300 for a smart speaker. Especially one that has the incompetent Siri living in it. 

“In comparison to other leading smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, HomePod lacks functionality. The customers expected a lot more from the speaker but found it heavily dependent on iPhone for most of its very few functionalities. It was only natural the sales fell after the first few weeks of hype,” marketing expert and smart speaker user Peter King told Lifewire via email. 

If this theory holds, then it makes sense that demand remains high, despite the HomePod never selling well when it was alive. If you want a great-sounding speaker with AirPlay integration and a bumbling smart assistant, there’s really no alternative to the HomePod. 

HomePod Alternatives

If you’re in the market for a good, audiophile-level speaker (or speakers) that also works with Apple’s Wi-Fi streaming AirPlay protocol, you don’t have many options. Apple’s HomePod mini is fine but not really great-sounding. 

Sonos speakers work with AirPlay, so that’s one option, but you’ll be paying a similar or higher price than for the HomePod. Or you could choose a wired or Bluetooth speaker, but then you lose mobility or audio quality, depending on your setup. 

My preferred option is to use a pair of non-smart speakers and hook them up to something that can do AirPlay. For example, recent Macs can also act as AirPlay receivers. They show up right there in your iPhone’s AirPlay chooser, like any other speaker. This means that your MacBook Pro could act as your speakers.

Justin Sullivan / Staff

Or—and here’s where it gets interesting—you can use any speakers connected to that Mac. If you have a desktop Mac permanently connected to a pair of high-end studio monitors, you can stream to those fancy speakers from your iPhone. 

If you don’t have a recent Mac, you may be able to use AirFoil, a dedicated wireless streaming app for iOS and Mac, from audio software supremos Rogue Amoeba. 

HomePod 2.0?

AirPlay to Mac works surprisingly well, and you can share it with anyone on your network. But it’s still not a HomePod and requires a Mac to be permanently available, which is only a cheap option if you already have a Mac connected up to speakers, or you have a spare Mac that is new enough to support it. 

But will Apple ever make a sequel to the full-sized HomePod? It’s possible, but if it sounds as good as the original, then it, too, will be too expensive to compete with other smart speakers. Maybe Apple could leave Siri out of it altogether and just make a fancy speaker? That would be a clear statement about the purpose of the product. 

Unfortunately, Apple has a history of excellent failures in the speaker market. The HomePod we know about and the early opinions of the $600 AirPods Max were lackluster, despite their amazing sound. But this dates back to 2007’s iPod Hi-Fi speaker, which lasted less than two years before Apple ditched it.

#Discontinued #Apple #HomePods #Price #Rising


Synthetic: Vik News

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