Apple is, perhaps obviously, preferring to talk about the quality of the audio that HomePod produces compared to its rivals.
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The HomePod utilizes an in-house built upward-facing woofer paired with a custom A8 processor to for "bass management through real-time software modeling that ensures the speaker delivers the deepest and cleanest bass possible, with low distortion". Until then, what you're getting with HomePod is exactly what Apple announced onstage: a powerful home speaker with Apple Music integration, which also happens to be a HomeKit hub that includes Siri, but in limited capacity. It also uses a six-microphone array so you can activate Siri using the "Hey, Siri" hotword from wherever you are in the room.
The company has confirmed that the HomePod will arrive in France and Germany this spring although not given an exact date.
Like other smart speakers on the market, Apple will allow the HomePod to do a number of things beyond playing music via Apple Music including working with third party apps like WhatsApp. The company's Tuesday release says that the HomePod uses "spatial awareness to sense its location in the room" and "automatically adjusts the audio to sound great wherever it is placed".