Apple, a household name in the technology area, has recently announced that it’ll be releasing its very own HomePod on February 9, 2018. They’re also announcing that they’ll be accepting preorders for the device on January 26, 2018, Friday. The smart speaker will initially be on sale in the US, UK, and Australia. Then in France and Germany sometime in spring.

The company’s first ever smart speaker was initially set to go on sale before the end of the year 2017. However, production was delayed in mid-December. It meant missing a holiday season where millions of smart speakers were out on the market – but the area for voice-activated speakers just clearly got started.

At $349, Apple’s HomePod speaker plays a different market than of Google’s and Amazon’s much cheaper and tiny speakers. The HomePod is predicted to be at the same level as Sonos’ high-end wireless speaker rather than as one of the players of a plethora of inexpensive smart speakers which is flooding the market nowadays.

So what’s the hype about Apple’s HomePod all about? Here’s all you need to know about Apple’s latest innovation.

The Apple HomePod has surface sensors that send out a 360 beam of sound. Its 360 beam sound will detect any surfaces nearby. If it finds a shelf or a bookcase, it’ll use the wall behind that object to reflect a distinct sound level.

This feature is similar to the Sonos speakers with its multi-room audio function. The system solely relies on your audio source at a certain distance away from the smart speaker.

The HomePod automatically work out and connect whether another speaker is nearby, and balances the sound to make sure the two speakers work well. To pair your Apple device, all you have to do is hold it near the speaker just like how you do with AirPods.

When it comes to audio performance, Apple’s HomePod is far from subpar, as expected from an expensive wireless speaker. Its bass level may not hit your heart but is a bit higher than of Amazon’s and Google’s. With its beam sound sensor which is mentioned earlier, it can put any wireless surround speaker to shame.

Despite its delay, Apple still never fails to deliver quality and epic products. Apple has focused on music and sound quality, rather than banking on the speaker’s intelligence, which is the core focus of its competitors’ products. The speaker has an always-on voice assistant. But the implementation of Siri is more likely limited to what’s present on other devices.

A downside of the HomePod is that Apple has not made it clear on how the speaker will work on non-Apple devices. Voice assistant feature is also limited to specific categories of third-party integrations. The multi-room audio won’t be supported until later this year. They’ll be releasing it with a software update. This update also applies to the stereo playback, where when two HomePods are present in the same room, they connect automatically.

No matter the delays of development, we can never refute that Apple’s product is always worth the wait. They always deliver and when they deliver they don’t disappoint. So what are you waiting for? Make sure that you don’t miss this one out. Grab one on pre-order and enjoy Apple’s latest innovation.