Apple HomePod available for pre-order this Friday

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This makes sense for a smart speaker, but with programs like the Alexa app for Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot, it will be an interesting choice if the Apple HomePod is truly to ship without an external way to control numerous features.

This means Apple customers thinking about HomePod now have Sonos dangling a carrot in front of them-two Sonos Ones or one HomePod.

Home technology editor Ced Yuen wrote: "The Sonos One sounds great, it gives you access to a tried-and-tested multiroom ecosystem, and it is beautifully integrated with the super-useful Amazon Alexa assistant". Instead, it's celebrating the release of the world's newest smart speaker by offering two of the company's Sonos One speakers at a discounted price.

The HomePod will go on sale in the United Kingdom from Friday 9 February for £319 but you can start pre-ordering tomorrow (26 January). Apple added FLAC compatibility in iOS 11 past year, so although it wasn't completely unexpected for the iOS-based HomePod to include FLAC support, it wasn't entirely clear whether the codec would be supported over AirPlay. For those of you keeping track, that's the same price as Apple's HomePod, which goes on sale the exact same day (but will ship in two weeks).

Launched in October 2017, the Sonos One earned an "excellent" rating in PCMag's review and our coveted Editors' Choice Award.

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The only negative we had was the absence of Spotify voice controls at launch.

The Apple HomePod will be available in white and space gray colors, for online order in the US, UK, and Australia on Febuary 9, and will be available in other European markets such as France and Germany in Q2. In a statement on Tuesday, in fact, it was the device's "stunning audio quality" and "incredible music listening experience" that took top billing.

In terms of music quality, Apple HomePod might still be ahead of the Sonos One. The HomePod, on the other hand, only has Siri.

More music services: Added Spotify voice control in November. It also includes limited Siri voice control for music playback, along with some smart home and schedule, task, and Messages management.