Apple just entered the smart speaker game, debuting their six-years-in-the-making HomePod. In classic Apple fashion they’ve had years to study the competition, so we’re betting there’s more to this HomePod than meets the ears.
One thing’s for sure, the HomePod wins at being the worst device ever to open. This thing is bulletproof—meant to withstand intense vibration and minimize buzzing components. Despite the abundance of screws, it took a ton of heat and cutting tools to get anywhere. And the thing is, it seems like the HomePod is meant to easily rotate open. We discovered a threaded ring and gasket that suggests that (at some point) the HomePod was able to be unscrewed to separate the woofer and power supply unit. Did someone change their mind about HomePod’s design last minute?
All told, we have to admit that we’re pretty impressed with the amount of tech Apple squeezed into this thing. From the speakers to the power supply, the internals are super dense, elegant and efficiently packed. Everything in it aims to deliver the biggest bang for the smallest area. Time will tell if this hermetically-sealed unit will age well, or become a paperweight.
Teardown of Apple's Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker, performed February 9, 2018.
HomePod Teardown highlights:
- The seamless 3D mesh was designed to be acoustically transparent while protecting the HomePod’s insides from dust and debris. Sandwiched between the net-like layers, we found tiny wiry coils that allow sound waves to travel through the fabric with little to no reflection.
- This bot was built for bass. To produce deep, dramatic bass notes a speaker needs to move a lot of air. Traditionally, that’s done by increasing the loudspeaker’s diameter, but Apple increased the travel of the voice coil instead. Now, the speaker diameter stays small, but it can still move enough air to effectively bass your face off.
- The vents on the sides of the voice coil bobbin and the four holes at the rear of the tweeter prevent air pressure from building up and distorting both the music and the dome as it moves several thousand times a second.
Want even more teardown? Perfect—you can get the full HomePod teardown on iFixit.com.