All in all, I thought the move to the HomePod was going well right
until my family staged an intervention. Their annoyance with Siri
misunderstanding or misinterpreting has grown over the last few
weeks, and the clumsiness with which Siri handles — or doesn’t
handle — some requests has become bothersome.
I’ve overheard several interactions with the HomePod that entail a
family member asking for a song or album that ends in getting
upset with the device when it starts playing something else. The
Echo — coupled with Amazon Music — had a much higher hit rate
when it came to accurately playing what was desired.
In short, the increase in sound quality doesn’t make up for the
frustration of using Siri. The HomePod is going to live in my
studio; the Echo is back in its rightful place in the kitchen.
This suggests a rather simple summation: that Apple miscalculated that audio quality should be the top priority of a smart speaker. It’s the “smart” part that needs to be the top priority.