Apple's Siri speaker to be an audiophile-pleasing smart home hub

By bringing a smart home speaker to market, Apple will be able to tightly integrate it within its own ecosystem of services. Sources say Apple employees have been testing the speaker in their homes for several months. The speaker would likely be tucked into Apple's "Other Products" category, which now includes devices like the Apple Watch, Apple TV and AirPods.

Apple's last speaker product, Apple Hi-Fi, which launched in 2006.Flickr/teezehApple has started manufacturing its long-rumored smart speaker, and it could start shipping the gadget later this year, according to a published report. In addition to a brand new edgeless 10.5-inch iPad and a refreshed MacBook line, there are rumblings that Apple will introduce a Siri-based speaker next week at WWDC.

Apple Inc. shares were trading at $152.76 per share on Wednesday afternoon, down $0.91 (-0.59%). Soon, a device embossed with "Designed by Apple in California" may be on your nightstand or kitchen counter as well. It'll also offer "virtual surround sound", Bloomberg said, which isn't available on Google Home or the Amazon Echo, and may improve the music-listening experience with louder speakers.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Some of those detail just how Apple will attempt to set its Siri speaker apart from rivals.

Apple will also likely let third-party services build products for the speaker.

Apple hopes that more advanced acoustics technology will give the speaker an edge over competitors, according to people with knowledge of the product's development.

On Monday, Apple will kick off its annual developer conference, WWDC 2017. Your patience may pay off, though, as there are reportedly a few features that will help it stand out next to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Engadget said. The iPhone seller also reportedly has considered including sensors that measure the environment's acoustics and automatically adjust audio levels.

  • Desiree Holland