Apple have launched their entry into the voice assistant and multi room music into the ring with the Apple Homepod.

The new voice of Sound - HomePod is a powerful speaker that sounds amazing, adapts to wherever it’s playing, and together with Apple Music, gives you effortless access to one of the world’s largest music catalogs. All controlled through natural voice interaction with Siri. It takes the listening experience to a whole new level. And that’s just the beginning.
— Apple

The new Homepod is a Siri enabled speaker and microphone that works in a similar way to the Echo and Home devices from Amazon and Google but also includes a high specification speaker system.  This could be used as an alternative to Sonos Play range of wireless hifi speakers.

A breakthrough speaker all around -We completely reimagined how a speaker should make music in the home. HomePod combines Apple-engineered audio technology and advanced software to deliver the highest-fidelity sound throughout the room, no matter where it’s placed. This elegantly designed, compact speaker totally rocks the house.
— Apple

The Apple homepod page waxes lyrical extensively about the sound quality and audio technologies in use for the HomePod, it's quite clear that they are taking aim at the whole home / multi room audio market.

Audio Technology

  • High-excursion woofer with custom amplifier
  • Array of seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom amplifier
  • Six-microphone array for far-field Siri and room sensing
  • Internal low-frequency calibration microphone for automatic bass correction
  • Direct and ambient audio beamforming
  • Transparent studio-level dynamic processing
Apple Available Homepod.jpg
Engineered to bring down the house - We built the high-excursion woofer with a custom amplifier to play a wide range of deep, rich bass. A powerful motor drives the diaphragm a full 20 mm — remarkable for a speaker this size. Meanwhile, HomePod uses an advanced algorithm that continuously analyzes the music and dynamically tunes the low frequencies for smooth, distortion‑free sound. Seven tweeters. Amazing sound from every angle.
— Apple

It's an exciting development and we look forward to the implementation, the Homepod is available from December - We'd like to see what sources it will allow for music - there are rumours that it will be Apple Music only, that would be a shame.