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You'll need knives and a saw to get inside HomePod

Cult of Mac 2018-02-12 20:22:44
This totally makes us wince!
Photo: iFixit

Plenty of folks haven’t laid hands on Apple’s HomePod yet, and already the good folks from iFixit have not only bought one, but taken it to pieces to take a peek at what’s under its minimalist exterior.

Their teardown reveals a veritable tank of an Apple product that’s incredibly durable but virtually impossible to get inside. Unless you fancy using a heat gun and saw to open up your brand new smart speaker, that is!

Not easily repairable

On the repairability scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being virtually impossible to repair and 10 being straightforward), the HomePod scores a paltry single point. Perhaps most painful of all is the fact that the iFixit team was only able to gain access to it after using a (cringe!) knife to cut through the beautiful fabric mesh exterior.

Intriguingly, the team notes that inside the mesh cover they found evidence of a drawstring to remove the outer material, but weren’t able to find out how to use this. “Even though it looks like there ought to be a nondestructive way inside, we failed to decode it,” they admit. “Without a repair manual, your odds of success are slim.”

Here’s what HomePod looks like in kit form.
Photo: iFixit

The teardown also, unsurprisingly, focuses on Apple’s cunning sound design for the HomePod. This includes a 4-inch high-excursion, upward-firing woofer, beamforming seven tweeter array, beamforming six microphone array, and low frequency microphone for real-time woofer calibration. One interesting tidbit reads as follows about the device’s woofer:

“If the magnet on this woofer looks big for a speaker this size, that’s because it is. Deep, dramatic bass notes depend on a speaker’s ability to move lots of air. While that’s traditionally done by increasing the cone’s diameter, Apple instead increased the travel of the voice coil, which in turn requires a bigger magnet. That way the speaker diameter stays small, but it can still move enough air to deliver quality bass notes.”

You can read more details about the HomePod’s teardown here.