We heard a lot of praise for Apple HomePod‘s premium sound quality. It’s attractive enough. However, if you don’t have iPhone, iPad or Mac, can you buy it and use as a regular Bluetooth speaker? The answer is NO.
Even though it has Bluetooth 5.0, it can’t receive an aux input through Bluetooth. Bluetooth 5.0 enables Apple HomePod to talk to other smart home devices. However, according to Tech Specs page for HomePod, only these supported audio sources are listed, Apple Music, iTunes Music Purchases, iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription, Beats 1 Live Radio, Podcasts and Airplay other content to HomePod from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Mac. Which means it’s not a massive issue if you’ll only ever want to play audio from an Apple product, but if you’ve got something else that can be used to stream Bluetooth music you’re out of luck. Although this problem raises a lot of complaints, it’s one of the reasons why HomePod has premium sound quality. When aux data is transmitted through Bluetooth, it will be compressed and cause the not-so-great audio quality. Apple HomePod Review: Excellent Sound Quality, while Siri Struggles at Smart
Furthermore, due to the lack of aux input port, you won’t be able to use the premium sound of it to play your CD or connect to your car.
It’s unclear if Apple will enable Bluetooth audio streaming functionality down the road via a firmware update. In my opinion, HomePod isn’t your best choice at present if you aren’t an Apple user.