Former Apple HomePod engineers to launch 'revolutionary' new speaker

apple homepod
The Apple HomePod. (Image credit: Future)

Two former Apple HomePod engineers have flown the Cupertino nest to create what they say will be a “revolutionary” speaker that's capable of producing sound that's “indistinguishable from reality”.

Called 'Cell', the new speaker could prove a compelling rival to the likes of the Sonos One and the yet-to-be-announced Apple HomePod 2, which is rumored to be launching this year.

Former Apple employees Christopher Stringer and Afrooz Family – who have teamed up under the brand name Syng – say the company is "is committed to reimagining the in-home audio experience through a singular hardware and software solution”. 

That means we could be in for a 360-degree cylindrical speaker (not unlike the HomePod), which would somewhat negate the need for multiple speakers to fill a room with sound. Although proponents of larger sound systems may extoll the virtues of having more than one speaker, the Cell could prove a cheaper, less complicated alternative to wireless speaker systems from the likes of Sonos.

Should Apple be scared?

While the promise of a revolutionary speaker is enticing, Tim Cook probably isn't shaking in his boots at the prospect of the Syng Cell. After all, there are hundreds of smart speakers on the market, many of which are positioned as direct competitors to the Apple HomePod. 

We also know very little about the Syng Cell – no specs, features, release date, or price to be seen. We don't even know whether it will be a smart speaker with a built-in voice assistant, a wired speaker, or a portable Bluetooth speaker. We do, however, suspect that Apple will release a new smart speaker well before we see the Cell on shelves.

With sales of the HomePod not reaching the same heights as the Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro, the company is said to be working on a new, smaller Apple HomePod – the so-called Apple HomePod 2 or Apple HomePod Mini

While these rumors have been circling since 2018, details of a HomePod 2 and new Apple TV were revealed in a new report from Bloomberg in late March. According to the report, Apple employees are going full steam ahead to get the company's 2020 slate of products into the hands of consumers, despite the disruption to their usual working practices due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The report didn't offer an Apple HomePod Mini release date, but the next likely release window could be WWDC on June 22, where we're expecting to see the iOS 14 update in detail, along with upgrades in the form of iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16 and watchOS 7 – and possibly the Apple AirPods StudioAirPods 3, and AirPods Pro Lite.

Via Tech The Lead

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.