Five years is a cold eternity in the realms of modern audio technology. But that’s how long it’s been since Apple announced its first smart speaker, the HomePod (June 5, 2017, to save you asking Siri).

I’ll nail my colors to the pole: the original is still sonically excellent. It’s open, detailed, organized on all frequencies and fills my home office with high quality music every day. The downside? It was (and still is) expensive, at $349/£319 at launch – a very different pricing strategy than Amazon’s affordable Echo range.