Sonos One

You may have heard by now that Apple has postponed the launch of HomePod, something we were all expecting to arrive just in time for the holidays. Just because Apple's smart speaker isn't going to be under the tree this holiday season, doesn't mean you can still enjoy some of the same awesome features that the HomePod will provide. If you just can't wait for the HomePod to come out, here are some alternatives that will make a dandy alternative gift, or at least satiate you until you can get one.

Sonos One

Sonos One

Sonos plays nice with Apple Music. Very nice. So nice that some might say the Sonos app works almost better than the built-in Music app on your iPhone and iPad. Sonos has joined the smart speaker party with its own version, which uses Alexa as the voice-enabled virtual assistant. Since it works with Alexa, it works with everything Alexa can do, including check the weather, read you the news, tell you what you're doing today, and more. It uses an interesting audio array called TruePlay that customizes the fine-tuning in whatever environment it's in. So, if your room is mostly empty or stuffed with junk, it'll adjust to fit the area to give you the best possible sound.

Check out what Modern Dad thinks of the Sonos One

Sonos One comes in black or white and costs $199.

See at Amazon

Amazon Echo Plus

Amazon Echo Plus

Amazon was one of the first to enter the fray with a smart home speaker and is now working to compete with the big dogs with its own super speaker. The Echo Plus is the top-of-the-line Echo product. It comes with 360-degree audio and seven microphones. The company spent a lot of time perfecting the audio of the Plus It features Dolby sound, a 2.5-inch woofer, and a 0.8-inch tweeter. It's definitely the best sounding Echo in the line and it has Bluetooth connectivity so you can listen to Apple Music through your supported device. It also has a built-in connected home hub so you can connect your smart home gadgets. Though not all smart things are supported, Amazon is trying to bring them all together similar to the way HomeKit works. It's a nice alternative at a lower price.

Read Modern Dad's review of the Echo Plus

You can pick up an Echo Plus in black, silver or white for $149.99. If Amazon has similar Black Friday deals as it did last year, you'll probably be able to pick one up for even less during the shopping season.

See at Amazon

Google Home

Google Home

Google Home is Google's always-on smart speaker. It plays music, has high fidelity speakers and a microphone array with far-field voice recognition. The top of the Home features a touch-capacitive control panel so you can adjust volume and playback with simple gestures. With it, you can stream music from a variety of services, like Spotify and Pandora and it supports Bluetooth so you can stream your Apple Music from your iPhone. It is fully integrated with Google's virtual assistant and works with a variety of connected home devices like Belkin WeMo, D-Link, Hue, Nest, Wink, iHome, and more. You can use it to keep track of your calendar events, set reminders, and even call friends and family. It supports connected controls with Chromecast, so if you stream your movies and TV shows with Google's device, you can control it simply by telling the Home what to do.

See which smart speaker works best with your Apple devices: Home or Echo

Google Home costs $129 and comes in a variety of colors.

See at Best Buy

Apple TV

Apple TV

OK, so this isn't exactly a smart speaker replacement the way Home, Echo, or One might be, but you practically have a HomePod in your house if you have an Apple TV. It supports HomeKit, so you can connect your smart devices. It works with Siri, so you can use voice-enabled controls. It works with Apple Music, plus lots of music services. If there isn't a native app for Apple TV, you can always mirror it from your iPhone or iPad. I think you see where I'm going with this. You don't have to be watching TV to take advantage of all the cool and smart things your Apple TV can do around the house. No, it's not going to check your schedule for the day, but it will control your lights, play your music, and a whole lot more. Depending on the sound system you have connected to your entertainment system, the audio might be a thousand times better than any dedicated portable speaker could ever hope to achieve. If you were thinking about getting HomePod as a gift, believe me, the recipient will be just as happy, and maybe even happier, with an Apple TV (as long as they don't already own one). Try the 4K. It's delicious.

Read Rene Ritchie's reveiw of Apple TV

You can get an Apple TV 4K in 32GB for $179 or 64GB for $199. You can get the 1080p model with 32GB for $149.

See at Apple

Your alternatives?

Now that Santa won't be hiding a HomePod under your tree this year, what's your backup plan? Will you go for one of the smart speakers currently on the market or hold off until early 2018 for a HomePod?

Should you wait for HomePod or buy One, Echo, or Home right now?

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