underscored apple homepod
CNN  — 

Well surprise, surprise. Just a week after Apple’s March 25 event and two weeks after it announced new iPads, second-generation AirPods and an iMac update, Apple is still letting news trickle out. The company’s expensive smart speaker is now getting a permanent price cut of $50.

Yes, Apple’s HomePod now costs just $299, compared to the $349 price it’s had since its original launch. There was no fanfare, not even a news release – just a change on Apple’s online store. Other retailers like Target, B&H and BestBuy are matching the new price, with some discounting it even further.

The HomePod is Apple’s first entry into the smart speaker space and is controlled by Siri. The virtual assistant acts as your personal DJ and has some other skills as well. The HomePod also packs room-filling audio, and it sounds quite good. It has beam-forming microphones built in, so you shouldn’t ever have to shout “Hey Siri!” to get the assistant’s attention, even with the volume at full blast. Apple offers the HomePod in black or white.

Compared with Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home smart speakers, Apple’s offering is still the most expensive choice. An entry-level second-generation Echo Dot ($39.99, originally $49.99; amazon.com) is on sale for under $40, and the Google Home Mini ($39.99, originally $49.99; target.com) is priced the same. Amazon and Google regularly cut the prices on their respective smart speakers.

While this is Apple’s first price cut on the HomePod ($299.99; target.com) directly, other retailers have been known to offer them at a discount. And with the new price, we can expect those cuts to take the price even lower.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.