When Siri began assisting iPhone users everywhere in 2011, the feature seemed like a totally futuristic development out of a sci-fi movie. Now, just a few years later, people can use Amazon Echo and Google Home to play music, order products, and much more — all without even handling a device. Not to be outdone, Apple just announced its newest product, the HomePod.

So far, we don’t have a lot of information, but we do know that the product will be released in December at a price of $349. With the Amazon Echo ringing up at $180, and Google Home at $129, the price is pretty steep. Predictably, though, the Apple version is more alluring than its counterparts, at least aesthetically. With its minimalist exterior (in your choice of black or white), the HomePod is sleeker than the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the latter of which comes in a range of colors.

Since Apple hasn’t announced a device with brand new hardware for four years now, the company has had time to cook up a pretty fierce competitor. According to The New York Times, Apple “also said that it has prioritized the speaker’s sound, which can be lackluster on rival devices. HomePod has an array of speakers to create virtual surround sound.” This ability is similar to what Sonos offers, but Sonos doesn’t offer a virtual assistant.

In any case, the HomePod seems pretty intriguing. Since the demos are limited to tech biz people only right now, we’ll have to wait until December to give the HomePod a spin ourselves.

What do you think of smart speakers? Let us know @BritandCo!

(h/t The New York Times; photos via Ben A. Pruchnie, Lukas Barth/Getty)