How the world changes
It strikes me as odd that when I was growing up, we all lusted after the best HiFi we could get, and that meant the best sound quality - when I finally reached the heights of a Linn/Naim system, it truly sounded magnificent, and continues to do so.
We all lusted after the best TV picture we could get, and that meant at the time, the largest Trinitron, then the best and largest Pioneer Plasma, then the best, highest resolution and largest LCD panel. Now we have OLED incoming, and ultra high resolution panels. We just need the programming to go with it.
But now: everyone listens to stuff on crappy compact speakers or even phone speakers, watches things on iPads and iPhones, and any pretence of quality and natural sound is deemed unwelcome. If in doubt, just add more bass. So the HomePod, rather than provide a simple signal path through high quality components, doing as little as possible to add distortion, deliberately showcases how much processing is done to your music. Given its size, and price, it just can't sound as good as a full sized speaker system, surely.
Oh well, I'll stop ranting. We might be getting out of touch, but at least my generation has houses, jobs and pensions.