Apple's much-rumoured smart speaker, the HomePod, has been confirmed for launch in December by the technology giant.
The enormous success of the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers had fuelled rumours Apple would enter the market.
Apple says its history of "reinventing portable music" through iTunes and the iPod means it is in a strong position to challenge its rivals.
The HomePod will be just under 7in high and houses the company's virtual assistant, Siri.
The assistant has been heavily updated by Apple to better understand context, the firm says, and in HomePod will be able to answer user queries and details about music when prompted using the voice command "Hey, Siri".
The device contains six microphones to pick up voice commands.
The Amazon Echo and the Google Home operate in a similar way, using voice commands to wake the assistant to ask for help.
Apple says the A8 processor chip - the one used in the iPhone - means HomePod will be the "smartest home speaker" on offer.
Part of this claim comes from the speaker's ability to adjust sound levels when playing music based on its surroundings. Apple says HomePod is "spatially aware" and can respond as such.
Much like its rivals, the HomePod will also be able to control other smart, internet-connected items around the home, including lightbulbs.
Overall control of the HomePod can be maintained from the Home app, and Apple also revealed users will be able to pair their phone with HomePod by holding it next to the speaker.
Apple has not confirmed the price of the HomePod for the UK or Ireland..