As rumoured prior to WWDC, Apple has announced its own music system in the form of the HomePod speaker.

It will be released later this year, but the company revealed a sneak peek during its keynote at the start of the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017.

The HomePod is designed to take on the Amazon Echo in smart functionality but also systems like Sonos in audio quality.

It has a seven-beam forming tweeter array to fill a room multi-directionally, plus a 4-inch woofer for bass control.

The speaker is controlled by Apple's A8 processor, which the company claims is "the biggest brain inside of a speaker". This enables many features, such as multi-channel echo cancellation and separation.

However, its the smart functionality, combined with Siri voice control ("Hey Siri") and Apple Music which, using six microphones around the circumference, streams tracks using plenty of contextual phrases.

It can also, like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, set reminders, timers and find out news, traffic and sports reports.

Apple's HomePod will come in white and black, and as it comes with HomeKit built into the device, works to control smart appliances around your home even when you just interact with your iPhone from another location.

It'll cost $349 and will ship in the US, UK and Australia from December.