Apple HomePod (Available December)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by segue, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Sorry; I haven't been following this HomePod product or discussion at all, but I knew this would be of interest to some people here. Also, the link in my second post above has really got me wondering if this little speaker might be worth a listen.
     
  2. ribonucleic

    ribonucleic Forum Resident

    Location:
    SLC UT
    Something to remember the next time the company plumps itself on how "green" it is.
     
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  3. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Only US, UK and Australia.

    0 for 2, but it's such an interesting article it deserves a repost :)

    It's worth a listen, mainly because it's fascinating how it's able to provide good sound from any side, and from 5' to 15' away.
     
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  4. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
  5. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    When it comes to a discussion of Apple products, you have to get up early to be in front of SamS.
     
  6. I think the HomePod will be pretty successful since most people still listen to a ton of music even though they don't buy any LPs, CDs or even downloads in most cases. Most just stream one way or another a ton do use AppleMusic.

    I'm personally not a streamer but there are lots of people who stay in the Apple Sphere. They can still stream Spotify via Airplay and who knows what the future will bring? Plus most people don't have homes with all the Homekit thingys but will finally get to hear a better quality of music sound that they didn't know they were missing.

    In terms of the Home assistant portion, I'm sure it will get better. That is usually the case with all Apple products. A segment bitch about them being more expensive and that they do less than the products already out, but then they get better and explode (not literally) and become very successful.
     
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  7. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
  8. Obviously just one opinion but it seems it's a a very good sounding speaker. Not a match for great hi fi separates but seems to be successful sound wise for the segment...

    Audiophile Review: HomePod 'Sounds Better' Than $999 KEF X300A Digital Hi-Fi Speakers

    I am speechless. The HomePod actually sounds better than the KEF X300A. If you're new to the Audiophile world, KEF is a very well respected and much loved speaker company. I actually deleted my very first measurements and re-checked everything because they were so good, I thought I'd made an error. Apple has managed to extract peak performance from a pint sized speaker, a feat that deserves a standing ovation. The HomePod is 100% an Audiophile grade Speaker.
     
  9. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Let's consider the AI component of these products, in which case your analogy falls apart. Your Audi was crippled upon its arrival from the factory. The world is awash in wonderful speakers, but it's the AI that matters in these gadgets.

     
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  10. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    As far as the Siri portion, it isn't really that bad. We were watching a movie last night and wondered if an actor was dead and asked Siri instead of Alexa and while she didn't say he was alive, she did mention he was 79 years old and gave us his birth date. For HomeKit it is fast and accurate. As you mentioned, these internet of things devices are still growing. I have one old device that doesn't work with Homekit, but outside of that all of the switches and bulbs in the house are fully compatible.

    We Ran HomePod Through the Smart Speaker Gauntlet

    "Adding domains will quickly improve Siri’s score. Some domains like navigation, calendar, email, and calling are simply not supported. These questions were met with, “I can’t ___ on HomePod.” Also, in any case that iPhone-based Siri would bring up Google search results, HomePod would reply, “I can’t get the answer to that on HomePod,” which forces you to use your phone or give up on the question altogether. Removing navigation, calling, email, and calendar-related queries from our question set yields a 67% correct response, a jump from overall of 52.3% correct. This means added support for these domains would bring HomePod performance above that of Alexa (64%) and Cortana (57%), though still shy of Google Home (81%). We know Siri has the ability to correctly answer a whole range of queries that HomePod cannot, evidenced by our note here. Apple’s limiting of HomePod’s domains should change over time, at which point we expect the speaker to be vastly more useful and integrated with your other Apple devices."

     
  11. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    In this case, the focus in on music and being able to hear you over music. It excels at both.

    As you can see from my link above, it falls short in email, calling, navigation, and calendar inquiries. I would only have navigation on IF it could send the navigation information to my iPhone. There isn't much need for turn by turn navigation sitting on the couch. The other stuff would stay off because I prefer privacy to having my emails read out loud while I am out of the room.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  12. jon9091

    jon9091 Master Of Reality

    Location:
    Midwest
  13. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
  14. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
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  15. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I wonder if putting a sheet in front of the HomePod affects the reading of the room (beam forming) that it is known for?

    Also, he says he streamed Spotify to all of them, but then says:

    "You can get two Sonos Ones for the price of a single Apple HomePod. You can use them as a stereo pair, or put them in different rooms and control them by voice. And you can have your choice of 42 music services (Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, etc.) — not just Apple Music"

    If Apple is only able to use Apple Music vs the 42 that Sonos can work with, how did he use Spotify? The answer is Airplay, which makes his statement above incorrect. Sonos does not have voice control over 42 services. In fact, it has no direct voice control over Apple Music.

    I look forward to a comparison with blindfolds instead of hanging sheets.


     
  16. ABE VAGODA IS DEAD :tiphat:
     
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  17. So I am not a streamer. But if you are into Apple products why would you need any other than Apple Music? I assume you get pretty much get all the same songs and the costs are about the same? Aside from being about a need to use on other devices, if you are a Apple user why would you need anything else?

    What does Spotify or any of the others do better than Apple?

    Again from a non streaming person it seems that they are basically all the same? No??
     
  18. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US

    "Sounds better" is a completely subjective term. You can make a speaker "sound better" through delay, reverb, dispersion tricks, any number of. ways. It might sound more "pleasing" but is it more accurate? More natural. "Sound better" is just meaningless. And a single mono speaker with stereo couple capabilities maybe to be added later? What's up with that? Maybe I just have small portable speaker burn out, at this point. The market is just as flooded as the computer desktop speaker market was 20 years ago. And they sounded "amazing" too, as I recall.

    Oh, well, talking speakers are fun.
     
  19. ralf11

    ralf11 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    I'm amazed at the bass (as measured in the article cited above)

    BTW, Bitter Apple on your cables can prevent dog chewing
     
  20. jon9091

    jon9091 Master Of Reality

    Location:
    Midwest
    I have subscriptions to both (for the time being). The content is almost identical as far as I can tell. I like Apple Music for my daughter (age 11), as Spotify doesn’t have the clean versions of specific songs. It’s really her decision that she doesn’t want to hear certain words...so she likes the non-explicit versions. I prefer Spotify, because I like the playlists a lot more. I also like the interface a lot more. The Apple Music interface is just a mess IMO. I also like Spotify recommendations better. They are paying better attention to my musical tastes. I just opened up Apple Music and it had a Chill playlist all set and ready. This is something I’ve never listened to ever. And yet...Siri still can’t seem to find it.
    Sound-wise, they are really about the same. I mostly use them to preview stuff I’m going to buy on vinyl anyway.
     
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  21. MemoInPR

    MemoInPR Forum Resident

    It might not be a fair comparision but, can anyone compare the HomePod vs the iPod HiFi speaker? :)
     
  22. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    As was mentioned above, if you have a long time on Spotify and no time on Apple Music, it doesn't have the same amount of data to make suggestions. Apple tries to get around this by giving you bubbles of artists and genres that you choose based on your tastes, but it is still a shortfall when compared to having real life data. That can only be built up over time or based on the music you allow them to match. I love the Apple Music suggestions, but I have been using the service since launch.

    Apple has Siri on their platforms, music matching, Mastered for iTunes, and Home Sharing if you have iTunes running on the network, etc.

    Some of it is based on your own tastes, as well. I prefer Apple's interface, but they are different, so it is easy to find people that prefer one over the other. My preference is for Apple Music. However, Siri is the real game changer if you are on iOS.
     
  23. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    This is one of my favorite features of HomePod/Apple Music. There is a toggle setting for the HomePod to block explicit versions. My kids are still young, I appreciate this!
     
  24. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    There are more differences than you might think. I use Tidal and Apple, since Apple is too easy on my Apple devices and Tidal has the quality thing down and is the one supported by Roon. But I still find quite a bit missing on Tidal, though it doesn't really affect me a lot since most of what I would look for is in my collection. Every now and them I will run across a blatant omission like "Breakfast in America" baffling that it is missing from Tidal , but on Apple.

    Unfortunately, my little terrorist enjoys a little Better Apple with his snack. :)
     
  25. If you are talking the omission of Breakfast in America by Supertramp... then I'm sold :tiphat:
     
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