1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Apple HomePod

Discussion in 'Apple' started by DaveF, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,828
    Likes Received:
    3,504
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
    How well does HomePod work if you don’t subscribe to Apple Music or any other music services? Just have you iTunes library on your PC.
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,467
    Likes Received:
    1,411
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I realize this was a rhetorical question, but I have a fairly serious answer. I'm a musician (amateur), guitar and vocals, and the bathroom is one of the most resonant places in a house. You sound your best in the shower. So I sing along to songs while I'm in there. And the speaker just needs to be moisture resistant, not waterproof. My speaker sits on a rather long cabinet (that holds the sink) about 8' away from the shower, so I angle it up to reflect off the ceiling and give me great sound in the shower.

    It's basically the best start to every day for me.
     
    Mark Booth and DaveF like this.
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,467
    Likes Received:
    1,411
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    So we just got a 2.36GB update but it apparently did not contain the stereo update.

    However it did change the sound of the HomePod. My own findings after listening to it all morning, is that they tamed the U-shaped EQ curve, so that it’s not as boomy in the bass and the midrange is now more prominent. I find this to be a good thing. Also, because they tamed the bass bump, I actually find I hear the HomePod playing deeper bass notes more accurately.

    For example: on Daft Punk’s Doing It Right, once the bass notes kick in, the third in the sequence is markedly lower than the others, and the HomePod now plays it deep and at the appropriate volume level in relation to the other bass notes (similar to what it sounds like on my full system with a subwoofer). Before the software update since the Pod was playing all bass at a relatively louder level, the “drop” when the third note played was less pronounced.

    On Sarah McLachlan’s I Love You, the bass notes (which many decent portable systems have problems reproducing) still comes in deep and clear on the Pod.

    On Glen Phillips It Takes Time, right as the lyrics kick in is a low note that puts a sub to work, and the Pod plays it well (although nowhere near the visceral impact that a dedicated sub will give you). But it is still there, and on most portable speakers the notes won’t even register.

    My overall impression is a favorable one, in that the sound is more balanced across the spectrum, and I find the music reproduction to be of high quality, but more accurate to the source material. I have been reading around the web forums though that some are complaining about the reduced bass. I find that it was a tad boomy and now they’ve simply tamed it and brought it more in line with what was recorded.
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    26,755
    Likes Received:
    4,536
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Early impressions were favorable for me too. I do not have a golden ear tho!
     
  5. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 1999
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    1,479
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I installed the 11.3 update and tried the live version of Hotel California by The Eagles. It's a song I've listened to multiple times on my HomePod. The bass is definitely reduced with the update but I wouldn't say that bass is now lacking. It's less "punchy" but there's still plenty of it. Smoother, I guess. Midrange and vocals are definitely a bit crisper and a bit louder.

    I was somewhat hesitant to install the update but I'm glad I did. It only made a great sounding speaker sound a little bit better as far as I'm concerned.

    Mark
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,467
    Likes Received:
    1,411
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I actually would describe the bass now as punchy, but less boomy. Just my take.
     
    Mark Booth likes this.
  7. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    3,349
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Who knew stereo took so long to release ;) Granted it took The Beatles a number of years to prefer stereo over mono.

    No comment yet on the new sound, but less boomy bass sounds like a good idea.
     
  8. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 1999
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    1,479
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    iOS 11.4 developer beta 1 was released today. Its Home app includes the Stereo Pair option for the HomePod.

    But HomePod doesn't have 11.4 yet, so you can't do anything with the Stereo Pair feature yet.

    Getting closer!

    Mark
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,467
    Likes Received:
    1,411
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Well Apple, you took too long. I purchased a pair of RSL CG3s to fill out my 5.0 bedroom system (which the Pod was in) and the Denon 4400 allowed me to move my Pioneer SC-79 to the bedroom which gives me Airplay capability to that 5.0 system. So now using the EXT Stereo setup I stream from my iPad and will be taking the Pod to work. I won't need a stereo setup there since my office isn't big.
     
  10. jackyyy

    jackyyy Auditioning

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Jack Y
    Newly brought the Apple HomePod, now I can enjoy Apple Music with my HomePod for playing instead of iPhone. Besides, for those I am fond of, I add the iCloud Music Library and then I can use TuneFab Apple Music Converter for converting Apple Music and hence I can send it to my girlfriend.
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,467
    Likes Received:
    1,411
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Apparently Best Buy has discounted the HomePod to $330. Saw it on macrumors.
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  12. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    3,349
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Yup, I just bought one: I was there for a power strip and ended up getting another HomePod for our newly rearranged living room, to be ready when they release the stereo software update. And yes, they do take Apple Pay as well - as Best Buy goes, it was a painless experience with $20 off.
     
  13. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 1999
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    1,479
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    The HomePod is now available in Costco stores and on Costco’s website for $329.99.

    Mark
     
  14. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 1999
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    1,479
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Ted Todorov likes this.
  15. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    3,349
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    “Finally” HomePod Stereo & AirPlay 2 are out. Will check them out when I get home...
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    26,755
    Likes Received:
    4,536
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    I'm waiting to see what gets launched next week, but I expect I will be snookered into buying a second HomePod sooner than later.
     
  17. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    3,349
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Stereo is successful- Works as advertised
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  18. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    3,349
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Bad news: no miraculous AirPlay 2 support for the AirPort Express. Good news: still works fine via macOS iTunes, so things are still as good as they were before.

    Also, as bad as they were before: the iTunes iOS Remote app *still* hasn’t been updated to support Apple Music....
     
  19. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 1999
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    1,479
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I picked up a second HomePod today at Costco ($329.99, Space Gray only). Set it up on the bedroom. I updated my iPhone, HomePod Kitchen and HomePod Bedroom to iOS 11.4.

    Then the HUGE disappointment began.

    All this time waiting for AirPlay 2 and HomePod is PATHETICALLY unable to do the basic commands that a SONOS ONE (or Amazon Echo Dot connected to other SONOS models) can do with ease.

    I got some Sinatra playing in the Kitchen just by touching the top of the Kitchen HomePod (that was the last thing it was playing). Then I walked to the bedroom and said, "Hey Siri, play Neil Diamond in the Kitchen". That worked fine.

    While I was still in the Bedroom, I said, "Hey Siri, play Frank Sinatra in the Bedroom". Sinatra started playing in the Bedroom. Then I walked back to the Kitchen and that HomePod had paused. I then said (in the Kitchen), "Hey Siri, resume playback in the Kitchen". Siri's response: "Now resuming in the Bedroom".

    The Bedroom wasn't paused.

    Then I tapped the top of the Kitchen HomePod to try to resume playback of Sinatra. It played something completely different, apparently at random.

    It DOES work if you say "Hey Siri, play Sinatra everywhere." But I could do that with AirPlay 1 from my iMac.

    This is totally pathetic. I've waited all this freaking time for HomePod to have similar functionality to Alexa with SONOS and HomePod doesn't even come close. Freaking failure!

    I will be returning HomePod #2 to Costco. If I could return HomePod #1 to the Apple Store, I would.

    I should have bought SONOS ONEs.

    OMG, I miss Steve Jobs!

    FAIL, Apple, FAIL!

    Mark
     
  20. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 1999
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    1,479
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I called AppleCare this morning and was lucky to end up talking to a support rep that was very familiar with HomePod. In fact, he said he was working from home and had two HomePods himself.

    While he listened to me giving Siri voice commands to the HomePods, it was easy to replicate the issue I described above. It happened the first time I tried it. But then he suggested trying it again. To my surprise it worked correctly. In all, he spent about 20 minutes with me on the phone while I tried various commands:

    "Hey Siri, raise the volume in the kitchen to 50%."

    "Hey Siri, play Hotel California by the Eagles in the bedroom."

    "Hey Siri, what is the volume level in the bedroom?"

    "Hey Siri, what time is it?"

    "Hey Siri, what is the weather like today?"

    Etc, etc.

    The informational commands (time, weather, etc.) all worked as they should. However, at one point I was in the bedroom and, after Siri responded with the information, she didn't resume the music in the bedroom (but music kept playing in the kitchen).

    In all, about 1 in every 5 or 6 commands something went wrong. In fact, at one point, Siri literally responded "I'm sorry, but something has gone wrong."

    So, clearly, AirPlay 2 *is* designed to work like the the Alexa/SONOS combo with regard to controlling music in multiple rooms. But, just as clearly, there are bugs. The Apple rep even agreed that there are bugs. He said he was typing up extensive notes and would submit them to the appropriate software engineering team.

    He also suggested that server load, particularly yesterday, might be a factor.

    I'm a bit more optimistic after my conversation with the Apple rep. Since I purchased my second HomePod at Costco I have 90 days to return it. We'll see how it goes.

    Mark
     
    DaveF likes this.

Share This Page