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Apple HomePod

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

  1. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    If the panel was acoustically transparent, the HomePod wouldn't have detected it, yes? If it was NOT acoustically transparent then your comment is valid.
     
  2. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer

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    Even if the fabric was acoustically transparent at the spot directly in front of the speakers that doesn't mean it couldn't interfere with sound pressure bouncing around the room. Or that it couldn't interfere with how the HomePod's microphones detected sound.

    Not to mention the framework supporting the panel (looked like photography light stands and crossbar) and the fact that the cloth panel was likely bunched up (over itself) near the top.

    We don't know the full extend of the tricks Apple is using for the HomePod to adjust itself. The best way to test is to avoid putting ANYTHING between the speakers and the listeners ears. Plus listening from multiple spots in the room to compare.

    Mark
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I have owned and auditioned many speakers claiming to have "acoustically transparent" cloth on their grills.

    None of them were. It was very easy to tell when grills were off and on. Maybe some were less apparent than others, but I never heard one where I thought "oh there's zero difference at all".

    But even if there were, that still would only apply to human hearing, versus machine hearing. I guarantee HomePod is making calculations based on sound waves and reflections/refractions both within and outside of human hearing.

    If the author wanted to make it a true blind test, he should have blindfolded (or pitch-black sunglasses) the participants, versus using a cloth which will have an effect on the sound...and more than likely the HomePod's acoustic sound tweaking system.
     
  4. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Acoustically transparent means just that - it doesn't interfere with sound waves. A dubious claim at best IMO, sort of like "unlimited" cellular data plans.
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    According to this: https://www.audimute.com/what-is-acoustic-fabric

    It means it allows sound to pass through. Not that it doesn’t interfere or has no effect on it. It’s simple physics. The cloth is made of matter. Sound waves will be reflected by matter. I mean if it’s subatomic maybe not.
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Shouldn't the HomePod have detected and *compensated* for the curtain, and so sounded that much better than the rest of the speakers?
     
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  8. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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  9. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer

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    I was checking out AirPlay on the iMac in my den and I was reminded that my Pioneer A/V Receiver in the living room is also an AirPlay device. So I checked three AirPlay destinations... Living Room (receiver), Kitchen (HomePod) and Computer (Den)... and played a song on the iMac. The song played in perfect sync at all three destinations! The fact that it played isn't what surprised me. What surprised me is that it was in sync at all three. Excellent!

    In iTunes on the iMac there are individual volume sliders available for each destination device so you can balance the volume level. Once set, the iMac's master volume slider adjusts all three destinations in unison.

    Then I went to the Kitchen and said "Hey Siri, raise volume to 50" and it raised the volume equally at all three destinations. It didn't adjust the master slider on the Mac, it adjusted the three individual AirPlay volume sliders an equal amount.

    What I couldn't do (without going to AirPlay on the iMac and adjusting the sliders individually) was say "Hey Siri, lower the volume in the kitchen" without it affecting the other destinations. That's why AirPlay 2 is needed (coming soon).

    So, right now, I could put HomePods in every room and sync them, easily. And play the same music through each. And balance it the way I want via the iMac's AirPlay sliders.

    I might get more HomePods before I originally planned.

    Mark
     
  10. 130 Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor

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    HomePod-rings-1.jpg
    Another review from "thewirecutter.com" :

    Apple HomePod Review: It Only Sounds Great

    Published February 14, 2018
    Jon Chase

    Apple's HomePod is the best-sounding wireless smart speaker available, and you can control it by voice using Apple's virtual assistant, Siri. But the HomePod is worth considering only if you're an iPhone owner and a subscriber to Apple Music (or are willing to be) - don't buy it if you want to keep streaming Spotify. It does a lot of things right, but because it also has a long list of flaws, we don't believe it's the best smart speaker for most people.

    Apple has acknowledged that the HomePod leaves behind a mild white ring on some wooden surfaces, as we noted in our discussion of HomePod's flaws. We've updated our guide with the company's suggestions for taking care of it.

    Some talking points from me:
    - Has anyone experienced this "white ring"?
    - I personally don't like that the power cord is attached (Apple is charging $29 to re-attach a new one). [The Sonos One power cord is the way it should have been IMHO]
     
  11. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer

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    If you inadvertently yank out the HomePod's power cord you can reinsert it yourself. It's just very tight and requires some level of force. You also have to be sure you get the two power pins inside the HomePod's power cord opening aligned properly with the jacks on the end of the power cord. And, due to the curvature of the HomePod in that area, the power cord only fits in one orientation. It won't fit if you turn it 180 degrees.

    There are videos on YouTube that show this. The only reason to go to Apple to pay $29 is if you damage the power cord and need a replacement.

    So, basically, the power cord is removable but it's not really meant to be removed. At least Apple was smart enough to design it so it could be easily replaced without opening up the HomePod.

    Not sure why an easily removable power cord is a desirable feature. The HomePod doesn't run on batteries so the power cord needs to be connected in order to use the device. I guess there's a consideration about routing the power cord through holes in certain types of furniture or something like that. Holes that are too small for the plug end of the cord. Well, you CAN remove it. It just takes some force.

    I expect Apple will start putting some cloth material (felt?) on the bottom of the HomePod after these reports of the silicon interacting with the polishes and waxes on furniture. Apple could just put a disc of material in each HomePod box and let users use it if they want or not.

    Mark
     
  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Knowing Apple, they'll probably start selling HomePod stands/sleeves/cases for $19.99-$49.99 to mitigate the problem. ;)
     
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  13. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor

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    :rolling-smiley:
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Correction. The Apple solution will be $49.99. Spigen will sell theirs for $19.99 and be just as good. (Can you tell what iPhone case I roll with?)
     
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  15. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I know we were just pooping on Apple's usual very-high price premium, but apparently the component costs for the HomePod are $216. That doesn't even begin to include all the costs of 7 years of R&D and advertising, etc. So clearly Apple is foregoing it's usual profit margin for the HomePod. Don't forget that retailers need to make a profit too.

    Since it's so closely linked to the Apple Music service (in that I'd hesitate to recommend it to people without the service) it's more likely Apple's "gateway drug" into their streaming service. Just like how Sony and MS sell their gaming consoles at very little profit (and sometimes initially at a loss during launch year) in order to get you to buy their games and get you into their ecosystem.
     
  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Sam Posten likes this.
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I looked at mine this AM due to the recent news. No marks and it's on s stained / oiled night stand. Mine rarely plays above 25% tho, not sure if that's a factor. One thing I would like to see is a volume level between the lowest two non-muted settings. It's a BIG jump in volume.
     
  18. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer

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    The volume touch controls on top of the HomePod raise and lower the volume at set 5% increments. So, using the touch controls only, the volume settings are 5, 10, 15, 20, etc.

    Using voice commands, you can set the volume in 1% increments from 1 to 100. "Hey Siri, set volume to 8." Etc.

    HomePod remembers the last volume setting used.

    Mark
     
  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Funny reply to Whiteringgate (not mine, so I'm quoting it)
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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