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Reddit Audiophiles Test HomePod, Say It Sounds Better Than $1,000 Speaker (arstechnica.com) 327

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Apple released its much-hyped HomePod speaker to the masses last week, and the general consensus among early reviews is that it sounds superb for a relatively small device. But most of those reviews seem to have avoided making precise measurements of the HomePod's audio output, instead relying on personal experience to give generalized impressions. That's not a total disaster: a general rule for speaker testing is that while it's good to stamp out any outside factor that may cause a skewed result, making definitive, "objective" claims is difficult. But having some proper measurements is important. Reddit user WinterCharm, whose real name is Fouzan Alam, has made just that in a truly massive review for the site's "r/audiophile" sub. And if his results are to be believed, those early reviews may be underselling the HomePod's sonic abilities. After a series of tests with a calibrated microphone in an untreated room, Alam found the HomePod to sound better than the KEF X300A, a generally well-regarded bookshelf speaker that retails for $999. What's more, Alam's measurements found the HomePod to provide a "near-perfectly flat frequency response," meaning it stays accurate to a given track without pushing the treble, mids, or bass to an unnatural degree. He concludes that the digital signal processing tech the HomePod uses to "self-calibrate" its sound to its surroundings allows it to impress at all volumes and in tricky environments. "The HomePod is 100% an audiophile grade speaker," he writes.
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Reddit Audiophiles Test HomePod, Say It Sounds Better Than $1,000 Speaker

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  • by magusxxx ( 751600 ) <magusxxx_2000&yahoo,com> on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:07PM (#56111243)

    ...still needs more cowbell.

  • Duh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by uvajed_ekil ( 914487 )
    Of course some people are saying it's better than everything else, it's got an Apple logo on it.

    Not saying they're right, but this should not be unexpected.
  • by Little_Professor ( 971208 ) <`littleprof' `at' `dodgeit.com'> on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:07PM (#56111255) Journal
    And yet it can't even play Spotify using voice control A major fail. The walled garden works as long as the services you are tied to are actually competitive with the alternatives. Apple Music sucks in terms of compatibility. I want a service I can use to play music anywhere
    • And yet it can't even play Spotify using voice control A major fail. The walled garden works as long as the services you are tied to are actually competitive with the alternatives. Apple Music sucks in terms of compatibility. I want a service I can use to play music anywhere

      Do you have to use Apple software or hardware as a sound source? If so, I won't even bother reading reviews, since I've never once used either of these things and have no desire to.

      • Apple Music is your only streaming source. You can use Airplay (Apple-specific) to stream from your phone to the speaker, but every time it starts or stops you have to reconnect your Airplay stream and start again. So if it's not Apple Music or an iPhone - you're SOL.
      • by dbraden ( 214956 )

        You also have to have an iOS device to even setup the HomePod. If all you have is $5,000 Mac Pro, you're out of luck!

        "Requires iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPod touch (6th generation) running iOS 11.2.5 or later."

        The only iOS devices I have are an iPhone 5 and iPad mini (v1), so I'm out of luck, too, since I'm not going to upgrade either one of them any time soon.

      • And yet it can't even play Spotify using voice control
        A major fail. The walled garden works as long as the services you are tied to are actually competitive with the alternatives. Apple Music sucks in terms of compatibility. I want a service I can use to play music anywhere

        Do you have to use Apple software or hardware as a sound source? If so, I won't even bother reading reviews, since I've never once used either of these things and have no desire to.

        It uses AirPlay as its audio protocol; but that is available on many devices and applications, including, but not limited to, Spotify.

        Here is an AirPlay Server. Also does GoogleCast and Miracast:

        https://www.airserver.com/ [airserver.com] ...and another one:

        http://www.airsquirrels.com/ai... [airsquirrels.com]

        Here's a Free one:

        https://www.5kplayer.com/airpl... [5kplayer.com]

        Here's a money-grubbing one:

        http://www.x-mirage.com/x-mira... [x-mirage.com] ...or Roll-Your-Own:

        https://github.com/jamesdlow/o... [github.com]

        https://github.com/watson/airp... [github.com]

        So, yeah, it's AirPlay; but, as you can

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So, in other words you never had any intention of purchasing an Apple product and it has nothing to do with Spotify after all.

    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      As someone else pointed out the last time this came up, between the products of the big tech companies you have a choice: you can choose to have no privacy (Google), no self-determination (Apple), or neither (Amazon). These voice-controlled speakers are a fine example of that choice.
  • by Headw1nd ( 829599 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:11PM (#56111283)
    ...and it involves actual tests? I'm pretty shocked.
    • by mikeiver1 ( 1630021 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:37PM (#56111447)
      Semi anechoic measurements in ones home or office with a calibrated mic are fine but the facts are still the same... Rooms have peaks and dips in response due to the reflections of the sounds at various frequencies. These build up in ways that, though they can be corrected for a specific listening location, will still cause havoc in the rest of the space resulting in a less than satisfactory listening experience. IE: listening out of the "sweet spot". There is in reality no way to correct a rooms acoustics for all listening locations. The other issue for some will be listening fatigue. A small driver is unable to reproduce the lowest octaves of the audio range and must resort to psycho acoustic trickery to make you think you hear what is not really there. This will lead to listener fatigue. In the case of speakers there is literally no replacement for displacement.
      • Completely agree. That said, I think there's still room in a product space for a single speaker that tries to do it all. After all, not everyone has the space or inclination for a proper stereo setup. And you nailed the crux of the issue related to the "sweet spot" problem (which also holds true in a stereo setup, to be clear), but one advantage the HomePod has in that regard is that it may be possible to move the "sweet spot" without moving the speaker.

        The HomePod uses an accelerometer to recognize when it

        • Having worked in both high end stereo and later home theater, not your common HT stuff but theaters in the 7 digits of cost. I can still say that this is the speaker for the person not really interested in music. This is the Muzak of the speaker world. I have yet to hear one and considering that it is an Apple product and very over priced I will likely not be hearing it in my home. Besides I have an honest home theater setup with over 1500Wrms of power and full sized speakers so I am for sure not the ta
  • I call bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ReneR ( 1057034 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:13PM (#56111303)
    Also this homepot certainly is quite mono, ..?
    • Re:I call bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @07:23PM (#56111731)

      Not so, for reasons that should be apparent once you take a look at the device's interior layout (see: Apple's HomePod page [apple.com]).

      You'll notice that the sound is produced by a circular array of seven tweeters. Were the HomePod relying on the sound going directly from the tweeters to your ears, you're quite correct to suggest that (given the lack of spatial separation) it wouldn't be able to achieve a decent stereo effect. But the HomePod's sound isn't going directly to your ears. Rather, it's relying on the fact that the rear and side tweeters will have their sound reflected—and then coupling that with beam forming that's automatically recalculated whenever the accelerometer detects that the device has been moved—to produce a stereo effect.

      The reviews I've seen so far seem to suggest that they've managed to achieve an outsized soundstage for such a small device, but I don't know what that really means in comparison to other devices, and I frankly don't see how it can hold a candle to a proper stereo setup. Even so, it does sound like it'd be pretty decent for people who want just one speaker.

      As for the rest of the claims, which you call BS on, the original redditor didn't make the subjective claim (that the headline does) that the HomePod sounded better than the more expensive speaker. Rather, he claimed that it reproduced sound more accurately than the more expensive speaker, which is a claim that can be empirically tested and verified without subjectivity. Towards that end, he described his control setup, posted pictures of it, discussed how he accounted for confounding variables, and then provided graphs, numbers, and files with the raw data so that anyone interested in verifying or refuting his claims could be capable of doing so.

      So, if you think his claims are BS, have at it. He's given you everything you need to disprove him. In the meantime, he's provided empirical evidence that the HomePod reproduced sound more accurately than a speaker that costs nearly 3x its price.

      • Re:I call bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

        by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @09:19PM (#56112565)

        except, of course, 6 speakers in a circle CANNOT ACHIEVE BEAMFORMING.

        This is PURE marketing BS from Apple, there is no beamforming happening, because it is physically impossible given the physical layout, frequencies involved, driver geometry, etc. It is not even a matter of opinion, it is simply impossible.

        What is being used is a mixture of room mode excitement, perceptual tuning and direct/reflect sound to give people some feeling of 'space', however there is practically no actual stereo separation. Really. Try listening to strong left/right panning audio on one - it is just a mess.

        Of course the pudits, as usual, just swallow the pseudo-tech terms thrown out by marketing, and write big glowing reviews which assume thats what is actually happening...

        What this 'with the numbers' review fails to address is the HORRIBLE compromises in other areas (I am looking at you, phase and group delay) that must be made to achieve what they are doing. These speakers are 'better' than a cheap PC speaker (and 90% of the shite bluetooth speakers people listen to these days), and yet such a large distance away from even a middling proper speaker setup that A/B blind testing is made impossible as it is simple to audible tell if you are listening to this is a proper pair of separated speakers.

        If having flat frequency response was the main target of speaker design, then speakers would have been near perfect in the 60s.. and yet they were not.

        But that wont stop the believers, marketers, and consumers who need to rationalise their purchases.

        So, No, he has NOT 'provided empirical evidence that the HomePod reproduced sound more accurately than a speaker that costs nearly 3x its price.' .
        It is trivial to get flat response - and few look for that as the only requirement, because it comes at the cost of other bad problems.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anubis IV ( 1279820 )

          So, No, he has NOT 'provided empirical evidence that the HomePod reproduced sound more accurately than a speaker that costs nearly 3x its price.' .

          Yes, he has, and your assertion to the contrary is nothing more than denialism. While you’re quite correct in arguing that having a flat response curve is not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to speakers, that doesn’t change what he provided evidence of. You can disagree with his methodology or you can disagree with the conclusions people are drawing from his evidence (and by all means feel free to do so, since I’ll be right there with you in agreement that many of them are way off-bas

      • Can't make real bass without moving a lot more air than anything in a box that size can manage...even if you allow doppler distortion, which sounds nasty. You can fool the human ear (there are patents on the tricks) but you can't make ripples in my drink from across the room or fool my guests into going out to roll up their car windows on a sunny day with recorded thunder. Of course, no one tests with the hard stuff, even when using just ears. Recorded music, especially these days, has little to no relat
    • Six speakers with beamforming to generate stereo sounds. They can bounce the left channel off one side of the room, right the other. The effects are good but not as good as true stereo. For that you require two HomePod speakers. One takes over the left side, the other the right side. Their software lets you join them together allowing two HomePods to act as one. You just have to give Apple more money.
      • Problem is, right now, no matter HOW much money you give them you cannot get stereo HomePods. That's sometime "in the future".
  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:15PM (#56111311) Homepage
    So is it actually measured as neutral, or is it applying DSP tricks to *sound* neutral given the environment? The summary seems to indicate both, but these are mutually exclusive goals. Interestingly enough, most people aren't used to hearing neutral sound and react poorly upon hearing it for the first time. It'll be interesting how this is received.
  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:18PM (#56111333) Homepage Journal
    If there is anyone I trust, it is audiophiles from the Internet. They are the ones that prompted me to buy the $10,000 gold plated cables to hook my gear together. My music has never sounded better!
    • There's a little obscure trick that you can do with gold plated cables that only a few dozen people know about. Did you know that tying these cables around your neck will grant you three wishes? It's true! My father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate tried it and he died!

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:20PM (#56111347) Journal
    THD in the lower frequencies (below ~75 Hz) is between 18% and 56%, per his own graphs. I guess that is audiophile?
    • Can you even get something to play on the homepod that isn't subject to compression of the top and bottom end?

      • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:39PM (#56111465) Journal
        Nope. It's Apple Music, or Bluetooth/Airplay. You're limited - by the Apple ecosystem - to AAC, or MAYBE 24 bit/48 kHz if you have a Lightning output device. High res audio? 24/192 or 32/384? DSD? Sorry - no love for you in the Apple world. Even decent Bluetooth codecs like AptX HD and Sony's LDAC are barred from iOS (due to it not using/supporting CSR chips). Audiophile and Apple stop at source - and apparently that stoppage is now reinforced with a speaker that has 50%+ THD at average SPL levels.
        • by samkass ( 174571 )

          From the Technical Specs:
          Audio Formats: HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, and FLAC2

        • Nope. It's Apple Music, or Bluetooth/Airplay. You're limited - by the Apple ecosystem - to AAC, or MAYBE 24 bit/48 kHz if you have a Lightning output device. High res audio? 24/192 or 32/384? DSD? Sorry - no love for you in the Apple world. Even decent Bluetooth codecs like AptX HD and Sony's LDAC are barred from iOS (due to it not using/supporting CSR chips). Audiophile and Apple stop at source - and apparently that stoppage is now reinforced with a speaker that has 50%+ THD at average SPL levels.

          Quit LYING, FUCKER!

          AirPlay is Apple LOSSLESS, not some horrible AptX or other LOSSY format.

          "Decent Bluetooth CODECS". Now THERE's and Oxymoron. Apple uses AAC over Bluetooth, which is getting at least SOMEWHERE toward's "Decent".

          But Airplay is LOSSLESS, period!

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          "The AirTunes part of the AirPlay protocol stack uses UDP for streaming audio and is based on the RTSP network control protocol.[16] The streams are transcoded using the Apple Lossless codec with 44100 Hz and 2 channel

    • This. Whenever I see tiny speakers I think no bass.You have to move air for good bass and that means a largish cone. Otherwise that 3" cone is moving 12" up and down and that ain't happening. You can get some advantage with bass reflex and some other tuning methods, but these end up as larger cabinets. Many smaller speakers have a weird hump to emphasize 80Hz to around 160 and hope you think it is deep bass. Of course for apartment dwellers the i-thing will be good as the neighbor will not be moving to the

    • THD in the lower frequencies (below ~75 Hz) is between 18% and 56%, per his own graphs. I guess that is audiophile?

      Quit with the crap!

      1. THD is VERY hard to hear. IM distortion is what is annoying.

      2. Even Audiophile-quality (whatever THAT means!) Subwoofers generate around 25-30% THD when they are crankin'.

      3. To get that 56%, he was driving the woofer to within an inch of its life.

      And here are his comments in the "Distortion" Section:

      "If we look at the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) at various sound pressure levels (SPLs) we see that Apple begins to “reign in” the woofer when THD approaches 10db below the

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        It's not even Hi-Fi by the old DIN 45500 standard [hifimuseum.de] of the early 70s.

        And certainly not by newer standards which require 20-20,000 Hz @+- 3dB, max 10% THD @ 96 dB @1m.

      • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @08:23PM (#56112189) Journal

        Quit with the crap!

        Yes, you should!

        1. THD is VERY hard to hear. IM distortion is what is annoying.

        False. Go and check any of the AES papers by gentlemen like Louis Fielder, Grant Davidson, or Dane Grant (all gentlemen I work with weekly). THD audibility is dependent upon SPL and frequency, and levels as low as 0.5% are not only audible, but objectionable based upon the spectrum of the THD.

        Don't believe that? Perhaps Dr. Earl Geddes' presentation on the audibility of distortion [gedlee.com] will help. Of course, when you live in a reality distortion field, I guess THD might be a good thing!

        2. Even Audiophile-quality (whatever THAT means!) Subwoofers generate around 25-30% THD when they are crankin'.

        Really? In 2004 I was well below that level [soundandvision.com], and later I took it to >100 dB SPL [data-bass.com] with single digit THD. You're flailing here. Oh - and these SPL levels are a solid 20+ dB beyond the HomePod, meaning literally 100 times the sonic power, with one quarter - or less - the THD.

        3. To get that 56%, he was driving the woofer to within an inch of its life.

        Funny, because it can't move even close to an inch, or even half an inch.

        And here are his comments in the "Distortion" Section:

        "If we look at the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) at various sound pressure levels (SPLs) we see that Apple begins to “reign in” the woofer when THD approaches 10db below the woofer output. Since decibels are on a log scale, Apple’s limit on the woofer is to restrict excursion when the harmonic distortion approaches HALF the intensity of the primary sound, effectively meaning you will not hear it. What apple has achieved here is incredibly impressive — such tight control on bass from within a speaker is unheard of in the audio industry. [...] Even though Distortion rises for the woofer, it's imperceptible. The (lack of) bass distortion is beyond spectacular, and I honestly don't think there is any bookshelf-sized speaker that doesn't employ computational audio that will beat it right now."

        So he likes the sounds of the compressor kicking in, and he believes that you cannot hear which, provably, you can. And he's - like you - a self-admitted Apple fan. The bottom line is his measurements are middling performance at best. And yes, I work in this industry, I design speakers, and you HAVE heard my work - guaranteed. Probably directly (SONOS, Polk, Genesis, Infinity, Beats, Blue, Audioquest, Mackie, EAW, KRK, Polycom, Microsoft, etc.) or indirectly (monitors for Mackie, Event, KRK, microphones for a dozen brands, etc).

        The HomePod is an interesting idea - but it's got, at best, middling performance. These measurements confirm as much.

  • 256k (Score:4, Informative)

    by Toxiz ( 4980833 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:23PM (#56111377)
    Too bad all of your losses audio is trapped in music libraries that you are not allowed to connect to homepod. -- "You may want to use iTunes Match or iCloud Music Library to keep your iTunes library in the cloud. If your iTunes library contains lossless files, iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library treat them differently from other files. If the files are matched, then they’re matched to the iTunes Store equivalents: files at 256kbps AAC. If iTunes can’t match them and needs to upload them, iTunes converts them to 256kbps before uploading. This means that your lossless files will never be in the cloud." - Macworld
  • I don't trust slashdot anymore.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:31PM (#56111421) Homepage

    Hey APPLE! Where's the support for 24-bit audio?

    • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:45PM (#56111507) Journal
      They have it! In fact, they have nearly eleven times that type of audio, since it streams a solid 256 kbps! Oh wait, you mean 24 bits per PCM sample? Sorry - you have to go elsewhere for high quality music...
    • Where are your 24-bit ears?

      • There is actually nearly 100 years of data [wikipedia.org] showing that the dynamic range of the auditory system is around 140 dB SPL. So that would imply 24 bits needed to capture that range.
        • There is actually nearly 100 years of data [wikipedia.org] showing that the dynamic range of the auditory system is around 140 dB SPL. So that would imply 24 bits needed to capture that range.

          Good luck hearing something at 20 dB SPL, or withstanding anything much above 120 dB SPL for any length of time.

          I agree that when recording stuff, go for the gusto as far as bit depth (and sampling frequency) are concerned; but there are exactly ZERO pieces of audio gear that can REPRODUCE 140 dB SPL dynamic range. In fact, even GOOD audio gear has a s/n ratio not much above 120 dBm. Yes, I know I am mixing dB SPL and dBm; but you know exactly what I mean.

          Or maybe you don't. After all, you said something RE

          • Hmmm.... So your contention is that the well documented hearing limits from Fletcher-Munson (and later Robinson-Dadson) tests are in fact not relevant? My personal listening room in my home is ~31 dBA per measurements (APx515 with an Earthworks M50 mic and an Earthworks 1021 preamp). Given the well-known capability of the human auditory engine to be able to perceive information 15-20 dB below the noise floor, that puts my "lower limit" around 15 dBA. My speaker system (custom 7" woofer, 0.75" wide x 5" l

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:33PM (#56111427)

    To be accurate, they compared the HomePod to a $999 speaker. That extra dollar might make all the difference.

  • So what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:33PM (#56111429) Homepage

    I used to be a sound tech. I've tested more speakers than I care to count, and set up enough audio rigs that I can typically pinpoint sound quality problems in a few seconds with the right test clips.

    Pro tip: It's almost never the speakers' problem.

    I know it annoys the "audiophile" crowd, but a speaker is, for the most part, just a speaker. The response curve doesn't matter much, if you can equalize it to suit your taste. Yes, I said that evil nasty word: taste. No, you're not usually going to get objective measurements of a "good" or "bad" speaker that are worth anything*, because listening to sound, especially music, is a heavily subjective experience.

    If I'm setting up a sound system for a classical piano concert, the whole system is configured for that goal... There is still reinforcement, but it's only to boost what's naturally echoed by the room, not to push anything unnaturally. For a rock concert, I usually arrange the sound differently, boosting instruments to match the band's desired sound profile. Generally, my best advice is to figure out what kind of mood the music is supposed to inspire, and adjust to fit that.

    If the HomePod includes an automatic equalizer, that's great, but I'd just as soon spend 15 minutes doing proper configuration on my own. Frankly, a flat response sounds boring. I prefer a thumping (but not rumbling) bass, with clear vocals. In other words, I like a fairly deep low-end disco scoop. Is the HomePod for me? Eh, perhaps not, unless I can tweak it or pull the output to my own system. After all, I'm the one listening to the music, so I should enjoy it, no?

    * There are actually bad systems out there, but (barring mechanical failure) they're usually because somebody put too much work into fine-tuning to meet a particular response curve spec, rather than making things that sound good. Such systems can be identified (and rejected) in about 30 seconds by playing the Star Wars main theme.

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Informative)

      by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:47PM (#56111527) Journal
      I was a sound tech, way back when, but for the last 20 years I've spent 99% of my time designing speakers and headphones for everyone. And if you think and EQ is all you need to fix problems with speakers, well - best go back to just running snakes and taping them down, you have a LOT to learn. EQ will not fix IMD, THD, dispersion, comb filtering, dynamic compression (thermal and positional/BL), CSD issues, and many, many more.
      • Thank you, right on the nose. Using equalization can fix some frequency response issues at the expense of adding phase shifts which ultimately destroy the impulse response. The KEFs are nowhere near audiophile quality so I'm not impressed.

      • On the design end, yes, those all come into play, and I appreciate your efforts, but on the listening side, very little of that matters.

        To start, let's assume we're not building our own enclosures. Frankly, all prebuilt consumer gear is already engineered by folks like you to meet a basic level of quality, or it never makes it to market. These days, even the cheap $20 speaker sets have sufficient engineering to pass muster.

        Once assembled, the biggest influence on the system's overall sound is indeed the EQ.

        • I'll just say that, if you review AES and ASA papers, you'll find that frequency response is about equal with CSD and IMD/THD levels in terms of preference. EQ can fix just one of those, but leave the others undone and you're screwed - no matter what you want to do to the EQ. Have a poor CSD or high THD/IMD and no matter how flat you make the frequency response, it will still sound poor.
  • My own two bits (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hussman32 ( 751772 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:36PM (#56111441)

    I'm an Apple house, we have it all, but I've had Sonos Play 5 for a couple of years.

    We got the HomePod and I did a side-by-side comparison by playing 'Such Great Heights' from the Sonos and from the HomePod. This song has been a good test for me because there are well-defined trebles and bass notes with a tenor/alto vocal that sounds clean. Both units were tuned to the room using their tuning algorithms.

    To be completely honest, based on my hearing (and I'm older than 45, younger than 50), the Sonos has a little bit more depth in the mid-range and bass. But it's close. The HomePod does well with hearing 'Hey Siri' even when the music is on, and so far it seems like Siri works better than it has in the past (we don't push it though). Sonos is also a little louder.

    Both have high quality sound, I haven't plugged my Vienna Acoustic Grand Beethoven's into my receiver for three years because they have been good enough for my needs.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:36PM (#56111445) Journal
    Monster Cable has introduced a new router specifically for the Apple HomePad.

    It uses gold coated platinum antenna on the wifi. The spokesman said, "It is a myth to say signal quality does not matter for digital transmission. The new Monster Cable Wi-Fi router will broadcast perfectly circular zeros and the perfectly straight ones. All audiophiles will appreciate the difference in the sound quality".

  • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:40PM (#56111467)

    The $999 price is for a *pair* of speakers, so you can listen in stereo.

    This Apple thing costs $349 for a single speaker. So unless you listen exclusively to pre-1965 monophonic classics, it will sound significantly less good than any decent pair of stereo speakers.

    • The $999 price is for a *pair* of speakers, so you can listen in stereo.

      This Apple thing costs $349 for a single speaker. So unless you listen exclusively to pre-1965 monophonic classics, it will sound significantly less good than any decent pair of stereo speakers.

      I don't have room for two speakers in my tiny house, you insensitive clod!

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:48PM (#56111543)
    I'm sure it is quite possible to do some ABX testing on this speaker vs some others and arrange them into an order that represents their comparative quality without people's bias / imagination creeping into reviews.
  • Did they have a cat knock it off a table six or seven times to check the toughness?

    If it isn't cat proof it is junk.

  • We live underground. We talk with our hands. We wear the earplugs all of our lives. Do not use the HomePod.

  • "Sorry, I wasn't able to find sod around the woods for pounding sneakers. Here are some web results though."
  • For the past 60 years, the electronics industry has been telling people that stereo sound is the way to go... now Apple is selling a monaural sound system? (Granted, in theory two of them can be used for stereo... if you don't mind paying $800 and seeing them argue over who answers the audio commands)
  • After hundreds of years of engineering speakers, why haven't we come up with an almost eprfect speaker?
    There seems to have been some progress - those 10$ little chinese bluetooth speakers sound way better than most medium range speakers I heard when I was growing up, IMHO - but how come that there's still innovation happening regarding how you route some air pressure waves through a box?
    • There's plenty of innovation happening in the speaker world. Today you can buy ridiculously cheap speakers with impressive performance, and even studio-quality monitors for about $500.

      The HomePod, fwiw, is just a cheap full range speaker with digital EQ. The review is, well... what you'd expect from Reddit.

    • After hundreds of years of engineering speakers, why haven't we come up with an almost eprfect speaker?

      We have come up with some extraordinary speakers. They just cost more than a HomePod. You can build something exceptional for under $1000 in the Linkwitz LXmini kit from Madisound, but there's no commercial product under $1000 worth a shit.

    • Hundreds? What year are you living in?
  • I haven't heard the HomePod, but to claim it being of audiophile grade is sheer ignorance. You can't buy anything of audiophile grade in loudspeakers for $1000. You can build some for that money, not buy a commercial product that I'd consider. I'm sure the HomePod sounds OK, but audiophile? Bullshit.

    A true audiophile grade loudspeaker will faithfully reproduce the timbre of acoustic instruments and voices. I'm a stickler for mid-range detail and clarity and that doesn't come easily, and certainly

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