HomePod doesn't have manual EQ options, will auto-adjust based on analytics says Apple's E...

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
People buying a HomePod will have to rely on the speaker's own automatic EQ adjustments, as there are no manual controls, Apple's senior VP of Internet Software and Services said at today's Pollstar Live conference for the concert industry.




The HomePod uses analytics to set levels for each individual song, Eddy Cue said according to Eventellect co-founder Patrick Ryan. The approach could upset people who prefer extra bass or treble in their music.

Apple has made automatic tuning a focus of the product. It uses microphones and beamforming to gauge the acoustics of a room, correcting for problems within seconds. An accelerometer is used to detect if the speaker has been moved, meaning that it will readjust on its own.

Early reviews have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Another point of criticism has been its reliance on Apple Music and iTunes, whereas an Echo or Home can use a variety of third-party services, such as Spotify.

The first HomePod orders will ship on Friday, Feb. 9. The product costs $349 and comes in two colors, black or white.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,730member
    If playing music from a device, rather than streaming, would the EQ settings in the playback device be part of the signal sent to the speaker? Just wondering.
    lolliver
  • Reply 2 of 48
    "An accelerometer is used to detect if the speaker has been moved, meaning that it will readjust on its own."

    Buh, doesn't it automagically adjust when people move or the environment changes? Mayhap moving the speaker causes a more comprehensive sound revamp?
  • Reply 3 of 48
    virtuavirtua Posts: 206member
    White or black?  That’ll be your space grey 😜
  • Reply 4 of 48
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 297member
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.
    mike1skinzyracerhomie3williamlondonlolliver
  • Reply 5 of 48
    jdgaz said:
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.
    This is correct!  I’m an audiophile and can’t wait to get mine on Friday.  Don’t know if mass market feels the same way?  For a lot of folks music is just background noise.  For me it’s life’s blood.
    racerhomie3kuduwilliamlondonlolliveraegeanjony0
  • Reply 6 of 48
    Good .
    I really don’t like messing with EQs.
    williamlondonlolliver
  • Reply 7 of 48
    skinzy said:
    jdgaz said:
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.
    This is correct!  I’m an audiophile and can’t wait to get mine on Friday.  Don’t know if mass market feels the same way?  For a lot of folks music is just background noise.  For me it’s life’s blood.
    Just another 48 hours and I'll have mine.  Can't wait.

    One of the features that hasn't been touted much is the HomePod's ability to "normalize" sound volume originating from an Apple TV.  I'm sick and tired of having to adjust volume when switching between stations/programming.  On Netflix (via Apple TV) I am constantly adjusting volume between 35 and 85.  Its a pain in the ass.
    williamlondonlolliver
  • Reply 8 of 48
    ...perhaps Apple is looking forward to listening to us too...?
  • Reply 9 of 48
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    skinzy said:
    jdgaz said:
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.
    This is correct!  I’m an audiophile and can’t wait to get mine on Friday.  Don’t know if mass market feels the same way?  For a lot of folks music is just background noise.  For me it’s life’s blood.
    Just another 48 hours and I'll have mine.  Can't wait.

    One of the features that hasn't been touted much is the HomePod's ability to "normalize" sound volume originating from an Apple TV.  I'm sick and tired of having to adjust volume when switching between stations/programming.  On Netflix (via Apple TV) I am constantly adjusting volume between 35 and 85.  Its a pain in the ass.
    An idea I had a LONG time ago was a device that sits in the room (like near where you watch TV) that will listen to the audio and, say, a commercial break is too loud will send a signal back to the primary device to adjust. If HomePods are your speakers they should be able to analyze this before it outputs, but potentially be able to use its microphones as a second measure, especially when non-Apple speakers are eventually possible.
  • Reply 10 of 48
    The main reason Apple didn't include personalized voice is so that it couldn't data mining each personal users, unlike Google and Amazon.
    williamlondonchasm
  • Reply 11 of 48
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,398member
    skinzy said:
    jdgaz said:
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.
    This is correct!  I’m an audiophile and can’t wait to get mine on Friday.  Don’t know if mass market feels the same way?  For a lot of folks music is just background noise.  For me it’s life’s blood.
    The HomePod is NOT for the mass market. People don’t get it and continue to compare it to the $50 Echo. Why that is I don't know.
    libertykrswilliamlondonlolliver
  • Reply 12 of 48
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    lkrupp said:
    skinzy said:
    jdgaz said:
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.
    This is correct!  I’m an audiophile and can’t wait to get mine on Friday.  Don’t know if mass market feels the same way?  For a lot of folks music is just background noise.  For me it’s life’s blood.
    The HomePod is NOT for the mass market. People don’t get it and continue to compare it to the $50 Echo. Why that is I don't know.
    It's absolutely a mass market product. How the hell can you claim this will not be made or sold in mass quantities. Sonos products are mass market and I bet this will trounce their unit sales right away.
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 48
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:
    skinzy said:
    jdgaz said:
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.
    This is correct!  I’m an audiophile and can’t wait to get mine on Friday.  Don’t know if mass market feels the same way?  For a lot of folks music is just background noise.  For me it’s life’s blood.
    The HomePod is NOT for the mass market. People don’t get it and continue to compare it to the $50 Echo. Why that is I don't know.
    It's absolutely a mass market product. How the hell can you claim this will not be made or sold in mass quantities. Sonos products are mass market and I bet this will trounce their unit sales right away.
    Agree. Of course it's meant for a mass market. 
  • Reply 14 of 48
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,754member
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:
    skinzy said:
    jdgaz said:
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.
    This is correct!  I’m an audiophile and can’t wait to get mine on Friday.  Don’t know if mass market feels the same way?  For a lot of folks music is just background noise.  For me it’s life’s blood.
    The HomePod is NOT for the mass market. People don’t get it and continue to compare it to the $50 Echo. Why that is I don't know.
    It's absolutely a mass market product. How the hell can you claim this will not be made or sold in mass quantities. Sonos products are mass market and I bet this will trounce their unit sales right away.
    It's mass market for sure, but not covering 75% of this mass market, which is AOK, it's only in Ipads that Apple cracks 25%.

    But it covers a large part of the need for speakers outside the living room (and even in the living room for a lot of people) that will deliver great audio and home automation hubs.

    Not having an EQ, which is almost always wrong for the room even in a good system, is a feature. You can of course, EQ the hell out of your playback of whatever you airplay through it, though it is probably not advisable.

    lolliver
  • Reply 15 of 48
    ivanhivanh Posts: 208member
    virtua said:
    White or black?  That’ll be your space grey 😜
    Apple has been getting things complicated. Two of the basic colours are black and white. Just call it “black” and keep things simple, and beautiful.  Use of a fancy name like “space grey” or “space gray” doesn’t make a product better. It’s just suck!
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 48
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,513member
    This seems to assume that every person's ears have a flat frequency response.  For people who have lost hearing in certain frequency bands, this approach guarantees that the music will sound poorly.  I hope they come out with an app to allow EQ adjustment for people who need or want it.
    mrboglewilliamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 48
    Im a sound engineer, being able to adjust eq is critical, bass travels especially at night, playing the same sound at a lower volume it will still be too bassy, (50hz bass - wavelength is around 20 feet, thats usually into the nextroom or next door) how on earth are apple going to apply one size fits all and expect everyone to be happy with something so subjective as music.


    williamlondonlarryacroprpalomineanantksundaram
  • Reply 18 of 48
    The HomePod vs competitors boils down to this: You can enhance Siri, but you can't fix the speakers in the Amazon Echo/Google Home. The only way to improve the audio quality in those devices is to buy a new one and those will be far more expensive than their current offerings.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    jdgaz said:
    " ....have given the HomePod good grades for audio quality, but sharply criticized Siri as weak next to the AI assistants in...." Honestly when I want a speaker the first thing I gauge is sound quality. So, in my book Apple focused on the most important thing a speaker can do, that his deliver sound. Siri will come along and be just fine. And it will lily not invade my privacy or deliver purchases to my door that I didn't really want.

    Fair enough.  Just keep in mind that many (I would wager: the majority of) people are not buying "smart speakers" mainly for their sound reproduction capabilities.  Just look at how popular the Echo Dot and Google Home Mini are.  They are buying them for the smart assistant first... and the sound quality second.

    I, myself, bought a Google Home primarily for interaction with all of my smart home devices.  It is _amazing_ at that.  The fact that it also plays music well enough (and has great Spotify integration) is just a bonus.

    Apple is targeting the music reproduction crowd... fine.  I think think they'll find that sales are going to be sluggish though... as that's not what the majority of the market is looking for when purchasing this type of speaker.

    I think a lot of people have forgotten that Apple has already been down this road before: with the iPod Hi-Fi.  It debuted 12 years ago... at $350... and was aimed directly at audiophiles... it ultimately was forgotten and then discontinued a year later.  It suffered all the same criticisms as Home Pod: limited connectivity, limited compatibility, high price and competitors with better options....

    Let's see how the Home Pod fairs....
    jonagoldcroprbcubed1979
  • Reply 20 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,575member
    Back on topic ... what is needed if no EQ settings available is the ability to load a hearing profile.
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