First look: Apple's HomePod is loud, heavy and powerful

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  • Reply 21 of 134

    Later this year, when iOS 11.3 is made public and the HomePod is also updated, AirPlay 2 will be available. This means users will be able to stream music to multiple HomePod units at once, or even combine playback on HomePod with other AirPlay 2 devices, like the Apple TV. For now, it's one HomePod only, and I couldn't find a way to stream to both my Apple TV 4K and HomePod.


    From what I've read, with iTunes running on a Mac, you can stream to multiple output speakers -- including the homePod.  Can you verify this, please?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 134
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 736editor
    mike1 said:
    Looking forward to getting one soon.
    I do have a question, though, and maybe it will be covered in the full review.

    How does/will it respond to multiple voices? By design, this is not a personal device. It sits in a home and should be able to be used by more than one person. Can Siri be trained to recognize more than one voice? And if it recognizes different people, can it access different music profiles, different reminders or text messages based on who is making the request?

    Siri does not distinguish between people nor does it allow multiple accounts. If you enable access to messages, notes and reminders, and your iPhone is within range, anyone can access them by voice.
  • Reply 23 of 134
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,023member
    For a small, 5lb, single unit, it’s great, but it’s definitely not as loud as I expected from the reviews. In-store you ger a square paper bag made for HomePod.

    Setup was a breeze, like with AirPods. I don’t think that BT process can be streamlined any more than it already is.

    It’s definitely not creating any stereo-like sound. Maybe beamingforming audio is coming in a future update, but at this point if the device to one side all the sound will clearly be coming from that one side. It pretty much has to be directly behind or in front of me to not be able to determine the side the device was placed relative to my head in my simple tests.

    If you already have a good home entertainment center (which could have an echo or Google Home attached)  then HomePod won’t sound better.

    The far-field microphones are impressive. The Echo was impressive 3 years ago in this regard, which was always the first reason Siri would come across as incompetent. The HomePod outpaces even the new Echo Plus insofar that you have have the volume maxed out and Siri will still be able to hear you, even over spoken audio, at a normal speaking voice from across the room or from a different room. The Echo Plus will require you to raise your voice a little when the volume is maxed. (Caveat: My Echo Plus is connected to other, better, louder, and more speakers that aren’t centreally locates which even the HomePod’s A-series chip probably couldn’t process as well, either.)

    Sirius XM spoken audio does sound more crisp on the HomePod. And while that’s an EQ setting on the HEC, it’s nice that it’s automatic.

    I am disappointed that it can tell me what’s on my Calender next. I assume that was covered in a review, so I must have missed it or it needs some additional setup.
    edited February 9 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 24 of 134
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,231member
    airnerd said:
    For those asking about scale look at the specs. But I tend to agree it is important to have scale here as this thing is small and heavy. I messed with mine for about an hour today and have the following points. The sound will not disappoint...I was super impressed with how easily it picks up voice commands from what I tested was 40 feet with music playing I used a normal voice and asked "Hey Siri, How is the weather"...homepod picked it up no problem. So far I am super happy with this purchase.
    Sorry, I was just being a smartypants.  I do think scale should be shown but was going for humor there.  Yeah I read the specs but I'm a guy, so my idea of size is skewed.  

    Guys like you make the world a better place!  :D Your comments are hilarious!
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 134
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,231member

    Mine is in a UPS truck circling the neighborhood.  Can’t wait. 

    Do you think the driver is circling around your house endlessly just to tease you?

     :D 

    randominternetpersonzroger73cashawwwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 134
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 736editor

    Later this year, when iOS 11.3 is made public and the HomePod is also updated, AirPlay 2 will be available. This means users will be able to stream music to multiple HomePod units at once, or even combine playback on HomePod with other AirPlay 2 devices, like the Apple TV. For now, it's one HomePod only, and I couldn't find a way to stream to both my Apple TV 4K and HomePod.


    From what I've read, with iTunes running on a Mac, you can stream to multiple output speakers -- including the homePod.  Can you verify this, please?
    Streaming to multiple AirPlay speakers from iTunes on a Mac has always been possible with AirPlay 1. What's unique about AirPlay 2 is it will allow multi-speaker streaming from an iOS device.

    So to answer your question, yes, you can output to multiple speakers via iTunes on a Mac, but that's not new. You don't need to buy a HomePod to do that. You could do it with a couple of AirPort Expresses and any speaker of your choosing.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 134
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 736editor

    joe28753 said:
    How does Hey Siri work with multiple devices in the same room? Is it still buggy? As it is now for me on the latest software, if I raise my wrist and say Hey Siri to my Apple Watch, my iPhone also activates Siri at the same time. Will I now have three devices activating Siri every time?
    I haven't had the problems you describe here with my watch and iPhone, so my experience may be different. That said:

    If my iPhone is laying in front of me and I say "Hey Siri," the phone lights up but then stops listening, defaulting to the HomePod. However, if my iPhone is unlocked, it takes precedence over the HomePod. Works well for me.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 134
    Neil didn't say FIRST foray.
    Sometimes you guys sound a tad too touchy...

    "Just ignore" is not a bad option.
    The sky is blue.  Water is wet.  The audience on AppleInsider is "a tad too touchy".
  • Reply 29 of 134
    That packaging is slick.  Apple has another home run in the first-impressions department.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 134
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,023member
    nhughes said:

    Later this year, when iOS 11.3 is made public and the HomePod is also updated, AirPlay 2 will be available. This means users will be able to stream music to multiple HomePod units at once, or even combine playback on HomePod with other AirPlay 2 devices, like the Apple TV. For now, it's one HomePod only, and I couldn't find a way to stream to both my Apple TV 4K and HomePod.


    From what I've read, with iTunes running on a Mac, you can stream to multiple output speakers -- including the homePod.  Can you verify this, please?
    Streaming to multiple AirPlay speakers from iTunes on a Mac has always been possible with AirPlay 1. What's unique about AirPlay 2 is it will allow multi-speaker streaming from an iOS device.

    So to answer your question, yes, you can output to multiple speakers via iTunes on a Mac, but that's not new. You don't need to buy a HomePod to do that. You could do it with a couple of AirPort Expresses and any speaker of your choosing.
    It’s my understanding that AirPlay 2 will being much needed audio syncing for multiple speakers.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 134
    The "loud, powerful, and heavy" in the headline sounds like a warning.  But since this isn't addressed in the article, can we assume that it also sounds good at low or moderate volumes?

    My wife has the hearing of a bat and I have the hearing of a middle-aged person who listened to too much loud music when younger, so we always have arguments about turning up or down the TV volume. Therefore, I'd like to be sure that "it's loud" isn't really a complaint about the device. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 134
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,870member
    Mine is in a UPS truck circling the neighborhood.  Can’t wait. 
    Same here. What sucks for me is UPS usually doesn't deliver here until sometime after 7pm. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 134
    nhughes said:

    Later this year, when iOS 11.3 is made public and the HomePod is also updated, AirPlay 2 will be available. This means users will be able to stream music to multiple HomePod units at once, or even combine playback on HomePod with other AirPlay 2 devices, like the Apple TV. For now, it's one HomePod only, and I couldn't find a way to stream to both my Apple TV 4K and HomePod.


    From what I've read, with iTunes running on a Mac, you can stream to multiple output speakers -- including the homePod.  Can you verify this, please?
    Streaming to multiple AirPlay speakers from iTunes on a Mac has always been possible with AirPlay 1. What's unique about AirPlay 2 is it will allow multi-speaker streaming from an iOS device.

    So to answer your question, yes, you can output to multiple speakers via iTunes on a Mac, but that's not new. You don't need to buy a HomePod to do that. You could do it with a couple of AirPort Expresses and any speaker of your choosing.

    OK.  When we do serious listening to music we normally use iTunes on a Mac, something like shown below:

    If a homePod could be one of these speakers, couldn't 2 homePods... 3? 4?...

    An Airport Express costs $100 + cable + the cost of a speaker --  a homePod costs $350, nothing else needed.

    I wonder if you a homePod in this way -- can you use the iTunes Equalizer?




    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 134
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 427member
    "It's heavier than you'd expect, which undoubtedly helps the audio pack a serious punch."

    Well, the weight is most likely from the ferrite magnets used in the speakers, and although speakers are arguably necessary for audio, weight doesn't necessarily correlate with volume or 
    quality. ;)
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 134
    joe28753 said:
    How does Hey Siri work with multiple devices in the same room? Is it still buggy? As it is now for me on the latest software, if I raise my wrist and say Hey Siri to my Apple Watch, my iPhone also activates Siri at the same time. Will I now have three devices activating Siri every time?
    I hope Siri works better than Alexa in this regard. I'll often be ten feet away in direct earshot of my kitchen Echo, yet an Echo 40 feet away down a hall and in a bedroom will respond. I have to purposely lower my voice so that the more distant Echo can't hear me.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 134
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 736editor
    nhughes said:

    Later this year, when iOS 11.3 is made public and the HomePod is also updated, AirPlay 2 will be available. This means users will be able to stream music to multiple HomePod units at once, or even combine playback on HomePod with other AirPlay 2 devices, like the Apple TV. For now, it's one HomePod only, and I couldn't find a way to stream to both my Apple TV 4K and HomePod.


    From what I've read, with iTunes running on a Mac, you can stream to multiple output speakers -- including the homePod.  Can you verify this, please?
    Streaming to multiple AirPlay speakers from iTunes on a Mac has always been possible with AirPlay 1. What's unique about AirPlay 2 is it will allow multi-speaker streaming from an iOS device.

    So to answer your question, yes, you can output to multiple speakers via iTunes on a Mac, but that's not new. You don't need to buy a HomePod to do that. You could do it with a couple of AirPort Expresses and any speaker of your choosing.

    OK.  When we do serious listening to music we normally use iTunes on a Mac, something like shown below:

    If a homePod could be one of these speakers, couldn't 2 homePods... 3? 4?...

    An Airport Express costs $100 + cable + the cost of a speaker --  a homePod costs $350, nothing else needed.

    I wonder if you a homePod in this way -- can you use the iTunes Equalizer?




    iTunes on your computer is streaming to multiple devices over AirPlay 1, and HomePod supports AirPlay 1, so it works fine.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 134
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,612member
    nhughes said:
    mike1 said:
    Looking forward to getting one soon.
    I do have a question, though, and maybe it will be covered in the full review.

    How does/will it respond to multiple voices? By design, this is not a personal device. It sits in a home and should be able to be used by more than one person. Can Siri be trained to recognize more than one voice? And if it recognizes different people, can it access different music profiles, different reminders or text messages based on who is making the request?

    Siri does not distinguish between people nor does it allow multiple accounts. If you enable access to messages, notes and reminders, and your iPhone is within range, anyone can access them by voice.
    If there are two people in the same room, in range, which does it go to?
    It doesn't distinguish voices, but does it respond to all voices? Currently, my wife's devices ignore my "Hey Siri" and vice-versa.
  • Reply 38 of 134
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,023member
    MplsP said:
    "It's heavier than you'd expect, which undoubtedly helps the audio pack a serious punch."

    Well, the weight is most likely from the ferrite magnets used in the speakers, and although speakers are arguably necessary for audio, weight doesn't necessarily correlate with volume or quality. ;)
    I don’t understand why this and other reviews are expecting something lighter than 2.5kg/5.5lb. That’s super light for what this device outputs, even for its size. I think Google Home Max is twice that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 134
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 736editor

    Soli said:
    nhughes said:

    Later this year, when iOS 11.3 is made public and the HomePod is also updated, AirPlay 2 will be available. This means users will be able to stream music to multiple HomePod units at once, or even combine playback on HomePod with other AirPlay 2 devices, like the Apple TV. For now, it's one HomePod only, and I couldn't find a way to stream to both my Apple TV 4K and HomePod.


    From what I've read, with iTunes running on a Mac, you can stream to multiple output speakers -- including the homePod.  Can you verify this, please?
    Streaming to multiple AirPlay speakers from iTunes on a Mac has always been possible with AirPlay 1. What's unique about AirPlay 2 is it will allow multi-speaker streaming from an iOS device.

    So to answer your question, yes, you can output to multiple speakers via iTunes on a Mac, but that's not new. You don't need to buy a HomePod to do that. You could do it with a couple of AirPort Expresses and any speaker of your choosing.
    It’s my understanding that AirPlay 2 will being much needed audio syncing for multiple speakers.
    I used to have much, much worse audio syncing issues when AirPlay was known as AirTunes. Over the years, it has gradually improved, to a point now where I don't have any noticeable "audio drift" problems. Improvements are always welcome, but this was not (for me) a problem area anymore.
    mike1foggyhillwatto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 134
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,612member

    Soli said:
    nhughes said:

    Later this year, when iOS 11.3 is made public and the HomePod is also updated, AirPlay 2 will be available. This means users will be able to stream music to multiple HomePod units at once, or even combine playback on HomePod with other AirPlay 2 devices, like the Apple TV. For now, it's one HomePod only, and I couldn't find a way to stream to both my Apple TV 4K and HomePod.


    From what I've read, with iTunes running on a Mac, you can stream to multiple output speakers -- including the homePod.  Can you verify this, please?
    Streaming to multiple AirPlay speakers from iTunes on a Mac has always been possible with AirPlay 1. What's unique about AirPlay 2 is it will allow multi-speaker streaming from an iOS device.

    So to answer your question, yes, you can output to multiple speakers via iTunes on a Mac, but that's not new. You don't need to buy a HomePod to do that. You could do it with a couple of AirPort Expresses and any speaker of your choosing.
    It’s my understanding that AirPlay 2 will being much needed audio syncing for multiple speakers.
    Did I also hear that AirPlay 2 will allow different streams to be played on different HomePods?
    watto_cobra
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