Tune HomePod's sound using equalizers in iOS and macOS

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 84
    I’ve got one and it sounds great, right out of the box. That’s supposed to be the idea, isn’t it?

    It boggles the mind that anyone would spend the money to get a HomePod with advanced tech to actively and dynamically adjust playback to fit the acoustics of the room, and the first thing they want is manual controls so they can override all of it. 


    lkrupp
  • Reply 22 of 84
    AppleZulu said:
    I’ve got one and it sounds great, right out of the box. That’s supposed to be the idea, isn’t it?

    It boggles the mind that anyone would spend the money to get a HomePod with advanced tech to actively and dynamically adjust playback to fit the acoustics of the room, and the first thing they want is manual controls so they can override all of it. 

    FWIW, the iPad HiFi was introduced in Feb 2006 for $350 the same price as the homePod.   Accounting for inflation, the iPod HiFi would sell for $434.24 in Dec 2017 dollars.

    https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

    So, comparing the tech and sound capability -- todays homePod price is pretty good.
  • Reply 23 of 84
    jcs2305 said:
    bobf4321 said:
    I'm a senior, and like most people, as we age the frequency response of our ears degrades.  My high frequency response is degraded from when I was younger, and in fact is worse in one ear.  The HomePod may be able to self-adjust to its surroundings, but how can it self-adjust to our individual ears?  There is no calibration step where it asks you if the treble is high enough, or clear enough.  In the past, we can adjust for our ears by using equalization controls.  HomePod has to either give us those controls, or include a personal calibration test.  Also, do the existing controls in iTunes or IOS adjust Siri's voice in addition to music response?  I think not.
    Do you have the speaker ?  I ask because it seems you already think you will need to make adjustments to Its sound signature because of your hearing, without even hearing it for yourself in home? 

    I understand the change in frequency response with age and wear and tear on the ears. My father is nearly 70 and has been a musician for over 50 years. To say his frequency response has changed is an understatement, and his right ear is particularly compromised.  I am having him over today to see what he thinks of the sound of the HomePod. 
    First, I hope you post your fathers opinion.  And, if possible, play music through iTunes at several equalizer settings to see if it sound better or worse to him.

    I am 78 years old and I can tune the homePod with the equalizer so it sounds significantly better to me.
  • Reply 24 of 84
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,269member
    larrya said:
    maestro64 said:
    scafe2 said:

    Well after all the hype and excellent reviews, I must say I disagree, the HomePod sounds ok but not great, there is too much bass, I think there is a real need to be able to make adjustments.,  but after reading several forums I seem to be on my own here , so do I have a faulty HP or am I doing something wrong? is it the position / placement in my room or what it is placed on affecting it.,, because the rumbling / droning Bass is overpowering 

    By the way I like bass on my Bose speaker and BW Zeppelin but must say I am not liking it so much the Homepod 

    This why you can not trust internet reviewers of audio equipment. Everyone has their own presence of what sounds good. Some people actual like tinny sounds over heavy bass some people do not like how the bass feels on their body. My wife is one she does not like heavy bass music in my car. However the homepod seems to balance this she did not seem to mind it's bass. But just another set of opinions.
    We are starting to see objective (i.e., not based on preview units) reviews now, and this one agrees with scafe2.

    https://www.kirkville.com/homepod-review-when-it-sounds-good-its-great-but-it-doesnt-always-sound-good/ 

    "...sometimes this speaker sounds really great, sometimes it really doesn’t. I did find that, playing music from iTunes, with the Bass Reducer setting on the Equalizer, much of the music sounded better. There was less booming bass, and more subtle sounds. But no matter what, the midrange is weak on a speaker like this.

    What the HomePod needs, of course, is user access to settings like an equalizer..."

    Midrange thin?  I haven't heard it, but I doubt that very much.   Midrange is all most of these types of devices actually replicate.   Also, room acoustics have everything to do with how any device is going to sound.   That's why almost all A/V receivers come with a microphone and a setup mode where the device generates tones to each speaker and equalizes the system for the room.   If you set the HP on a table that will vibrate, you'll get boomy bass.    If you set it close to a wall, you'll probably get more bass.   So you have to experiment with location.   How it sounds also depends upon the level at which you listen.   We perceive bass and high end differently at low levels.  This has been documented as the Fletcher-Munson curve.   That's why hi-fi systems going back to the 1960's had a "loudness compensation" switch.   That increased the bass and treble at low volumes and gradually rolled off as one increased the volume.    Apple has something similar, but it's not volume dependent.  It's essentially what the "R&B" and "Loudness" EQ settings attempt to do in iTunes.  

    And there's no such thing as an objective review of a sound system unless they're taking measurements.  It's always subjective and also very source dependent. 
    edited February 10
  • Reply 25 of 84
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,175member
    jdw said:
    Gee.  And I thought the HomePod was so great sounding a device one no longer need to resort to an EQ!
    Some Many people have hearing deficits in certain frequencies that obviously a HomePod cannot know about.  However, read next post ... I didn't need EQ with HomePod.
    edited February 10
  • Reply 26 of 84
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,175member

    jcs2305 said:
    bobf4321 said:
    I'm a senior, and like most people, as we age the frequency response of our ears degrades.  My high frequency response is degraded from when I was younger, and in fact is worse in one ear.  The HomePod may be able to self-adjust to its surroundings, but how can it self-adjust to our individual ears?  There is no calibration step where it asks you if the treble is high enough, or clear enough.  In the past, we can adjust for our ears by using equalization controls.  HomePod has to either give us those controls, or include a personal calibration test.  Also, do the existing controls in iTunes or IOS adjust Siri's voice in addition to music response?  I think not.
    Do you have the speaker ?  I ask because it seems you already think you will need to make adjustments to Its sound signature because of your hearing, without even hearing it for yourself in home? 

    I understand the change in frequency response with age and wear and tear on the ears. My father is nearly 70 and has been a musician for over 50 years. To say his frequency response has changed is an understatement, and his right ear is particularly compromised.  I am having him over today to see what he thinks of the sound of the HomePod. 
    I have hearing problems, damaged tympanic membrane in right ear from childhood illness, drastic drop off above 6KHz in both (age?) and to top it off tinnitus too.  I have a very good audio system but have to use sub-titles to follow speech especially in shows with a lot of music or back ground effects.  Last night we watched several shows from Apple TV IV/ Netflix and used the HomePod and to my amazement I didn't once need to read the text.  I was stunned.
    edited February 10 roundaboutnow
  • Reply 27 of 84
    IMO, here is one way this could go in the future to provide automatic equalization for setup of multiple homePod speakers in a home theatre arrangement.

    During setup of the system:

    1. identify each individual who (normally) will be using the system by analyzing their "Hey Siri" commands -- saving an individual voice print
    2. calibrate each individual's hearing by playing a series of tone pairs, asking which sounds better -- and saving an individual hearing print

    B. While using the system:

    1. assume multiple homePods talking to each other and dynamically adjusting their output based on each other, room characteristics, and the profile of the sound being played *
    2. have each listener position them-self in the room and say "Hey Siri" so the homePods could identify them and where they are **
         * Apparently the homePods will be able to do this now/soon
         ** unidentified listeners could be set to homePod defaults or setup as above


    C. So, the homePod Sound System, the homePod speakers will know:

    1. about each other
    2. the room's sound characteristics
    3. the profile of the sound being played
    4. who is listening
    5. the sound/speaker preferences for each listener's hearing
    6. the position in the room of each listener

    Given that, the homePod Sound System could dynamically tune itself to provide the best listening experience for all those present.

    And, yeah -- no fiddly equalizers 
    edited February 10
  • Reply 28 of 84
    wigbywigby Posts: 665member
    jdw said:
    Gee.  And I thought the HomePod was so great sounding a device one no longer need to resort to an EQ!
    Never underestimate the demands of an audiophile.
  • Reply 29 of 84
    MacPro said:

    jcs2305 said:
    bobf4321 said:
    I'm a senior, and like most people, as we age the frequency response of our ears degrades.  My high frequency response is degraded from when I was younger, and in fact is worse in one ear.  The HomePod may be able to self-adjust to its surroundings, but how can it self-adjust to our individual ears?  There is no calibration step where it asks you if the treble is high enough, or clear enough.  In the past, we can adjust for our ears by using equalization controls.  HomePod has to either give us those controls, or include a personal calibration test.  Also, do the existing controls in iTunes or IOS adjust Siri's voice in addition to music response?  I think not.
    Do you have the speaker ?  I ask because it seems you already think you will need to make adjustments to Its sound signature because of your hearing, without even hearing it for yourself in home? 

    I understand the change in frequency response with age and wear and tear on the ears. My father is nearly 70 and has been a musician for over 50 years. To say his frequency response has changed is an understatement, and his right ear is particularly compromised.  I am having him over today to see what he thinks of the sound of the HomePod. 
    I have hearing problems, damaged tympanic membrane in right ear from childhood illness, drastic drop off above 6KHz in both (age?) and to top it off tinnitus too.  I have a very good audio system but have to use sub-titles to follow speech especially in shows with a lot of music or back ground effects.  Last night we watched several shows from Apple TV IV/ Netflix and used the HomePod and to my amazement I didn't once need to read the text.  I was stunned.
    Yes jcs2305, I got mine yesterday so haven’t tried everything yet, but my first impression was that speech sounded a little muffled.  And thank you MacPro, sometimes I have to turn on subtitles... going to try this with a few movies on my Apple TV...
  • Reply 30 of 84
    scafe2 said:

    Well after all the hype and excellent reviews, I must say I disagree, the HomePod sounds ok but not great, there is too much bass, I think there is a real need to be able to make adjustments.,  but after reading several forums I seem to be on my own here , so do I have a faulty HP or am I doing something wrong? is it the position / placement in my room or what it is placed on affecting it.,, because the rumbling / droning Bass is overpowering 

    By the way I like bass on my Bose speaker and BW Zeppelin but must say I am not liking it so much the Homepod 

    Preposterous - the HomePod sounds better than a $50,000 audiophile system. Everyone here told us so before they heard the thing. 
    Besides, Apple is perfect in every way and their products are more perfect - this is why they never have to improve products or release updates. 

    The bass is perfect for everyone in every situation conceivable. Only imperfect people would not understand that... so i think you have some soul-searching to to...

    Please stop trolling this forum with your opinions that your own personal experience may differ - or having personal opinions at all. 
  • Reply 31 of 84
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,320member
    At a minimum, the HomePod needs an option to filter out low-frequency sounds and vibrations.  Such sounds and infrasounds pass through walls very easily and can be annoying or irritating.  Media producers might not expect these signals to be reproduced at the listeners' end (especially if they've never experienced a HomePod :-) or may even be unaware of such signals being present in their program material.
    I'd also welcome a standard equalizer for the device itself. The HomePod certainly has the capability and it's been a criticism of every Sonos and Echo I've purchased.  Like millions of people in the U.S. alone, I have a hearing deficit that could be greatly compensated for by an equalizer. This is most important for understanding the spoken word. While the HomePod is very good for this, it could still be improved. An EQ would enable accurate perception at a lower overall volume.
    edited February 10
  • Reply 32 of 84
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,890member
    How something sounds is a very personal experience and cannot be packaged or codified. That’s why we can expect strident bitching about how the HomePod sounds. The Apple Discussion Forums are full of bitching about the HomePod’s construction, lack of knobs to control Treble, Bass, Midrange, etc. One guy is adamant about the HomePod not having dedicated mid-range speakers making it subpar. Some are outraged that the HP doesn’t support Spotify, iHeart, and all the rest. They expect Siri to be the same as it is on the iPhone. One commenter complained that he couldn’t get his calendar information from the HP by asking for it through Siri. People are expecting iPhone Siri or Alexa on the HomePod and I blame Apple big time for that lack of transparency in those customers who didn’t know what they were getting. Perhaps it was also the news media who keep equating the HomePod with the Echo.

    I’m usually an unflappable fanboy but I gotta say Apple has blown it with this release. For whatever reason people are expecting it to be something it is not. It’s a high quality music player with VERY limited AI assistance, not the other way around. I think Sonos, with it’s Alexa integration, is going to kick the HomePod’s ass sideways till Sunday.

    All I can say is you have 14 days to return it for a refund and don’t buy it unless you fully understand what it is and what it is not.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 33 of 84
    AppleZulu said:
    I’ve got one and it sounds great, right out of the box. That’s supposed to be the idea, isn’t it?

    It boggles the mind that anyone would spend the money to get a HomePod with advanced tech to actively and dynamically adjust playback to fit the acoustics of the room, and the first thing they want is manual controls so they can override all of it. 


    And one algorithm to rule them all huh? 
    Beam-forming has limitations FYI - it’s called physics. 
  • Reply 34 of 84
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,890member

    scafe2 said:

    Well after all the hype and excellent reviews, I must say I disagree, the HomePod sounds ok but not great, there is too much bass, I think there is a real need to be able to make adjustments.,  but after reading several forums I seem to be on my own here , so do I have a faulty HP or am I doing something wrong? is it the position / placement in my room or what it is placed on affecting it.,, because the rumbling / droning Bass is overpowering 

    By the way I like bass on my Bose speaker and BW Zeppelin but must say I am not liking it so much the Homepod 

    You have 14 days to return it. Do it instead of bitching about it here.
  • Reply 35 of 84
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,320member
    lkrupp said:
    You have 14 days to return it. Do it instead of bitching about it here.
    Yeah, this site is for fanboys only.  Fanboys don't complain. The 1st Amendment is meaningless.
    edited February 10
  • Reply 36 of 84
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,569member
    IMO, here is one way this could go in the future to provide automatic equalization for setup of multiple homePod speakers in a home theatre arrangement.

    During setup of the system:

    1. identify each individual who (normally) will be using the system by analyzing their "Hey Siri" commands -- saving an individual voice print
    2. calibrate each individual's hearing by playing a series of tone pairs, asking which sounds better -- and saving an individual hearing print

    B. While using the system:

    1. assume multiple homePods talking to each other and dynamically adjusting their output based on each other, room characteristics, and the profile of the sound being played *
    2. have each listener position them-self in the room and say "Hey Siri" so the homePods could identify them and where they are **
         * Apparently the homePods will be able to do this now/soon
         ** unidentified listeners could be set to homePod defaults or setup as above


    C. So, the homePod Sound System, the homePod speakers will know:

    1. about each other
    2. the room's sound characteristics
    3. the profile of the sound being played
    4. who is listening
    5. the sound/speaker preferences for each listener's hearing
    6. the position in the room of each listener

    Given that, the homePod Sound System could dynamically tune itself to provide the best listening experience for all those present.

    And, yeah -- no fiddly equalizers 
    I certainly believe that Apple could do this with a varied collection of its devices, and possibly even realtime with iBeacon location tracking (nogbody talks about iBeacon anymore!). AirPods, with a bit of help from a test app on an iOS device, would likely be one of the best solutions for mapping the deficits in each ear of a listener. Providing this profile to HomePod for inclusion in an audio transform would certainly be straightforward; better when HomePod recognizes individuals via Siri. The only issue I would have is the weight that you would apply to each users profile; I suppose that would have to be part of the equalization process/app in the case of multiple users.

    Mapping room sound would likely be best employed using the iPhones microphones, and would benefit from an A/R app that would provide visual cues to the mapping process, as well as mapping audio sources and ambient surfaces like wall and furniture. Mapping an ambient surface as reflecting or absorbing using color and/or tescture, would give a user a good idea of where wall hangings and such might be beneficial. 

    AFAIKT, the skies the limit for HomePod and audio, and no less so for the competitors. Still Apple's ecosystem is a convenience that many people gladly op in to.
  • Reply 37 of 84
    tmay said:
    IMO, here is one way this could go in the future to provide automatic equalization for setup of multiple homePod speakers in a home theatre arrangement.

    During setup of the system:

    1. identify each individual who (normally) will be using the system by analyzing their "Hey Siri" commands -- saving an individual voice print
    2. calibrate each individual's hearing by playing a series of tone pairs, asking which sounds better -- and saving an individual hearing print

    B. While using the system:

    1. assume multiple homePods talking to each other and dynamically adjusting their output based on each other, room characteristics, and the profile of the sound being played *
    2. have each listener position them-self in the room and say "Hey Siri" so the homePods could identify them and where they are **
         * Apparently the homePods will be able to do this now/soon
         ** unidentified listeners could be set to homePod defaults or setup as above


    C. So, the homePod Sound System, the homePod speakers will know:

    1. about each other
    2. the room's sound characteristics
    3. the profile of the sound being played
    4. who is listening
    5. the sound/speaker preferences for each listener's hearing
    6. the position in the room of each listener

    Given that, the homePod Sound System could dynamically tune itself to provide the best listening experience for all those present.

    And, yeah -- no fiddly equalizers 
    I certainly believe that Apple could do this with a varied collection of its devices, and possibly even realtime with iBeacon location tracking (nogbody talks about iBeacon anymore!). AirPods, with a bit of help from a test app on an iOS device, would likely be one of the best solutions for mapping the deficits in each ear of a listener. Providing this profile to HomePod for inclusion in an audio transform would certainly be straightforward; better when HomePod recognizes individuals via Siri. The only issue I would have is the weight that you would apply to each users profile; I suppose that would have to be part of the equalization process/app in the case of multiple users.

    Mapping room sound would likely be best employed using the iPhones microphones, and would benefit from an A/R app that would provide visual cues to the mapping process, as well as mapping audio sources and ambient surfaces like wall and furniture. Mapping an ambient surface as reflecting or absorbing using color and/or tescture, would give a user a good idea of where wall hangings and such might be beneficial. 

    AFAIKT, the skies the limit for HomePod and audio, and no less so for the competitors. Still Apple's ecosystem is a convenience that many people gladly op in to.
    Mmm...

    I hadn't even thought of using hardware (iPhones and beacons, etc.).  That's an excellent idea -- especially the motion tracking. *  If the sound studio / home theatre included a TV, they could ARKit and WIFISLAM to portray the room itself, the room's acoustical environment and occupants location and hearing profile.

    Running a test app on a user's iPhone is a fantastic idea for creating a user hearing profile.

    Also, there's the potential for isolating instruments, or groups of instruments) to a specific homePods and combining that into the experience.

    * I moved the homePod into the family room about 30' away from the iTunes iMac in the dining room.  When I got up from the iMac to go nearer to the homePod, it lost sound when I walked in between it and the iMac.  Note: I am using a crummy Airport 2 GHz WiFi (I have a Linksys mesh system), so I can use an old Airport Express to incorporate into the sound system.  I'm convincing myself that it makes more sense/$ to buy new tech homePods rather than old tech Airport Expresses + speakers + cables.

    Ha! We seem to be on the same wavelength (pun) about the potential of this new tech.
  • Reply 38 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,041member
    lkrupp said:
    scafe2 said:

    Well after all the hype and excellent reviews, I must say I disagree, the HomePod sounds ok but not great, there is too much bass, I think there is a real need to be able to make adjustments.,  but after reading several forums I seem to be on my own here , so do I have a faulty HP or am I doing something wrong? is it the position / placement in my room or what it is placed on affecting it.,, because the rumbling / droning Bass is overpowering 

    By the way I like bass on my Bose speaker and BW Zeppelin but must say I am not liking it so much the Homepod 

    You have 14 days to return it. Do it instead of bitching about it here.
    I thought I read that it’s only 10 days.

    edit: I did, but it’s for AC+’s express replacement service where you have 10 business days before you’re charged a late fee.

    •  https://support.apple.com/homepod/repair/service
    edited February 10
  • Reply 39 of 84
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,464member
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:

    scafe2 said:

    Well after all the hype and excellent reviews, I must say I disagree, the HomePod sounds ok but not great, there is too much bass, I think there is a real need to be able to make adjustments.,  but after reading several forums I seem to be on my own here , so do I have a faulty HP or am I doing something wrong? is it the position / placement in my room or what it is placed on affecting it.,, because the rumbling / droning Bass is overpowering 

    By the way I like bass on my Bose speaker and BW Zeppelin but must say I am not liking it so much the Homepod 

    You have 14 days to return it. Do it instead of bitching about it here.
    I thought I read that it’s only 10 days.
    I believe you are correct. 10 days.

    EDIT: re-reading it looks like the 10 day return window we both "remembered" may apply to advance replacement under AppleCare. 
    edited February 10
  • Reply 40 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,041member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:

    scafe2 said:

    Well after all the hype and excellent reviews, I must say I disagree, the HomePod sounds ok but not great, there is too much bass, I think there is a real need to be able to make adjustments.,  but after reading several forums I seem to be on my own here , so do I have a faulty HP or am I doing something wrong? is it the position / placement in my room or what it is placed on affecting it.,, because the rumbling / droning Bass is overpowering 

    By the way I like bass on my Bose speaker and BW Zeppelin but must say I am not liking it so much the Homepod 

    You have 14 days to return it. Do it instead of bitching about it here.
    I thought I read that it’s only 10 days.
    I believe you are correct. 10 days.
    We probably read the same thing, but it’s still a 14 day return policy from the time you receive your purchase, at least in the US.

    • https://www.apple.com/shop/help/returns_refund
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