HomePod review: Your mileage may vary, but crank it up for the ride

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  • Reply 21 of 109
    foggyhill said:
    maestro64 said:
    I think i figured why siri is so limited on the homepod, i seems like the question processing is mostly done on the homepod itself verses sending it out to a server first. Just a thought and Apple just needs to crack up its capabilities.
    This also means it is actually better for home automation, something many conveniently forget.

    Also, I totally disagree with 3.5 considering what the main selling point of this thing is. This is AGAIN a desingenious review.

    The review should be against the target market, not the imaginary in someone's head market.

    What speaker this size, can be placed anywhere, delivers this kind of sound... not one... bang... 4.5 to 5 rating, everything else is just prattling and the YMMV in a review is just bizarre too.

    When this thing sells 10M inside 12 months, will people change their tune, or will they slink to darkness like with every other Apple product.
    We are the perfect target market for this device. It was bought so my wife could use it and although it does sound great it had to be tied to my iPhone and not hers so in my opinion, the opinion of a target market user, it deserves a 3.5. Maybe lower. 
    edited February 11
  • Reply 22 of 109
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,669member
    skipper said:
    One correction. You can't set up the HomePod with ANY iPhone. You must be using an iPhone or iPad that uses the same AppleID as the Home in HomeKit.

    This is a major gotcha :(

    Imagine that a wife buys a HomePod for her kitchen but her husband has setup HomeKit with his AppleID. She won't be able to use her Notes, Reminders or Calendar through HomePod because HomeKit requires her husband's AppleID to add a device and then HomePod uses that AppleID as the HomePod owner. HomeKit 'steals' her device during setup and gives it to her husband in the setup process even though HomePod may be using her AppleID for music and podcasts.

    Perhaps a simple solution would be for HomePod setup to ask who in Family Sharing is the owner of the HomePod and then use that AppleID for Notes, Reminders and Calendars.

    Could this problem be caused by the fact that HomePod is both a smart speaker and a HomeKit hub?
    How stupid is that when you set up your wife phone using your own Apple ID? Same shit here. The primary user will get Apple ID in HomePod. Your troll is on another level!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 109
    Am I correct that the only way to use this as speakers for watching Television is to watch with the AppleTV?
  • Reply 24 of 109
    skipper said:
    One correction. You can't set up the HomePod with ANY iPhone. You must be using an iPhone or iPad that uses the same AppleID as the Home in HomeKit.

    This is a major gotcha :(

    Imagine that a wife buys a HomePod for her kitchen but her husband has setup HomeKit with his AppleID. She won't be able to use her Notes, Reminders or Calendar through HomePod because HomeKit requires her husband's AppleID to add a device and then HomePod uses that AppleID as the HomePod owner. HomeKit 'steals' her device during setup and gives it to her husband in the setup process even though HomePod may be using her AppleID for music and podcasts.

    Perhaps a simple solution would be for HomePod setup to ask who in Family Sharing is the owner of the HomePod and then use that AppleID for Notes, Reminders and Calendars.

    Could this problem be caused by the fact that HomePod is both a smart speaker and a HomeKit hub?
    I’m glad someone else has noticed this issue. I’ve read most every review and the reviews seem to miss the fact that it’s not just limited to a single iPhone but, no matter how many other iPhones your family owns, none of them can be used to setup and linked to the HomePod. This, to people with families, is an important limitation.  It kind of makes family members second rate citizens in the Apple ecosystem. 
  • Reply 25 of 109
    jsmythe00 said:
    ...interesting. Author admits to not using echo or Google home. Cool. But then compares their sound quality, which home pod excels in. But when it's time to compare Siri to them, he leaves that out. 

    That's like me comparing multitasking on my note 8 to IPX. Of course it wins .But when I get around to Samsung's face ID, I don't emphasize it's shortcomings.

    Get real on your assessment dude
    Multiple people handled the review. I clearly explained that portions comparing to Amazon and Google were provided by Max and Vadim. 

    Get real on your reading comprehension dude. 
    2old4funnetmagehammeroftruthracerhomie3muthuk_vanalingamargonaut
  • Reply 26 of 109
    gatorguy said: It's correct if speaking Spanish. Not when replying in American English, which again is different from British English.  So no it's not "more correct". Surely you don't think every English word derived from a foreign root, and there's a LOT of 'em, should be pronounced in that foreign language
    No, it's not only correct when speaking Spanish. I guarantee you that there are plenty of English speaking anglos in California that use "potty-o" and not "patty-o". And, again, it's a straw man to claim I don't think anglicized versions are correct. I'm disputing that Siri's use of the Spanish pronunciation is an error. 
  • Reply 27 of 109
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,166member
    Great review, very relevant to my personal use cases. I'm very heavily into music every day, along with Podcasts, but I very rarely use Siri, maybe one a month. The HomeKit integration is relevant however, so I'm looking forward to expanding my use of Siri in that area.

    As far as English pronunciation is concerned I've found the English (Canada) to be somewhat better for Americans in that it doesn't mangle my name. But complaining about pronunciation in any AI product isn't something I worry too much about. Having grown up outside of Boston I learned to become quite adept at deciphering spoken word that is barely recognizable as being English, so accommodating Siri's pronunciation is a piece of cake. No problemo, HomePod is still wickedly cool.
    kruegdudenhughesNotsofastwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 109
    gatorguy said: It's correct if speaking Spanish. Not when replying in American English, which again is different from British English.  So no it's not "more correct". Surely you don't think every English word derived from a foreign root, and there's a LOT of 'em, should be pronounced in that foreign language
    No, it's not only correct when speaking Spanish. I guarantee you that there are plenty of English speaking anglos in California that use "potty-o" and not "patty-o". And, again, it's a straw man to claim I don't think anglicized versions are correct. I'm disputing that Siri's use of the Spanish pronunciation is an error. 
    HomePod isn’t even available in Spanish speaking countries. While I appreciate your insight and background on the word patio, the argument regarding how she pronounces it is ultimately pedantic — Siri mispronounces a lot of things, regardless of the origin of the word. 

    Also, my wife’s first language is Spanish, and she says there is a distinct difference in that language — it’s two syllables in Spanish, which is different from the three syllables of a mispronounced “pot-e-oh.”
    edited February 11 netmage
  • Reply 29 of 109
    NY1822 said:
    Unfortunately when I ask to play the AppleInsider Podcast, it takes me to the Apple Cider Podcast 🙃
    Unfortunately, some people will not get your joke.
  • Reply 30 of 109
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,854member
    Saw the headline and thought for sure someone had put one of these in their car. 

    Wait...what?
  • Reply 31 of 109
    eightzero said:
    Saw the headline and thought for sure someone had put one of these in their car. 

    Wait...what?
    “HomePod doesn’t integrate with CarPlay! Apple is doomed!”
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 109
    nhughes said: HomePod isn’t even available in Spanish speaking countries. While I appreciate your insight and background on the word patio, the argument regarding how she pronounces it is ultimately pedantic — Siri mispronounces a lot of things, regardless of the origin of the word. 
    It's not pedantic when the article specifically uses the pronunciation of patio as if it were an obvious error. It's not.  
  • Reply 33 of 109
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 480member
    Just made this video....Homepod can hear me Whispering...

    https://youtu.be/rrTI8wmrMrw
  • Reply 34 of 109
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,336member
    Here's a short review that focuses on beam forming in the HomePod from the point of view of a physicist with a background in music:

    http://tingilinde.typepad.com/omenti/2018/02/the-next-step-in-home-audio.html

    There's an animation to click on that demonstrates how beam forming works.



  • Reply 35 of 109
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,950member
    gatorguy said:
    We have thousands of words in the English vocabulary that are not pronounced correctly by your 'standard'.
    You're making the same mistake as the other person that responded to me: I never said that the pronunciation the author expected was "incorrect". I said that Siri's use of the Spanish pronunciation was more correct. If you read the article, the author appears to believe that "potty-o" is some sort of hilarious mispronunciation and error by Siri. In fact, it's more correct than the English conversational version. For example, if I used the correct Latin pronunciation for vice versa, that wouldn't be hilariously incorrect. It would be more correct than the anglicized conversational version.
    It's correct if speaking Spanish. Not when replying in American English, which again is different from British English.  So no it's not "more correct". Surely you don't think every English word derived from a foreign root, and there's a LOT of 'em, should be pronounced in that foreign language, and the same whether conversing in London or talking in Atlanta.  That would open up a whole new set of problems. Paris, karate, pesos, Beethoven, delicatessen...

    When in Rome.
    So, we shouldn't reasonably expect Siri to understand anyone who speaks to it, regardless of which country they're in, or their native language, and any accents they may have in another language?

    i think this ridiculous debate highlights just how far Siri has to go.
  • Reply 36 of 109
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,865member
    tmay said:
    Here's a short review that focuses on beam forming in the HomePod from the point of view of a physicist with a background in music:

    http://tingilinde.typepad.com/omenti/2018/02/the-next-step-in-home-audio.html

    There's an animation to click on that demonstrates how beam forming works.



    But that may not be exactly how Apple's beam-forming works, correct? Just confirming before reading thru the whole thing for myself. 

    EDIT: Nevermind, It wasn't a scientific "physicists" explanation as much as his personal experience with HomePod in his particular layout and placement. There's no doubt that it's a good speaker. Thanks for the link tho. 
    edited February 11
  • Reply 37 of 109
    I agree the sound quality blew me away, not being an audiophile it still amazed me almost as much as the design. I think Siri could get more credit; at least in my usage. I found it to be very fun and easy to use. It even deciphered lyrics of a song I spoke and played the song I couldn’t think of. Siri also had a pleasant conversation with Google Home. If you place them together and ask Google to say “Hey Siri” which also invoked the HomePod, they begin a cute conversation. While I also agree Siri could use a “giant leap” of an upgrade, I think it’s up to par for what I use it for and I think Siri’s voice sounds really good coming from the HomePod.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 109
    nhughes said: HomePod isn’t even available in Spanish speaking countries. While I appreciate your insight and background on the word patio, the argument regarding how she pronounces it is ultimately pedantic — Siri mispronounces a lot of things, regardless of the origin of the word. 
    It's not pedantic when the article specifically uses the pronunciation of patio as if it were an obvious error. It's not.  
    Oh Lord. Let it go. 
    amarkapargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 109
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 480member
    Notsofast said:
    NY1822 said:
    Unfortunately when I ask to play the AppleInsider Podcast, it takes me to the Apple Cider Podcast 🙃
    Unfortunately, some people will not get your joke.
    it's not joke...lol...im serious...no matter how i say it, i get the Apple Cider Podcast
  • Reply 40 of 109
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,336member
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:
    Here's a short review that focuses on beam forming in the HomePod from the point of view of a physicist with a background in music:

    http://tingilinde.typepad.com/omenti/2018/02/the-next-step-in-home-audio.html

    There's an animation to click on that demonstrates how beam forming works.



    But that may not be exactly how Apple's beam-forming works, correct? Just confirming before reading thru the whole thing for myself. 

    EDIT: Nevermind, It wasn't a scientific "physicists" explanation as much as his personal experience with HomePod in his particular layout and placement. There's no doubt that it's a good speaker. Thanks for the link tho. 
    Literally half of the article was a "scientific explanation" for laymen from a physicist that has experience in the field. 

    Here's the explanatory text from the link and he doesn't even mention the HomePod until the very last sentence:

    "I'm a poor musician, but find it an important part of my life.  Grad school was at Stony Brook.  Besides an excellent physics department one of my reasons for doing grad school at Stony Brook was it's proximity to music in  New York City..  That wasn't quite enough, so two of us founded a concert series at the university that thrives to this day.  At Bell Labs it became apparent that music might be a significant driver for Internet use and I found myself walking many paths.  One was sound field reconstruction.

     

    Sound field reconstruction is just the fancy way of  recreating the sound where it was recorded or engineered in your home.  In theory you record the acoustic signatures of the recording studio and your living room and create a mathematical operation that makes your living room sound like the recording space.  In practice it's approximately hard.  Sound waves are fairly large and get reflected, absorbed and transmitted by and through everything in your room.  Making matters worse the sound field at different spots in the room is usually very different and things in the room move between and during listening sessions.  We made serious progress, but it took exotic microphone and speaker arrays as well as state of the art (for the time) computing to make it sort of work.,

     

    One detail is centrally important.  Imagine sitting before a simple speaker cone.  Most of the sound comes straight at you with the volume falling off as you get away from the speaker's central axis.  Speakers have very characteristic patterns showing how loud they are depending on the angle you're sitting at as well as the frequency of the sound they're producing.  If you have two stereo speakers there is usually a sweet spot where the sound reproduction is optimal.  In this area the sound field can be fairly good and you can close your eyes and visualize where the musicians are.

     

    Imagine an array of speakers, each with it's own amplifier, all controlled by a computer, you can control the phase and amplitude (loudness) of each speaker.  The waves they send out interfere with each other as they expand outwards.   By controlling the phase and loudness (amplitude) of each speaker you can make them interfere in such a way that they create a new wave that can be aimed.  The little animation shows an array of four speakers in a row, but it can be any number and they don't have to be in a line.  The HomePod uses seven small speakers arranged in a ring."  

    The HomePod also has a ring shaped array of six microphones.  They listen to the room (sample it) at a fairly high rate and decide what parts of the music, from it's stereo signature, need to go where and how it needs be modified to interact with the room and everything in it.  An Apple A8 processor, the same two billion transistor processor used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, handles the computational chores.  This is much more power than we had back in the day.  Although I don't know exactly what they're working on, several people I know who are real experts at this have been at Apple for years."



    edited February 11 argonaut
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