Consumer Reports' dismissal of HomePod a familiar tale to Apple fans [u]

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  • Reply 41 of 106
    Soli said:
    Soli said: As even AI's video comparison shows, if you have a Google Home Max as your sole speaker system under your TV facing your couch, it'll be a better result than the HomePod.
    The problem there is that the HomePod's design is obviously meant to eliminate the need for sitting directly in front of the speaker to get it's best sound. So even if the Max was judged to have an advantage there, it's not necessarily much of a point relative to the HomePod's design. I think most people that have owned forward facing compact systems know that's a significant weak spot.
    That may be their intent, but my experience with the HomePod set up very similar to how Apple demonstrated tesulted in less-than-ideal experience. Sound was clearly coming from one side of the room. Even when placing it in front of the TV I was able to discern the location of the sound in a blind test when it was off center by a surprisingly small distance. The only big feature is this beam-forming sound that's support to analyze the space the people in it. if that does exist in what is reportedly a beta OS on the HomePod (which I don't recall Apple ever doing with a shipping product), it's not as good as I expected. As the AI comparative review stats, it works best when placed in the center of the room because the speakers are even spaced around the device, but how common is that? I'd need to use an extension cord to do that because of the length of the power cable (which is a reasonable length for a typically-placed speaker), and it still has the issue of not being an even sound unless I place it in front of the TV at its center point when connected to my Apple TV. My component speaker setup with an Echo Plus attached simply has much better sound and better functionality, but for me to say that here seems to offend people.


    Are you trying to use a homepod to replace a component system? Like a set up with a sub? I am not offended btw. I am just trying to envision what you are trying to accomplish with this speaker.
  • Reply 42 of 106
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 1,926administrator
    jorgie said:
    I am sure they at least as fair-and-balanced about Apple as a website with Apple in its name.

    I'm pretty sure you didn't read this editorial.
  • Reply 43 of 106
    CR is like every other review site.  It’s more about confirming what you’ve heard somewhere else.

    For cars I’ll look at CR reliability/safety studies, warranty comparisons etc.  but these are just data points.  For subjective reviews I’ll look at customer experiences, and car expert reviews.  All that just determines which cars to test drive.  Because in the end only my review matters.

    The same goes for audio devices...

    Personally, I have some Panasonic wireless headphones that work fine so spending on a HomePad that doesn’t even connect to the TV is a no go.
    Well good news for you; you've been misinformed as the Homepod does connect to the Apple TV.
  • Reply 44 of 106
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,164member
    I understand that Consumer Reports' entire business model used to be predicated being a relevant, trustworthy, and objective evaluator of consumer products. That was a very lofty and admirable set of goals but they have not always been up to the task and have skewed off the path of objectivity many a time. In the printed media dominated era they seemed to be able to maintain an illusion of legitimacy within their own sphere of influence because it was hard for the average person to follow up on their supposedly objective claims and predictions that fell flat. I gave up on them many decades ago when I realized that there was too little knowledge and expertise behind the facade. CR is just another opinion piece disguised as objective evaluation, not even up to the standard of being a psuedo-sciece that's so popular in political circles. With the internet and nearly infinite alternative information sources available today CR is just one tiny opinion in a vast sea of opinions. Some of those seaborne opinions wash up on the shore and smell like dead fish. Perhaps for grandmas and grandpas who still have Reader's Digest, TV Guide, and National Enquirer print subscriptions mailed to them, CR still maintains an air of authority. For the rest of us they have become irrelevant, redundant, and a shriveling artifact decaying on the beach. 
    roundaboutnowpscooter63macky the macky
  • Reply 45 of 106
    I’m quite pleased with the sound of the HomePod but Siri really sucks. I’m finding I didn’t stress (use) it rigorously before. Now I’m using it all the time since it’s hands-off and Siri blows big time. I’m returning my HomePod and will get one later if Apple get’s their AI act together. 

    Works fine as as long as all I want is the outdoor temp and a forecast. Or sports scores. But try something as simple as requesting a radio station using the exact verbiage on the Apple site and ⅔ of the time Siri will give you something totally different. Disgusting. 
  • Reply 46 of 106
    "Apple says that every time you move the speaker, it senses the motion, then automatically adjusts itself to its placement in the room using a series of test tones and complex algorithms to minimize reflections from nearby walls or other objects. That’s not a feature we evaluated."

    ...is such a core aspect of the design...?  Could that explain why they found the sound (or EQ) less to their liking...?
    Is that quote from their actual review?

    Not evaluating a core feature/aspect of a product's design that has a direct bearing on performance is very un-scientific.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 47 of 106
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 1,926administrator
    "Apple says that every time you move the speaker, it senses the motion, then automatically adjusts itself to its placement in the room using a series of test tones and complex algorithms to minimize reflections from nearby walls or other objects. That’s not a feature we evaluated."

    ...is such a core aspect of the design...?  Could that explain why they found the sound (or EQ) less to their liking...?
    Is that quote from their actual review?

    Not evaluating a core feature/aspect of a product's design that has a direct bearing on performance is very un-scientific.
    It is an actual quote, yes.
  • Reply 47 of 106
    Any product Amazon offers is highly praised. Any product Apple offers is seen as an expensive toy. Nothing will ever change the tech industry's view of Apple products. I've given up on expecting anything to change favorably for Apple a long time ago.
  • Reply 49 of 106
    "Apple says that every time you move the speaker, it senses the motion, then automatically adjusts itself to its placement in the room using a series of test tones and complex algorithms to minimize reflections from nearby walls or other objects. That’s not a feature we evaluated."

    ...is such a core aspect of the design...?  Could that explain why they found the sound (or EQ) less to their liking...?
    Is that quote from their actual review?

    Not evaluating a core feature/aspect of a product's design that has a direct bearing on performance is very un-scientific.
    It is an actual quote, yes.
    Dang. I tend to think they might still be ok for vacuum cleaners, washing machines and such, but now I'm not so sure...
  • Reply 50 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,852member
    "Apple says that every time you move the speaker, it senses the motion, then automatically adjusts itself to its placement in the room using a series of test tones and complex algorithms to minimize reflections from nearby walls or other objects. That’s not a feature we evaluated."

    ...is such a core aspect of the design...?  Could that explain why they found the sound (or EQ) less to their liking...?
    Is that quote from their actual review?

    Not evaluating a core feature/aspect of a product's design that has a direct bearing on performance is very un-scientific.
    It is an actual quote, yes.
    Mike, since it's something that's done seamlessly it's not something they should have to consider is it? The HomePod should sound its best no matter whether it was moved from one spot to another. 
    mazda 3s
  • Reply 51 of 106
    Soli said:
    There are reviews that have the Sonos Play 3 and Play 5 as being better single speaker options for directional setups, and, of course, Apple fanatics are first make claims that no one uses any Alexa of Google Now features except for playing music (denial, plus it allows them to negate that people can easily connect their ), which is usually followed by comments that they'll make it a better digital personal assistant soon (sounds like how Android fanatics talk about Android on this forum), which all ignores that so many said that Apple would've made a home-based digital personal assistant years ago if there was ever a market for it and that they'd never have something in their home that could always be listening (despite having mics, cameras, and internet-connected devices in pretty much every facet of their life).
    That would go close to being a world record sentence Soli :smiley: 
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 52 of 106
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 1,926administrator
    If you can't see your comment, go read the commenting guidelines, as always, posted at the bottom of the page. Repost minus the bits that are against the rules, if you're so inclined.
  • Reply 53 of 106
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 1,926administrator
    gatorguy said:
    "Apple says that every time you move the speaker, it senses the motion, then automatically adjusts itself to its placement in the room using a series of test tones and complex algorithms to minimize reflections from nearby walls or other objects. That’s not a feature we evaluated."

    ...is such a core aspect of the design...?  Could that explain why they found the sound (or EQ) less to their liking...?
    Is that quote from their actual review?

    Not evaluating a core feature/aspect of a product's design that has a direct bearing on performance is very un-scientific.
    It is an actual quote, yes.
    Mike, since it's something that's done seamlessly it's not something they should have to consider is it? The HomePod should sound its best no matter whether it was moved from one spot to another. 
    I don't have an issue with them not testing that particular feature, and I didn't mention it in the story because it wasn't relevant to the larger point and would inflame for no real reason.

    My issue is, a drive-by assessment by CR with no discussion behind the opinion to try and capture the headline cycle. Why didn't they finish the evaluation, and publish after their customary month?
    edited February 13
  • Reply 54 of 106
    larryalarrya Posts: 461member
    This article is really unbecoming, and unworthy of Appleinsider.

    After the author clutches his pearls about this awful conspiracy he admits, "I don't have a HomePod, nor do I have a Google Home Max, so I can't speak to the accuracy of the Consumer Reports declaration."  I watched a blind listening test on YouTube this morning where most thought the Google Max sounded better.  This might be a good time to take a vacation from the bubble.


  • Reply 55 of 106
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 1,926administrator
    larrya said:
    This article is really unbecoming, and unworthy of Appleinsider.

    After the author clutches his pearls about this awful conspiracy he admits, "I don't have a HomePod, nor do I have a Google Home Max, so I can't speak to the accuracy of the Consumer Reports declaration."  I watched a blind listening test on YouTube this morning where most thought the Google Max sounded better.  This might be a good time to take a vacation from the bubble.


    Did you actually read the editorial? This isn't about a "bubble" as you think your half-quote attests to, it's about Consumer Reports' verdict and the disclosure of same. I literally don't care what they think about the product, but I take issue with how they presented it. 

    You omitted the most important part of that paragraph from your quote. The whole quote is:

    "I am not here to defend the HomePod, and Apple neither requires nor desires my assistance —and that's how it should be. I don't have a HomePod, nor do I have a Google Home Max, so I can't speak to the accuracy of the Consumer Reports declaration."

    Had they posted a Youtube blind listening preview, that would have been fine. What we got was zero reasoning behind it.


    edited February 13 Bluntroundaboutnowargonautmacky the macky
  • Reply 56 of 106
    Notsofast said:
    CR is like every other review site.  It’s more about confirming what you’ve heard somewhere else.

    For cars I’ll look at CR reliability/safety studies, warranty comparisons etc.  but these are just data points.  For subjective reviews I’ll look at customer experiences, and car expert reviews.  All that just determines which cars to test drive.  Because in the end only my review matters.

    The same goes for audio devices...

    Personally, I have some Panasonic wireless headphones that work fine so spending on a HomePad that doesn’t even connect to the TV is a no go.
    Well good news for you; you've been misinformed as the Homepod does connect to the Apple TV.
    Yes it absolutely does! Airplay from my phone and then Appletv were the 1st things I checked on last Friday. There was a lot of false info flying around that we had to wait for Airplay2 in order to get the homepod to be used as an airplay receiver at all.
  • Reply 57 of 106
    BluntBlunt Posts: 158member
    larrya said:
     I watched a blind listening test on YouTube this morning where most thought the Google Max sounded better.

    Sounds more like a deaf listening test.
  • Reply 58 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,852member
    gatorguy said:
    "Apple says that every time you move the speaker, it senses the motion, then automatically adjusts itself to its placement in the room using a series of test tones and complex algorithms to minimize reflections from nearby walls or other objects. That’s not a feature we evaluated."

    ...is such a core aspect of the design...?  Could that explain why they found the sound (or EQ) less to their liking...?
    Is that quote from their actual review?

    Not evaluating a core feature/aspect of a product's design that has a direct bearing on performance is very un-scientific.
    It is an actual quote, yes.
    Mike, since it's something that's done seamlessly it's not something they should have to consider is it? The HomePod should sound its best no matter whether it was moved from one spot to another. 
    I don't have an issue with them not testing that particular feature, and I didn't mention it in the story because it wasn't relevant to the larger point and would inflame for no real reason.

    My issue is, a drive-by assessment by CR with no discussion behind the opinion to try and capture the headline cycle. Why didn't they finish the evaluation, and publish after their customary month?
    With that I agree. I've not read the original CR piece. Did they say they were doing a more complete review this next month? If not it does lean towards a drive-by. 
    edited February 13
  • Reply 59 of 106
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 1,926administrator
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    "Apple says that every time you move the speaker, it senses the motion, then automatically adjusts itself to its placement in the room using a series of test tones and complex algorithms to minimize reflections from nearby walls or other objects. That’s not a feature we evaluated."

    ...is such a core aspect of the design...?  Could that explain why they found the sound (or EQ) less to their liking...?
    Is that quote from their actual review?

    Not evaluating a core feature/aspect of a product's design that has a direct bearing on performance is very un-scientific.
    It is an actual quote, yes.
    Mike, since it's something that's done seamlessly it's not something they should have to consider is it? The HomePod should sound its best no matter whether it was moved from one spot to another. 
    I don't have an issue with them not testing that particular feature, and I didn't mention it in the story because it wasn't relevant to the larger point and would inflame for no real reason.

    My issue is, a drive-by assessment by CR with no discussion behind the opinion to try and capture the headline cycle. Why didn't they finish the evaluation, and publish after their customary month?
    With that I agree. I've not read the original CR piece. Did they say they were doing a more complete review this next month? If not it does lean towards a drive-by. 
    "Full test results for these speakers, which also incorporate factors such as ease of use and versatility, will be released in the next few weeks."

    As far as I can tell, this is the first time they've pre-announced results from a test that won't be complete for a few weeks.
  • Reply 60 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,852member
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    "Apple says that every time you move the speaker, it senses the motion, then automatically adjusts itself to its placement in the room using a series of test tones and complex algorithms to minimize reflections from nearby walls or other objects. That’s not a feature we evaluated."

    ...is such a core aspect of the design...?  Could that explain why they found the sound (or EQ) less to their liking...?
    Is that quote from their actual review?

    Not evaluating a core feature/aspect of a product's design that has a direct bearing on performance is very un-scientific.
    It is an actual quote, yes.
    Mike, since it's something that's done seamlessly it's not something they should have to consider is it? The HomePod should sound its best no matter whether it was moved from one spot to another. 
    I don't have an issue with them not testing that particular feature, and I didn't mention it in the story because it wasn't relevant to the larger point and would inflame for no real reason.

    My issue is, a drive-by assessment by CR with no discussion behind the opinion to try and capture the headline cycle. Why didn't they finish the evaluation, and publish after their customary month?
    With that I agree. I've not read the original CR piece. Did they say they were doing a more complete review this next month? If not it does lean towards a drive-by. 
    "Full test results for these speakers, which also incorporate factors such as ease of use and versatility, will be released in the next few weeks."

    As far as I can tell, this is the first time they've pre-announced results from a test that won't be complete for a few weeks.
    Ah gotcha. Sounds like they're doing some promotion for the next CR mag with a "Here's what you have to look forward to in our next edition". 
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