Another test finds HomePod frequency response flat, but results potentially meaningless

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  • Reply 61 of 123
    Havin' fun... Playin' with the music on the HP... watchin' the stock go up (about $5)...

    IDK if the Apple HP is the cause -- or the other HP (the computer company -- seems like they have this crazy idea of selling DAS (Devices as A Service) to their enterprise customers... And the devices that enterprise want are Apple devices!

    https://www.crn.com/news/mobility/300099316/hp-is-bringing-apples-iphones-ipads-and-macbooks-to-its-device-as-a-service-offering.htm
  • Reply 62 of 123
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,954member
    dinoone said:
    One of the ways to rate a speaker is the relevance of its "positioning".

    Some active speakers will give their best only in a limited number of positionings, only in particular rooms, and only with some kinds of music.
    Some other active speakers would perform well in these variable situations more often than others.

    Now one of the distinctive selling points of the Apple HomePod is its capacity to "hear" the surrounding space and adapt the sound so that the final result for the listener is flat (good).

    That means that if you test HomePods in such an artificial setup as an anechoic chamber, when the HomePod tries to deploy its "listening" function to adapt its sound it will result as if it was positioned in the open air without any reflective surface, near or far, of any kind. But that would not reveal or test its distinctive feature. That doesn't mean that the HomePod is at fault: actually the test is at fault!

    An anechoic chamber would prevent the full operation of such key feature of the HomePod: the mitigation of the "positioning" issue that taints so many traditional speakers. 

    To test such key feature, one should test HomePods against competitors, incl. those much more expensive, in, say, 10 or 20 different rooms (sizes and furniture setups) and 10 or 20 different positioning in each room. 

    I.m.o. the other speakers would perform well only in some rooms/setup and especially in few positionings in these rooms, while fail in most of the others. The very expensive ones might perform well more often than the relatively inexpensive ones.
    Instead, still i.m.o., the HomePod is expected to perform well in most of the rooms, in most of the furniture setups, and in a large variety of positioning in all of the rooms. In this way the HomePod is going to challenge those very expensive speakers that perform well in many situations.

    This is the kind of comparative test that we need in order to give justice to such unique HomePod feature. HomePods are going to sound very good in any circumstance, including any end user's unique room/positioning, more likely than other speakers. 

    Therefore the real-life end-user performance of the HomePod is going to be statistically much better than that of the direct competition.
    You're absolutely right about everything except the part of the anechoic chamber somehow "hurting" the measurements of the HomePod.

    The reason the HomePod "listens" is to correct room anomalies. The anechoic chamber doesn't HAVE any anomalies so there's nothing for the HomePod to "fix." It is, like you say, the equivalent of testing the HomePod 100 feet in the air over an open field.

    I suppose it's possible the HomePod NEEDS room reflections to sound good, but it would be disappointing if it does. The concept of superimposing the sound of a random room over the sound of the recording is philosophically icky. It's not a problem if listeners like that effect, but it's definitely contrary to any notion of "audiophile" performance.
    The HomePod is designed for the real world, not an idealized sound environment. 
  • Reply 63 of 123
    Is this an editorial?
    Perhaps the “editorial” tag next to the headline wasn’t enough of a tip off...?
  • Reply 64 of 123

    foggyhill said: 
    It's not mono either
    This is one of several claims Apple makes about the HomePod that make me scratch my head a little...

    Apple says the HomePod beams "direct" sound to the middle of the room and "ambient" sound to the left and right. But then Apple ALSO claims that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Those are conflicting statements.

    Since people are saying the sound of the HomePod does remain very consistent as one moves around the room, the logical conclusion is that there can't be much in the way of directional cues coming out of it. If there were, listeners would perceive a change in the sound as they moved around.

    If that assessment is correct, it means that despite what Apple's marketing claims, it's really essentially a mono device.
    If you have a small shelf system with speakers two or three feet away, and you walk 15-20 feet away from it, does that system become mono? the speakers aren’t on your left and right anymore so you’re not getting a stereophonic effect to your ears, but it’s still not mono. 

    you cant just redefine words because you feel like it. 
    The meaning of the term "stereo" is not fully encapsulated just by saying "two channels." It refers to a configuration, which includes a more-or-less equilateral triangular relationship between the speakers and the listener. We don't have a term for what you describe, which, as you say, is similar to what the HomePod does, so I applied a qualifier that describes the experience from the perspective of the listener's perception, which is "essentially mono." In the absence of directional cues, the number of channels emanating from a single point is irrelevant.

    I don't yet know if the HomePod delivers any directional cues or not. Early reports SEEM to indicate that it doesn't in any meaningful way. That means either Apple's claims are exaggerated or the people saying "it sounds the same no matter where you are in the room" are not accurately describing what they're hearing.

    The significance is purely academic. It doesn't really matter very much in real life. The Pill+ I use in the kitchen is "essentially mono" too, and that's so far down the list of considerations in that setting as to be "essentially irrelevant!"
  • Reply 65 of 123

    Speaking of you, you haven't responded to my post asking you to please share your source(s) of information about HomePod-specific metadata for sound shaping/equalization. Is there a reason you don't want to?
    I did look for it -- spent about 40 minutes -- online discussions with Schiller and Eddie Cue, other forum sites (including Apple patents), even Apple developer docs/videos... when I came back to the thread, it had moved on (I hoped someone else would respond).

    IDK, maybe I just made it up ;)
    edited February 2018 lorin schultz
  • Reply 66 of 123
    nht said:
    You will not accurately recreate the reflections from the room the recording was made and nothing from the listening space unless you use headphones.
    I know. You're right. I guess the idealistic optimist in me likes to believe there's some room for "do the best you can" in between "Insist on perfect!" and "Just say 'fuck it' and don't even bother trying for accuracy."

    I hope I'm not coming across as either adversarial or condemning Apple. I intend neither. I'm not complaining about the HomePod -- I may even buy one myself someday, if a use case for it ever arises for me -- I'm just responding to claims that I think describe it inaccurately and mentally exploring how the new approaches to reproduction offered by the HomePod impact the home entertainment experience.
  • Reply 67 of 123

    Speaking of you, you haven't responded to my post asking you to please share your source(s) of information about HomePod-specific metadata for sound shaping/equalization. Is there a reason you don't want to?
    I did look for it -- spent about 40 minutes -- discussions with PS and EQ, other forum sites (including Apple patents), even Apple developer docs/videos... when I came back to the thread, it had moved on (I hoped someone else would respond).

    IDK, maybe I just made it up ;)
    Thanks Dick (if that IS your real name...)! I appreciate the effort. I'm sure more information will surface as time goes on. Either that or Apple will decide it's not worth the effort and it will all be irrelevant anyway! :D
  • Reply 68 of 123
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member
    nht said:
    You will not accurately recreate the reflections from the room the recording was made and nothing from the listening space unless you use headphones.
    I know. You're right. I guess the idealistic optimist in me likes to believe there's some room for "do the best you can" in between "Insist on perfect!" and "Just say 'fuck it' and don't even bother trying for accuracy."

    I hope I'm not coming across as either adversarial or condemning Apple. I intend neither. I'm not complaining about the HomePod -- I may even buy one myself someday, if a use case for it ever arises for me -- I'm just responding to claims that I think describe it inaccurately and mentally exploring how the new approaches to reproduction offered by the HomePod impact the home entertainment experience.
    I guess you could also say "... or a well designed/built listening room".  The first $10,000 of an audiophile budget IMHO should either be headphones or a dedicated listening room.  I'd think that a good room gets you closest to "do the best you can" mentality.  

    Given that the home pod isn't designed to live in a listening room...

    But hey, you tell me...are you better off with $1000 speakers and a listening room, $10,000 speakers in a normal living room or a pair of Sennheiser HD-820 (or HD-800S if you don't think the closed back ones will be as good or just want it today) with HDVD 800 (personally I'd get a schiit mjolhir 2 or something) for around $5Kish for critical listening?
  • Reply 69 of 123

    Speaking of you, you haven't responded to my post asking you to please share your source(s) of information about HomePod-specific metadata for sound shaping/equalization. Is there a reason you don't want to?
    I did look for it -- spent about 40 minutes -- discussions with PS and EQ, other forum sites (including Apple patents), even Apple developer docs/videos... when I came back to the thread, it had moved on (I hoped someone else would respond).

    IDK, maybe I just made it up ;)
    Thanks Dick (if that IS your real name...)! I appreciate the effort. I'm sure more information will surface as time goes on. Either that or Apple will decide it's not worth the effort and it will all be irrelevant anyway! :D
    Would I make that up? 

    Here's another thought -- and I am making this up:
    • Apple TV works with homePod(s)
    • AppleTV has a Disney channel
    • Apple and Disney play nice together on several levels (including common, large shareholders)
    • Disney owns ESPN, LucasFilm, Pixar (and others), and  owns the rights to new Starwars movies
    • Both have customers who have shown a willingness to pay a premium for their products and services
    • Both are quite competitive
    • Both are quite profitable

    What if Apple and Disney were to collaborate on improving the quality of TV output in the home -- especially the audio:  
    • Apple has the hardware/software that can tailor the audio to the characteristics of the room in the home
    • Disney has the content to be presented with better audio
    • Say, they could develop a hardware/software system that would profile the audio as it was meant (produced) to be heard in it's purest form
    • Say, that profile could be sent to an Apple TV listener's homePods where it was combined with the room characteristics -- to recreate, as much as possible in that environment, the intended sound

    So, buy jointly investing some millions of dollars and their respective expertise, they develop a competitive system that sells more AppleTVs, homePods and Disney content. Let's call that system "AuDar" for our purposes.

    Now, here is the best part (if you're among the very young at heart) -- they could license "AuDar" (ala Dolby) to other movie and sound (music) studios!

    To compete, other movie and music studios would need to license "AuDar" -- hopefully at a reasonable fee.

    Funny thing, most movie editors or music editors already use software like Apple Final Cut, Apple Logic (or others) to create their pure product.  It would be a relatively simple process to develop plugins to these editors to create the profile of the pure "AuDar" product.

    So, we've got the creator's profile of the pure "AuDar" product, combined with the homePod's dynamic profile of the room's "AuDar" characteristics... 

    Seems as if they can give most listeners the movie or song sound as it was meant (edited) to be heard.

    The only other thing I can think of is the listeners' (multiple listeners) profile of their hearing and/or preferences and their location in the room.  For the home, that's pretty easy to do.


    edited February 2018
  • Reply 70 of 123
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member

    foggyhill said: 
    It's not mono either
    This is one of several claims Apple makes about the HomePod that make me scratch my head a little...

    Apple says the HomePod beams "direct" sound to the middle of the room and "ambient" sound to the left and right. But then Apple ALSO claims that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Those are conflicting statements.

    Since people are saying the sound of the HomePod does remain very consistent as one moves around the room, the logical conclusion is that there can't be much in the way of directional cues coming out of it. If there were, listeners would perceive a change in the sound as they moved around.

    If that assessment is correct, it means that despite what Apple's marketing claims, it's really essentially a mono device.
    If you have a small shelf system with speakers two or three feet away, and you walk 15-20 feet away from it, does that system become mono? the speakers aren’t on your left and right anymore so you’re not getting a stereophonic effect to your ears, but it’s still not mono. 

    you cant just redefine words because you feel like it. 
    The meaning of the term "stereo" is not fully encapsulated just by saying "two channels." It refers to a configuration, which includes a more-or-less equilateral triangular relationship between the speakers and the listener. We don't have a term for what you describe, which, as you say, is similar to what the HomePod does, so I applied a qualifier that describes the experience from the perspective of the listener's perception, which is "essentially mono." In the absence of directional cues, the number of channels emanating from a single point is irrelevant.

    I don't yet know if the HomePod delivers any directional cues or not. Early reports SEEM to indicate that it doesn't in any meaningful way. That means either Apple's claims are exaggerated or the people saying "it sounds the same no matter where you are in the room" are not accurately describing what they're hearing.

    The significance is purely academic. It doesn't really matter very much in real life. The Pill+ I use in the kitchen is "essentially mono" too, and that's so far down the list of considerations in that setting as to be "essentially irrelevant!"
    But here's the real question -- if a HomePod is providing stereo directional cues -- which speakers are the left, and which are the right? Or do they get reassigned based on the orientation of it relative to the closest reflective surface? And if there are no discrete L & R speakers, is it just summing them into a mono signal, like most of these kinds of speakers? 
  • Reply 71 of 123
    mac_128 said:

    But here's the real question -- if a HomePod is providing stereo directional cues -- which speakers are the left, and which are the right? Or do they get reassigned based on the orientation of it relative to the closest reflective surface? And if there are no discrete L & R speakers, is it just summing them into a mono signal, like most of these kinds of speakers? 
    IDK, but I can speculate... Apple doesn't doesn't do what others do -- they aren't the first in the game, but when they do get in they set a new bar (direction) that blows the incumbents away!  It's been this way with almost every apple product since the Apple ][.
  • Reply 72 of 123
    mac_128 said:

    foggyhill said: 
    It's not mono either
    This is one of several claims Apple makes about the HomePod that make me scratch my head a little...

    Apple says the HomePod beams "direct" sound to the middle of the room and "ambient" sound to the left and right. But then Apple ALSO claims that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Those are conflicting statements.

    Since people are saying the sound of the HomePod does remain very consistent as one moves around the room, the logical conclusion is that there can't be much in the way of directional cues coming out of it. If there were, listeners would perceive a change in the sound as they moved around.

    If that assessment is correct, it means that despite what Apple's marketing claims, it's really essentially a mono device.
    If you have a small shelf system with speakers two or three feet away, and you walk 15-20 feet away from it, does that system become mono? the speakers aren’t on your left and right anymore so you’re not getting a stereophonic effect to your ears, but it’s still not mono. 

    you cant just redefine words because you feel like it. 
    The meaning of the term "stereo" is not fully encapsulated just by saying "two channels." It refers to a configuration, which includes a more-or-less equilateral triangular relationship between the speakers and the listener. We don't have a term for what you describe, which, as you say, is similar to what the HomePod does, so I applied a qualifier that describes the experience from the perspective of the listener's perception, which is "essentially mono." In the absence of directional cues, the number of channels emanating from a single point is irrelevant.

    I don't yet know if the HomePod delivers any directional cues or not. Early reports SEEM to indicate that it doesn't in any meaningful way. That means either Apple's claims are exaggerated or the people saying "it sounds the same no matter where you are in the room" are not accurately describing what they're hearing.

    The significance is purely academic. It doesn't really matter very much in real life. The Pill+ I use in the kitchen is "essentially mono" too, and that's so far down the list of considerations in that setting as to be "essentially irrelevant!"
    But here's the real question -- if a HomePod is providing stereo directional cues -- which speakers are the left, and which are the right? Or do they get reassigned based on the orientation of it relative to the closest reflective surface? And if there are no discrete L & R speakers, is it just summing them into a mono signal, like most of these kinds of speakers? 
    Per what they said on their product page, some of the 7 tweeters are designed to take the split left & right and bounce it off walls it finds nearby, so I very much doubt there are special tweeters permanently assigned L & R. This channel separation bouncing may not be stereo, but it's certainly not the same as claiming it's "mono" as some insist on doing. Considering Lorin has never heard it and said this is just mental masturbation for him anyway, I'm inclined to stop participating now.
  • Reply 73 of 123
    Per what they said on their product page, some of the 7 tweeters are designed to take the split left & right and bounce it off walls it finds nearby, so I very much doubt there are special tweeters permanently assigned L & R. This channel separation bouncing may not be stereo, but it's certainly not the same as claiming it's "mono" as some insist on doing. Considering Lorin has never heard it and said this is just mental masturbation for him anyway, I'm inclined to stop participating now.
    Don't stop participating -- you are contributing to the learning process that we all all are experiencing!

    Based on your post I tried rotating each [stereo] homePod so the cord was facing to the front -- while a loud march was playing (the Thunderer).  Each home got a little quieter for a moment then resumed their prior volume.  I think the accelerometer detected the move, awaited for the buffer to finish, applied the new characteristics and continued applying/buffering/playing.

    It appears that you are correct the tweeters are Not permanently assigned L & R.  The thing that that kinda' fools you is that it appears that the room characteristics are applied before the sound is buffered -- so you don't notice any change for a few seconds after the current buffer clears.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 74 of 123
    StrangeDays said:
    [...] it's certainly not the same as claiming it's "mono" as some insist on doing.
    Fine. What would you call it then? It certainly isn't stereo, either. We need a new term.

    StrangeDays said:
    [..] Considering Lorin has never heard it
    For the record, despite my jokes, the only reason I haven't is because it hasn't been released here yet. I will as soon as soon it's possible.

    StrangeDays said:
    [...] and said this is just mental masturbation for him anyway
    At the risk of sounding like I have a too-high opinion of myself, I thought my expertise was lending something of value to the discussion. If it isn't, lemme know and I'll bow out.

    StrangeDays said:
    [...] I'm inclined to stop participating now.
    Your posts have seemed, to me, kind of impatient and perturbed for the last month or two. I don't recall getting that impression from your earlier posts. Am I perceiving a tone you don't intend, or is something bugging you?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 75 of 123
    Hey, I am luckier than most, here, 'cuz I have 2 homePods -- haven't really spent any time/money on music for the past few years -- and I'm indulging myself.

    But this is new to everyone -- we're all learning, debating the finer points of the current sound status quo -- and imagining the changes that might be happening because of Apple and others -- and maybe, having some fun.

    I'm playing some Hawaiian slack key by Moses (Mookie) Kahumoku -- some cassettes he sent me.  Sounds better on the homePods than I remember on the old B&O.
  • Reply 76 of 123
    StrangeDays said:
    [...] it's certainly not the same as claiming it's "mono" as some insist on doing.
    Fine. What would you call it then? It certainly isn't stereo, either. We need a new term.

    Imerso?  Claro?
    Other than , the word for "yes," claro is the word most commonly used in Spanish for expressing agreement, either with something someone has said or with a statement expressed earlier by the speaker. As an intensifier, claro can be translated in a variety of ways, depending on the context. Common translations include "of course," "evidently," "obviously" and "yes." In such usages claro usually functions as a sentence adverb or an interjection.
    I suggested AuDar in an earlier post -- it's a family joke -- we moved from Minnesota to California in 1951, so my dad and my uncle could start a HiFi company -- they named the company AuDar... we kids all thought it was rather clumsy.  The HiFis sounded great, tho!

  • Reply 77 of 123
    (Dipping my toe into this rushing river of conversation.)

    Can we agree that Apple has engineers who do amazing techno-things and marketing people who have to translate that engineering wizardry into ads & marketing blurbs that sell products? Given that, I would take anything on Apple's product pages with several grains of salt regarding their technical accuracy. If some Apple engineers publish some papers in the AES Journal or IEEE then we can start quibbling about Fletcher Munson Curves and beam forming and balanced mode radiators vs tweeters and all that other techno-babble.

    The HomePod has some serious technology on board. And that technology is doing some hard work to produce sound in your room. The wizards at Apple have tried to establish what "good" sound will mean to the buying public. For all we know, there are engineers within Apple who cringe at the way the HomePod sounds and know it could be far more linear, but the marketing people overruled them.

    But we do have a shiny new bauble from Apple and people are trying to understand the magic going on inside that little pill. Apple is certainly pushing boundaries that Google & Amazon haven't even bothered with in their speakers.

    Maybe some day we'll be able to buy a half-dozen HomePods, scatter them around the room, and have a full Dolby Atmos environment.

    In the mean time, the HomePod is not going to compete with Magnepan 30.7s or Wilson WAMMs on sound quality. But it might be as good or better than many $500-$700 bookshelf speakers - maybe. But I don't think it's intended for dedicated, critical listening - like in a home theater room. It's intended to provide ambient music in a bedroom, kitchen, or at a party with people moving around.

    I think we're still very early in understanding the HomePod. Traditional measurement methodologies might not be directly applicable to it (where do you measure cabinet resonance when there are speakers all the way around?).

    Carry on.
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 78 of 123
    jasenj1 said:
    (Dipping my toe into this rushing river of conversation.)

    Can we agree that Apple has engineers who do amazing techno-things and marketing people who have to translate that engineering wizardry into ads & marketing blurbs that sell products? Given that, I would take anything on Apple's product pages with several grains of salt regarding their technical accuracy. If some Apple engineers publish some papers in the AES Journal or IEEE then we can start quibbling about Fletcher Munson Curves and beam forming and balanced mode radiators vs tweeters and all that other techno-babble.

    The HomePod has some serious technology on board. And that technology is doing some hard work to produce sound in your room. The wizards at Apple have tried to establish what "good" sound will mean to the buying public. For all we know, there are engineers within Apple who cringe at the way the HomePod sounds and know it could be far more linear, but the marketing people overruled them.

    But we do have a shiny new bauble from Apple and people are trying to understand the magic going on inside that little pill. Apple is certainly pushing boundaries that Google & Amazon haven't even bothered with in their speakers.

    Maybe some day we'll be able to buy a half-dozen HomePods, scatter them around the room, and have a full Dolby Atmos environment.

    In the mean time, the HomePod is not going to compete with Magnepan 30.7s or Wilson WAMMs on sound quality. But it might be as good or better than many $500-$700 bookshelf speakers - maybe. But I don't think it's intended for dedicated, critical listening - like in a home theater room. It's intended to provide ambient music in a bedroom, kitchen, or at a party with people moving around.

    I think we're still very early in understanding the HomePod. Traditional measurement methodologies might not be directly applicable to it (where do you measure cabinet resonance when there are speakers all the way around?).

    Carry on.
    I agree with much of what you say -- especially the friction between Apple engineering and marketing.

    I checked your link to Dolby Atmos...  It was very interesting!  I am not current on the state of the art of sound/stereo.  Help me understand:
    1. Is stereo still the goal of a home theater or listening room (I did some surfing)?
    2. I've never experienced surround sound -- is it better than stereo or just an enhancement/variation?
    3. Is the goal to tune a listening room and listening equipment to a single sweet spot target?
    4. If that is the goal, does tuning the equipment mean:  tuning many speakers (with associated amps, etc.) to one sweet spot?
    5. Doesn't tuning a room and equipment require special instrumentation, time and $?
    6. Could the speakers, with today's tech, be intelligent enough to tune themselves to the room and other speakers?

    And the big question: If the goal in item 4 is true:  tuning many speakers to one sweet spot -- isn't that short-sighted -- shouldn't the goal be to tune many speakers to many sweet spots?

    You alluded to this with: Maybe some day we'll be able to buy a half-dozen HomePods, scatter them around the room...

    TIA
  • Reply 79 of 123
    jasenj1 said:

    In the mean time, the HomePod is not going to compete with Magnepan 30.7s or Wilson WAMMs on sound quality.
    If they call the Magnepans: Maggies;  and the Wilson Masters: Wamms;  do they call the homePods: Hos?
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 80 of 123
    1. Is stereo still the goal of a home theater or listening room (I did some surfing)?
      Sometimes. There is a distinction in the audiophile world between a two-channel room and a theater room. Since the vast majority of music material is produced and distributed as two channels (CDs, records), for _serious_ listening a two-channel rig (or headphones) is the way to go. A theater room is for watching movies with their multi-channel sound effects and soundscapes.
    2. I've never experienced surround sound -- is it better than stereo or just an enhancement/variation?
      Have you been to a movie theater in the past 20 years? Then you've experienced surround sound. And for movies, yes, it is better. Helicopters swoop in from behind, over the audience and away. The sounds of the jungle are all around and then there's a *crack* off to the left. You get the idea. For music, there is far less multi-channel material, but there is some. Since in a live musical performance you are usually watching performers on a stage in front of you, there isn't much going on behind & around - other than room reflections, crowd noise, and other ambient things. But for a real live experience, those sounds can be considered important and there is some multichannel material.
    3. Is the goal to tune a listening room and listening equipment to a single sweet spot target?
      For a two-channel system, I would say, yes. The sweet spot may cover a couple of listening positions, but you have two sound sources focusing on a single listening spot.
      For a theater room, the goal is to provide a good listening experience for all the seats. I expect there will be some "best" spot, but the goal is to provide a good experience for several listeners.
    4. If that is the goal, does tuning the equipment mean:  tuning many speakers (with associated amps, etc.) to one sweet spot?
      Yes. But again for a theater room the goal is to provide "good" sound to all the listening positions, but there will be some set of "best" positions. So you try to make the sweet spot bigger than a single seat.
    5. Doesn't tuning a room and equipment require special instrumentation, time and $?
      Yes. Home theater install companies have all of this. Many modern home-theater receivers come with calibration microphones and have a set up procedure to tune the speaker output. Audyssey is a widely used provider of such technology. See here for an example.
    6. Could the speakers, with today's tech, be intelligent enough to tune themselves to the room and other speakers?
      Yes. You gave the example of the Beolab speakers earlier in the thread. Other manufacturers are adding this sort of DSP tech, but it's still pretty high-end. Right now all of the smarts is put in the receiver and it plays test signals through the speakers to determine EQ curves, timing delays, etc.

    > And the big question: If the goal in item 4 is true:  tuning many speakers to one sweet spot -- isn't that short-sighted -- shouldn't the goal be to tune many speakers to many sweet spots?

    I think physics starts to get in the way. You have all these sound waves bouncing around a room, they interfere with each other, propagate where you don't want them, etc. As someone else mentioned further up, if you are a _serious_ audiophile you have a listening room built - whether that be a theater with multiple seats or a two-channel room with a listening chair.

    If you really want to dive down this rabbit hole, Stereophile is one of the leading publications at the extreme end of this world.
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