How HomePod leverages Apple's silicon expertise to deliver advanced audio performance

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Comments

  • Reply 101 of 117
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,754member
    Thanks ai for clarifying just what the HomePod is and does...
    It's confusing because the HomePod appears to be a direct competitor of the Google & Amazon products.   But, as you point out:  That is not really the case because, although it appears similar and there is some overlap, Apple has chosen a very different main thrust for the HomePod.

  • Reply 102 of 117
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,175member
    Thanks ai for clarifying just what the HomePod is and does...
    It's confusing because the HomePod appears to be a direct competitor of the Google & Amazon products.   But, as you point out:  That is not really the case because, although it appears similar and there is some overlap, Apple has chosen a very different main thrust for the HomePod.

    Doesn’t matter. HomePod is still going to be compared to Google and Amazon smart speaker products. Also why is there this false choice? Why can’t HomePod have the best sound AND smarts? It’s not like the engineers focusing on sound quality are thr ones responsible for Siri. Both should have been top priority. Apple could have used HomePod as the launching point for a much improved Siri. And then the marketing pitch could have been just as smart but with much better sound. Right now HomePod isn’t much more than an expensive iPhone accessory.  Someone posted its another billion dollar business for Apple. Let’s see how sales go the rest of the year. If Apple announces big improvements to Siri at WWDC I think it could really take off. If not I think it’s going to be niche like Apple TV.
  • Reply 103 of 117
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,053member
    Thanks ai for clarifying just what the HomePod is and does...
    It's confusing because the HomePod appears to be a direct competitor of the Google & Amazon products.   But, as you point out:  That is not really the case because, although it appears similar and there is some overlap, Apple has chosen a very different main thrust for the HomePod.

    Doesn’t matter. HomePod is still going to be compared to Google and Amazon smart speaker products. Also why is there this false choice? Why can’t HomePod have the best sound AND smarts? It’s not like the engineers focusing on sound quality are thr ones responsible for Siri. Both should have been top priority. Apple could have used HomePod as the launching point for a much improved Siri. 
    There were many posters here claiming (or hoping) the HomePod delay was exactly for that reason: Apple was making Siri even better on the HomePod
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 104 of 117
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member
    Thanks ai for clarifying just what the HomePod is and does...
    It's confusing because the HomePod appears to be a direct competitor of the Google & Amazon products.   But, as you point out:  That is not really the case because, although it appears similar and there is some overlap, Apple has chosen a very different main thrust for the HomePod.

    Doesn’t matter. HomePod is still going to be compared to Google and Amazon smart speaker products. Also why is there this false choice? Why can’t HomePod have the best sound AND smarts? It’s not like the engineers focusing on sound quality are thr ones responsible for Siri. Both should have been top priority. Apple could have used HomePod as the launching point for a much improved Siri. And then the marketing pitch could have been just as smart but with much better sound. Right now HomePod isn’t much more than an expensive iPhone accessory.  Someone posted its another billion dollar business for Apple. Let’s see how sales go the rest of the year. If Apple announces big improvements to Siri at WWDC I think it could really take off. If not I think it’s going to be niche like Apple TV.
    Couple of thoughts...

    What kind of smarts do you really need in a  smart speaker? Do you really need to buy things, search for things, schedule appointments, answer phone calls etc.  Your phone, tablet or computer are much easier to use (and more private) for that purpose...  Yeah, select a song, pause/resume, set the volume, that makes sense -- but to disrupt everyone around you so you can schedule an appointment or make a fucking phone call -- how rude & self-entitled is that?

    Siri already has enough smarts to control a listening experience -- and in many languages too.
  • Reply 105 of 117
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,033member
    Thanks ai for clarifying just what the HomePod is and does...
    It's confusing because the HomePod appears to be a direct competitor of the Google & Amazon products.   But, as you point out:  That is not really the case because, although it appears similar and there is some overlap, Apple has chosen a very different main thrust for the HomePod.

    Doesn’t matter. HomePod is still going to be compared to Google and Amazon smart speaker products. Also why is there this false choice? Why can’t HomePod have the best sound AND smarts? It’s not like the engineers focusing on sound quality are thr ones responsible for Siri. Both should have been top priority. Apple could have used HomePod as the launching point for a much improved Siri. And then the marketing pitch could have been just as smart but with much better sound. Right now HomePod isn’t much more than an expensive iPhone accessory.  Someone posted its another billion dollar business for Apple. Let’s see how sales go the rest of the year. If Apple announces big improvements to Siri at WWDC I think it could really take off. If not I think it’s going to be niche like Apple TV.
    Couple of thoughts...

    What kind of smarts do you really need in a  smart speaker? Do you really need to buy things, search for things, schedule appointments, answer phone calls etc.  Your phone, tablet or computer are much easier to use (and more private) for that purpose...  Yeah, select a song, pause/resume, set the volume, that makes sense -- but to disrupt everyone around you so you can schedule an appointment or make a fucking phone call -- how rude & self-entitled is that?

    Siri already has enough smarts to control a listening experience -- and in many languages too.
    I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful discourse on potential of computational audio feature expansion. Pretty obvious, to me anyway, that Apple has only scratched the surface, and I await the inevitable competitor response to validate computational audio and the requisite hardware architectures, surely coming this fall.

    Same as it ever was; it takes time for people to adapt to new paradigms. 

    I await the first "orchestras" of co-mingled computational audio speakers, driven by some new audio "language" beyond just reproduction.
  • Reply 106 of 117
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member
    tmay said:

    Same as it ever was; it takes time for people to adapt to new paradigms. 

    I await the first "orchestras" of co-mingled computational audio speakers, driven by some new audio "language" beyond just reproduction.
    Wow... Just WOW!
  • Reply 107 of 117
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,528moderator
    tmay said:

    Same as it ever was; it takes time for people to adapt to new paradigms. 

    I await the first "orchestras" of co-mingled computational audio speakers, driven by some new audio "language" beyond just reproduction.
    Wow... Just WOW!
    Gives a whole new meaning to ‘smart speaker.’  As in smart matter.  Think of the USAF’s F-117 Fighter, an aircraft design that is unstable without its computer control system.  We’re entering an era where we can use processing power to derive performance and characteristics from physical systems beyond their inherent capabilities.  The ability to create a virtual stage with instruments potentially placed where they might not have been during the recording session is such a capability that no non-smart speaker system could possibly produce.  

    And so the legacy notion of ‘high end’ speakers will be disrupted by smart speakers in the same way that mechanical watches, with their relatively minimal array of chronological functions are in process of being disrupted by smart watches that can control music and lights, unlock doors, make phone calls, pay for dinner and start your car. 

    Paradigm shifts are underway.  I love being alive in this era.  
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 108 of 117
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,033member
    tmay said:

    Same as it ever was; it takes time for people to adapt to new paradigms. 

    I await the first "orchestras" of co-mingled computational audio speakers, driven by some new audio "language" beyond just reproduction.
    Wow... Just WOW!
    Gives a whole new meaning to ‘smart speaker.’  As in smart matter.  Think of the USAF’s F-117 Fighter, an aircraft design that is unstable without its computer control system.  We’re entering an era where we can use processing power to derive performance and characteristics from physical systems beyond their inherent capabilities.  The ability to create a virtual stage with instruments potentially placed where they might not have been during the recording session is such a capability that no non-smart speaker system could possibly produce.  

    And so the legacy notion of ‘high end’ speakers will be disrupted by smart speakers in the same way that mechanical watches, with their relatively minimal array of chronological functions are in process of being disrupted by smart watches that can control music and lights, unlock doors, make phone calls, pay for dinner and start your car. 

    Paradigm shifts are underway.  I love being alive in this era.  
    Interestingly enough, the big capability of the F-35 beyond stealth is sensor fusion, which allows what one aircraft "sees" to be passed on to another aircraft.

    https://theaviationgeekclub.com/heres-f-35s-sensor-fusion-makes-f-15-lethal/
    radarthekat
  • Reply 109 of 117
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member
    tmay said:

    Same as it ever was; it takes time for people to adapt to new paradigms. 

    I await the first "orchestras" of co-mingled computational audio speakers, driven by some new audio "language" beyond just reproduction.
    Wow... Just WOW!
    Gives a whole new meaning to ‘smart speaker.’  As in smart matter.  Think of the USAF’s F-117 Fighter, an aircraft design that is unstable without its computer control system.  We’re entering an era where we can use processing power to derive performance and characteristics from physical systems beyond their inherent capabilities.  The ability to create a virtual stage with instruments potentially placed where they might not have been during the recording session is such a capability that no non-smart speaker system could possibly produce.  

    Yes! Think of that virtual stage in the hands of an artist/composer/orchestra director like John Williams!

    Or the Indie who is not restricted by any current boundaries..

    This is a not-so-dumb comparison of devices listening and talking to each other.   It's primitive by today's tech, but very creative in the mid 1980s tech --thanks to Nolan Bushnell. 

    We had a customer who set up 7 LANS  (Network HD, Printer & 4 or more Macs) for insurance claim offices dispersed in cities along Highway 5.  Once a month, he'd take a week and visit all of the offices -- a long drive.  He'd buy a bunch of these as gifts for the clerks entering insurance claims -- and had 4 or 5 that he'd put on the back seat of his car... He'd start talking to set them off -- and they'd keep him company on the long drive.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AG_Bear



    And so the legacy notion of ‘high end’ speakers will be disrupted by smart speakers in the same way that mechanical watches, with their relatively minimal array of chronological functions are in process of being disrupted by smart watches that can control music and lights, unlock doors, make phone calls, pay for dinner and start your car. 

    Paradigm shifts are underway.  I love being alive in this era.  

    Yeah, with a little sadness that I can no longer participate with the other pioneers.


    radarthekat
  • Reply 110 of 117
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    My MB has harmon Kardon speakers and sounds terrible for a premium car...just saying..
    Maybe it’s just me....
    When l ordered my German car 3 years ago Harmon Kardon speakers were an option. The salesman recommended against them as he said the standard manufacturer’s speakers were pretty good. This has been the case. I do wnder how cars could provide really excellent sound when driving as there is various other external sounds to compete with.
  • Reply 111 of 117
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member
    radarthekat said:

    The ability to create a virtual stage with instruments potentially placed where they might not have been during the recording session is such a capability that no non-smart speaker system could possibly produce.  

    Ha! After thinking about it -- placing instruments on a virtual stage reminded me of this pioneer artistic production:

    Eminem Gets Yakety Sacked



  • Reply 112 of 117
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,033member
    radarthekat said:

    The ability to create a virtual stage with instruments potentially placed where they might not have been during the recording session is such a capability that no non-smart speaker system could possibly produce.  

    Ha! After thinking about it -- placing instruments on a virtual stage reminded me of this pioneer artistic production:

    Eminem Gets Yakety Sacked



    Aaaaaaahhh!

    Here's one that you might like,

    http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/lotto-winners/

    Mathematics is your friend...
    radarthekat
  • Reply 113 of 117
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,432member
    I use Siri a fair bit - multiple times a day for certain - though not for general knowledge or buying things.  I just recently subscribed to Apple Music (for the kids to share mostly), and was enjoying testing out Siri with my AirPods, asking her to play this band, that song, certain genres of music.  Overall I found it quite good, with the odd mistake.  Which is my experience mostly with Siri in general (with exception of Maps where mistakes are more but getting better - but that is Maps issue because search is sh*t - not Siri, for the most part).

    I am not in the Amazon ecosystem (shop for stuff - that is it), but I will have to purchase an on-sale Echo Dot just to try it out.  The "general consensus" (a bit like mainstream news...for what that is worth), it would seem that Alexa is leaps & bounds better than Siri.  I guess I won't know unless I try it myself.
  • Reply 114 of 117
    I suffer from modest hearing loss at both ends of the spectrum in one ear while the other ear is a bit better.  Maybe this could be "corrected" with expensive hearing aids, but I really doubt it's possible with any external speakers.  Having the speaker crank up the high and low frequencies would likely just make everything sound like crap for me and especially for anyone else around.  The fact is, with today's technology, I will never hear music the same way I could 20 or 30 years ago.  I don't expect any home speaker to address that.  The gold standard should be whether the performance sounds the same to me as it would if I were there when it was recorded.  Thus, no custom equalization required to suit my tastes.
    Why couldn't that be possible?  Say, the recording studio records metadata along with the performance recording-- then on playback (on any system) the metadata is used to recreate the recording performance, compensating for the room and speakers, etc,

    I think that what this disruption (Apple, Google, B&O et al) is all about. 
    I don't think I made my point very clearly.  Yes, this article points out some very exciting things that are apparently possible.  But that's about reproducing accurate sound in a different space.  I was saying that adjusting the sound to make up for damaged hearing is probably impossible.  If I can't hear high notes very well, cranking up the high notes won't make the music sound "correct" to me.
  • Reply 115 of 117
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member
    I suffer from modest hearing loss at both ends of the spectrum in one ear while the other ear is a bit better.  Maybe this could be "corrected" with expensive hearing aids, but I really doubt it's possible with any external speakers.  Having the speaker crank up the high and low frequencies would likely just make everything sound like crap for me and especially for anyone else around.  The fact is, with today's technology, I will never hear music the same way I could 20 or 30 years ago.  I don't expect any home speaker to address that.  The gold standard should be whether the performance sounds the same to me as it would if I were there when it was recorded.  Thus, no custom equalization required to suit my tastes.
    Why couldn't that be possible?  Say, the recording studio records metadata along with the performance recording-- then on playback (on any system) the metadata is used to recreate the recording performance, compensating for the room and speakers, etc,

    I think that what this disruption (Apple, Google, B&O et al) is all about. 
    I don't think I made my point very clearly.  Yes, this article points out some very exciting things that are apparently possible.  But that's about reproducing accurate sound in a different space.  I was saying that adjusting the sound to make up for damaged hearing is probably impossible.  If I can't hear high notes very well, cranking up the high notes won't make the music sound "correct" to me.
    Ah, I misunderstood... What about cranking down the mid and bass to make the sound more balanced.

    My Dad, when he was building/testing his latest amp/speaker setup would display the wave forms on a cathode ray oscilloscope -- he and I could see the highs, but couldn't hear them.  After a few minutes of testing my Mom would walk in and make him stop.  He'd crank down the highs and balance the rest accordingly and all was good! (But Mom was a pretty good measure of the capabilities of his latest build).
  • Reply 116 of 117
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member

    tmay said:

    Aaaaaaahhh!

    Here's one that you might like,

    http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/lotto-winners/

    Mathematics is your friend...
    What an interesting (and long) story!

    Sort of counting cards in BlackJack, before the went to the multi-deck shoe...
  • Reply 117 of 117
    cabassecabasse Posts: 1member
    danvm said:
    It would be impossible to cobble a similar platform out of the terrible speakers built into existing Echo and Dot appliances, and neither Amazon, Google, Samsung, Spotify or other speaker makers really have to clout to produce such a sophisticated, premium speaker and sell it to a critical mass of users globally.

    Based in many reviews, the HomePod sound quality is very similar to the Google Home Max, and I wouldn't consider neither of them premium speakers.  And to say that Samsung is not capable of doing sophisticated premium speaker is non sense.  They own Harman Audio, which includes companies like Harman-Kardon, AKG, Infinity and Revel, among others.  Those companies have years of experience in the audio market.  We'll have to see the results of the final product, but I wouldn't count them out.  

    The kicker on that sentence is "and sell it to a critical mass of users globally."

    Samsung developed a Gear watch platform, Tizen, Galaxy Player, all manner of tablets, and no doubt it can make a speaker. But to create an audio platform that matters, it would need to learn how to sell those products to people who would pay any money for them.

    Google hardware is a bullshit exercise in Verge fapping and nobody buys any of it in commercially relevant volumes. It doesn't matter that some bloggers can't tell the difference between a basic speaker and HomePod. If those reviews mattered Google would be a significant hardware seller rather than a source of billowing hot bullshit.
    the homepod is good, and in some measures better than the home max, but they are not in different leagues whatsoever. i would personally choose the constrained stereo image of a single home max over the mono, but beamformed output of a homepod, personally. (no it isn't stereo, left and right are merged together before being split into various frequencies to be beamed into different spots in the room) and google offers a truly audiophile option anyway - home mini as a mic (and for voice prompts) + chromecast audio + DAC + amp and speakers of your choice. (you can set any particular CCA as a default music output device) no audiophile I know of would ever consider a homepod as their primary listening setup, but plenty use one in conjunction with a good external DAC. i recently got my first macbook as a work dev machine, and have been considering an iphone (have always been an android user) but i would never get one of these things, ever.
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