Apple HomePod coming to Canada, France & Germany on June 18, gets AirPlay 2 & stereo pairi...

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in iPhone
Apple's first smartspeaker will finally be coming to Canada, France, and Germany on June 18, the company announced on Tuesday. Later today it will launch AirPlay 2 and stereo pairing for the device, through the release of iOS 11.4 and matching HomePod firmware.

iOS 11.4 HomePod AirPlay 2


The HomePod is currently available only in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. Apple hasn't said what pricing in the new regions will be.

AirPlay 2 will enable multi-room audio, letting people play music in multiple rooms simultaneously or shift content from one room to another. iOS 11.4 will include built-in controls within apps and the Control Center, but users will also be able to issue Siri commands, something of course essential for HomePod owners.

Stereo pairing will take advantage of the HomePod's spatial awareness technology to create proper channel separation. Apple is also promising "greater bass extension, resulting in a deeper, more accurate reproduction of low frequencies."

Setup is automatic whenever a HomePod is installed in the same room as an existing one. When a person makes Siri requests, the two speakers will communicate to make sure only one responds.

AirPlay 2-compatible speakers will be available from Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Marshall, Naim, Pioneer, and Sonos, Apple said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,107member
    Can't wait to get mine.
    williamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,194member
    As a Candian, my reaction is YES!! Not only do we finally get a release (in the very near future) but these were the 2 features I was waiting for.
    williamlondongregg thurmanStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    One advantage of the homepod is that it sounds just as good no matter where you are in the room. Can that be done with stereo?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 27
    vahancouvervahancouver Posts: 12unconfirmed, member
    I'm going to Apple Store first thing in the morning!
    I had the opportunity to test it for a weekend, and since been missing that best speaker sound I have ever had.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    lukeilukei Posts: 333member
    nunzy said:
    One advantage of the homepod is that it sounds just as good no matter where you are in the room. Can that be done with stereo?
    It’s not stereo as such it is combined audio from two speakers. Fills the room with sound. 

    Sounds great from where I am sitting right now!
    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 27
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    lukei said:
    nunzy said:
    One advantage of the homepod is that it sounds just as good no matter where you are in the room. Can that be done with stereo?
    It’s not stereo as such it is combined audio from two speakers. Fills the room with sound. 

    Sounds great from where I am sitting right now!
    Not stereo? Just double mono?
  • Reply 7 of 27
    nunzy said:
    lukei said:
    nunzy said:
    One advantage of the homepod is that it sounds just as good no matter where you are in the room. Can that be done with stereo?
    It’s not stereo as such it is combined audio from two speakers. Fills the room with sound. 

    Sounds great from where I am sitting right now!
    Not stereo? Just double mono?
    Apple specifically refers to "stereo," but I can't find any details yet.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208744 says "But the page it links to doesn't include the word stereo.
    nunzy
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Will be buying my second HomePod on June 18. Oh wait, I’ll be visiting my daughter out of state. Oh well I’ll buy it when I get back. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,035member
    There are plenty of reports of Canadians who bought a HomePod in the US and are using it just fine in Canada already (minus support for services only available in the US).  But it'll be nice to get one configured for use in Canada.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,298member
    For god sakes update Siri. The one thing I find most useful is “Add Mayo to the shopping list.” Half of the time she says: “Okay, I’ve added mayo to the shopping list.” Cool. The other half of the time she says: “Sorry, Notes hasn’t set that up with me yet.” What!? The two options seem to be completely randomized. Oddly, the shopping list is set up through Reminders, not Notes. I’ve sent this bug report in to Apple numerous times. I don’t need AirPlay 2, I need the basics done right. Super annoying.
    williamlondonzroger73willcropointwlym
  • Reply 11 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,816member
    nunzy said:
    lukei said:
    nunzy said:
    One advantage of the homepod is that it sounds just as good no matter where you are in the room. Can that be done with stereo?
    It’s not stereo as such it is combined audio from two speakers. Fills the room with sound. 

    Sounds great from where I am sitting right now!
    Not stereo? Just double mono?
    Aside from whether the not-stereo claim is true, it should be noted again that the HP is not mono. It has multi-channel separation, which is different than mono or stereo.
    williamlondonnunzymuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,107member
    Lots of misconceptions about what the definition of stereo is.

    Put simply, stereo sound is an attempt to create localization using two or more speakers. The reason we have two ears isn't so we can listen to "stereo" sound coming from left & right channels. We have two ears so that our brain can determine where a sound came from (localization). Is it to our left or right, in front of us or behind us, or even above or below us. Our brain is very good at taking sound arriving at both our ears, and based on slight differences in level and phase (time) it can determine where in 3D space the sound came from.

    Early attempts at this involved using a pair of microphones (to simulate our ears) to record a live performance (like an orchestra). Then these two tracks were played back through a pair of stereo speakers with the intent of trying to recreate the original performance. There have been many other methods to try and recreate a soundstage for a listener (some involve processing to try and "trick" our ears while the most common method people are used to is a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system). Whatever the method, the end goal is the same - to try and create a 3D soundstage that approximates the original.

    The HomePod also tries to create a wider soundstage. I haven't been able to try one yet, so I don't know how it works, but reviews say it's pretty good at this. By definition, it's impossible for the HomePod to be mono, since you can't create a soundstage with a mono speaker. You need multiple sources in order to do this, which would qualify the HomePod as a stereo speaker. The people claiming it isn't stereo are those stuck with the limited definition that "stereo" means left & right channels with left & right speakers.
    williamlondonwillcropointmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 732member
    Here's to hoping the 11.4 update fixes the problem with my HomePods becoming "hard of hearing" after hours/days following a power cycle.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/HomePod/comments/7y79jm/i_think_my_homepod_is_hard_of_hearing/
    JosephAU
  • Reply 14 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,301member
    Lots of misconceptions about what the definition of stereo is.

    Put simply, stereo sound is an attempt to create localization using two or more speakers. The reason we have two ears isn't so we can listen to "stereo" sound coming from left & right channels. We have two ears so that our brain can determine where a sound came from (localization). Is it to our left or right, in front of us or behind us, or even above or below us. Our brain is very good at taking sound arriving at both our ears, and based on slight differences in level and phase (time) it can determine where in 3D space the sound came from.

    Early attempts at this involved using a pair of microphones (to simulate our ears) to record a live performance (like an orchestra). Then these two tracks were played back through a pair of stereo speakers with the intent of trying to recreate the original performance. There have been many other methods to try and recreate a soundstage for a listener (some involve processing to try and "trick" our ears while the most common method people are used to is a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system). Whatever the method, the end goal is the same - to try and create a 3D soundstage that approximates the original.

    The HomePod also tries to create a wider soundstage. I haven't been able to try one yet, so I don't know how it works, but reviews say it's pretty good at this. By definition, it's impossible for the HomePod to be mono, since you can't create a soundstage with a mono speaker. You need multiple sources in order to do this, which would qualify the HomePod as a stereo speaker. The people claiming it isn't stereo are those stuck with the limited definition that "stereo" means left & right channels with left & right speakers.
    There are those folks that really do want that left/right channel separation tho, and probably expected that's what Apple was doing with this HomePod update. Some of them may be disappointed. Not that what Apple is actually doing wrong, just not what might typically be expected when thinking of "stereo".  Whether it's good or bad will vary depending on their personal tastes in audio playback. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple eventually figures out true stereo separation with these. 
  • Reply 15 of 27
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Lots of misconceptions about what the definition of stereo is.

    Put simply, stereo sound is an attempt to create localization using two or more speakers. The reason we have two ears isn't so we can listen to "stereo" sound coming from left & right channels. We have two ears so that our brain can determine where a sound came from (localization). Is it to our left or right, in front of us or behind us, or even above or below us. Our brain is very good at taking sound arriving at both our ears, and based on slight differences in level and phase (time) it can determine where in 3D space the sound came from.

    Early attempts at this involved using a pair of microphones (to simulate our ears) to record a live performance (like an orchestra). Then these two tracks were played back through a pair of stereo speakers with the intent of trying to recreate the original performance. There have been many other methods to try and recreate a soundstage for a listener (some involve processing to try and "trick" our ears while the most common method people are used to is a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system). Whatever the method, the end goal is the same - to try and create a 3D soundstage that approximates the original.

    The HomePod also tries to create a wider soundstage. I haven't been able to try one yet, so I don't know how it works, but reviews say it's pretty good at this. By definition, it's impossible for the HomePod to be mono, since you can't create a soundstage with a mono speaker. You need multiple sources in order to do this, which would qualify the HomePod as a stereo speaker. The people claiming it isn't stereo are those stuck with the limited definition that "stereo" means left & right channels with left & right speakers.
     Monophonic != stereophonic.

    But you're welcome to call a mono speaker stereo if you wish. I'm not sure why, however.

    My understanding is that the homepod uses a multi driver system employing both direct and reflected sound which is processed according to input from its microphones.

    edited May 2018 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 283member
    Pricing will be: €349,- (including tax)

    edited May 2018
  • Reply 17 of 27
    lukeilukei Posts: 333member
    nunzy said:
    lukei said:
    nunzy said:
    One advantage of the homepod is that it sounds just as good no matter where you are in the room. Can that be done with stereo?
    It’s not stereo as such it is combined audio from two speakers. Fills the room with sound. 

    Sounds great from where I am sitting right now!
    Not stereo? Just double mono?
    Aside from whether the not-stereo claim is true, it should be noted again that the HP is not mono. It has multi-channel separation, which is different than mono or stereo.
    This is correct. A left right panning sound doesn’t pan properly  

    That said I listen to music not technical demos of stereo separation so all good with me :)
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 27
    nunzy said:
    Lots of misconceptions about what the definition of stereo is.

    Put simply, stereo sound is an attempt to create localization using two or more speakers. The reason we have two ears isn't so we can listen to "stereo" sound coming from left & right channels. We have two ears so that our brain can determine where a sound came from (localization). Is it to our left or right, in front of us or behind us, or even above or below us. Our brain is very good at taking sound arriving at both our ears, and based on slight differences in level and phase (time) it can determine where in 3D space the sound came from.

    Early attempts at this involved using a pair of microphones (to simulate our ears) to record a live performance (like an orchestra). Then these two tracks were played back through a pair of stereo speakers with the intent of trying to recreate the original performance. There have been many other methods to try and recreate a soundstage for a listener (some involve processing to try and "trick" our ears while the most common method people are used to is a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system). Whatever the method, the end goal is the same - to try and create a 3D soundstage that approximates the original.

    The HomePod also tries to create a wider soundstage. I haven't been able to try one yet, so I don't know how it works, but reviews say it's pretty good at this. By definition, it's impossible for the HomePod to be mono, since you can't create a soundstage with a mono speaker. You need multiple sources in order to do this, which would qualify the HomePod as a stereo speaker. The people claiming it isn't stereo are those stuck with the limited definition that "stereo" means left & right channels with left & right speakers.
     Monophonic != stereophonic.

    But you're welcome to call a mono speaker stereo if you wish. I'm not sure why, however.

    My understanding is that the homepod uses a multi driver system employing both direct and reflected sound which is processed according to input from its microphones.

    But the thing has a 360° array comprising 7 tweeters and a low frequency speaker, so could we call it a 7.1 monophonic hybrid speaker?

    Just kidding. ;)
    nunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    JosephAUJosephAU Posts: 18member
    zroger73 said:
    Here's to hoping the 11.4 update fixes the problem with my HomePods becoming "hard of hearing" after hours/days following a power cycle.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/HomePod/comments/7y79jm/i_think_my_homepod_is_hard_of_hearing/
    Me too, unplug homepod and it works for a day or two then back to ignoreing me lol. Hope 11.4 fixes this little bug, love the Homepod other than that.
    zroger73
  • Reply 20 of 27
    For god sakes update Siri. The one thing I find most useful is “Add Mayo to the shopping list.” Half of the time she says: “Okay, I’ve added mayo to the shopping list.” Cool. 
    Out of curiosity, is there an easy way to share these lists "live"? It's not much use to make a list if it ends up on my phone and not the wife's.
    watto_cobra
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