First Listen: HomePod is Apple's AirPods, enhanced for your house

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 69
    lmasantilmasanti Posts: 162member
    Two ideas I would like to see: 1) Some other manufacturer has an app that you move in the room and adjust the ‘geometry’ of the sound according to the position. (Also, for earbuds, I would like a ‘test-my-earts’ app that adjust sounds to what I hear.) 2) That Apple include a ‘mesh-wifi’ into the HomePod and Apple TV so we kill 2 birds with 1 shot: Music and wi-fi.
  • Reply 42 of 69
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    If this thing is equipped with a ten hour battery, it will fly out of the shelf during the holiday season. 
  • Reply 43 of 69
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    pbrutto said:
    TomPMRI said:
    Any information yet on whether or not the HomePod can be used with an iTunes Match subscription instead of having to subscribe to Apple Music?  If an Apple Music subscription is a must, this will be a deal killer for me.
    Took the question right out of my brain. I wish they would have explained this.....I am out if I need Apple Music 
    I want it to work with Amazon Prime Music since I get that for free as part of being a Prime Member. I sure not going to fork out money for Apple Music. I don't tune into enough music that I want to pay $10 a month for it. I think it's to much. If there was maybe a $5 option, I'd think about it.
  • Reply 44 of 69
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,694member
    tzeshan said:
    If this thing is equipped with a ten hour battery, it will fly out of the shelf during the holiday season. 
    It is powered by 110vac. It is hard to tell how that wire is configured, or how much power it pulls. But...a third party could make a power base/stand for it.

    jbdragon said:
    pbrutto said:
    TomPMRI said:
    Any information yet on whether or not the HomePod can be used with an iTunes Match subscription instead of having to subscribe to Apple Music?  If an Apple Music subscription is a must, this will be a deal killer for me.
    Took the question right out of my brain. I wish they would have explained this.....I am out if I need Apple Music 
    I want it to work with Amazon Prime Music since I get that for free as part of being a Prime Member. I sure not going to fork out money for Apple Music. I don't tune into enough music that I want to pay $10 a month for it. I think it's to much. If there was maybe a $5 option, I'd think about it.
    Concur. I am very, very suspicious of subscription fees. Presumably you'll have access to an iTunes library (some sort of home share, or via Match.) But Apple isn't going to make a device that allows you to pay someone else for content on it.

    Wait...amazon prime on apple TV....hum...
  • Reply 45 of 69
    flipkalflipkal Posts: 28member
    "HomePod also departs from Apple's previous audio products, ranging from its early iPod to its latest AirPods: it puts music first, focusing on sound quality.' I tend to disagree. Some of the earlier gens of iPods had some nice D/A chips in them, that audiophiles appreciated. And, my AirPods have a nice warm sound to them that have never failed to satisfy me. I have a pair $1000 Westone W60's that are sitting in my drawer more now that I have AirPods and the convenience of wireless.
  • Reply 46 of 69
    FolioFolio Posts: 698member
    Another thing about HomePod prototype, in contrast to some models of Amazon Echo and Google Home, is its potential to blend in to living rooms, bedrooms, etc. without too much corporate branding. Unless you are tight with Larry or Sergei, or in a college dorm, or sitting on 10,000 shares, I can’t imagine many people wanting to repeat day and night like a parrot “Hi Google, Hey Google, Hi Google…” Especially nights when romance is in the air: Hey Google, lower the lights. Hey Google, play “Let’s Get it On.” Hey Google, stop listening, will ya?
  • Reply 47 of 69
    DanManTXDanManTX Posts: 7member
    HomePod version 1.0 requires AC power plug-in.   I just wish it had a rechargeable battery built in, then it would have been the perfect Apple speaker.

    I see this speaker competing with Bang & Olufsen's B&O Play division.
    I have the older Beolit 15 and the sound quality and volume are really good.   This is my portable go-to speaker for parties and people can't believe how loud this speaker gets.
    I can't wait to compare the sound to Apple's HomePod.

    The Beolit 17 is a $500 Bluetooth 4.2 speaker which can be wirelessly stereo paired with another Beolit 17 using their Beoplay App.
    It has a rechargeable battery built in for up to 24 hours of playback at moderate volume level.

    Beolit 17 speaker specs:    Frequency 37 - 20,000Hz
    2 x 35 watts Class D for bass and treble (2 x 120 watts peak power);  1 x 5.5” long-stroke Full- Range Driver;  2 x 4” Passive Bass Radiators;  3 x 1.5” Mid-Tweeters
    https://www.beoplay.com/products/beolit17

    The Beoplay M5 is a $600 Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay version 1 speaker.   It requires AC power just like the Apple HomePod Speaker.
    https://www.beoplay.com/products/beoplaym5
  • Reply 48 of 69
    Folio said:
    Another thing about HomePod prototype, in contrast to some models of Amazon Echo and Google Home, is its potential to blend in to living rooms, bedrooms, etc. without too much corporate branding. Unless you are tight with Larry or Sergei, or in a college dorm, or sitting on 10,000 shares, I can’t imagine many people wanting to repeat day and night like a parrot “Hi Google, Hey Google, Hi Google…” Especially nights when romance is in the air: Hey Google, lower the lights. Hey Google, play “Let’s Get it On.” Hey Google, stop listening, will ya?
    There's no visible branding on the Home.

    How is Siri any different to Google? Everyone knows Siri is Apple and Alexa is Amazon. I guess with Echo you can use Alexa/Amazon/Echo/Computer so there's some choice.
  • Reply 49 of 69
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    eightzero said:
    tzeshan said:
    If this thing is equipped with a ten hour battery, it will fly out of the shelf during the holiday season. 
    It is powered by 110vac. It is hard to tell how that wire is configured, or how much power it pulls. But...a third party could make a power base/stand for it.

    Apple could revolutionize the speaker industry. If this thing has battery, it can be used in meetings or conferences conveniently. Can it be used simply as a speaker? 
  • Reply 50 of 69
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    eightzero said:
    tzeshan said:
    If this thing is equipped with a ten hour battery, it will fly out of the shelf during the holiday season. 
    It is powered by 110vac. It is hard to tell how that wire is configured, or how much power it pulls. But...a third party could make a power base/stand for it.

    Apple could revolutionize the speaker industry. If this thing has battery, it can be used in meetings or conferences conveniently. Can it be used simply as a speaker? 
  • Reply 51 of 69
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 390member
    Master Bath gets the first one in our home, possibly a pair in the living room after that. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 52 of 69
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,297member
    kevin kee said:
    Yes, this is a very good strategy by Apple. When everyone heard Apple is making Voice Assistant device their mind immediately jump into comparison with Amazon Echo. Then Apple said, nope, it's a music foremost. And what a high quality speaker it is if the early reviewers were correct (with its array of seven tweeters and subwoofer, amplifier, auto bass correction, audio beam forming and studio level processing). Yet it is not only a speaker like Sonos (which is also a high end speaker) but also include many capabilities like voice assistant (with its six low-frequency calibration microphones and far-field Siri) and spatial awareness (with its room sensing). It's like a combination of Echo and Sonos plus more in one product. Considering all of those, I think the price is very decent!

    Many people who bought Echo because of its low price often do not think they need high quality speakers like Sonos. And that is fine. Apple won't win over the market in one night but I see a good thing in the future of HomePod as a pure premiere home-hub. Unlike Amazon who is interested in what you are purchasing or Google who want to knows all your habits to sell more ads, Apple is genuinely providing a smart high quality home speaker - and that is only a start.
    Good or bad as a strategy, it is something they had to do to get a toe into this future market. The fact that they are showing a prototype is indicative of their late arrival but I think the early reveal makes sense.

    As for all the audio whizzbangery, most people who appreciate quality sounding music devices will probably already have decent enough hardware in their listening space that can be served wirelessly.

    They can't really market it as an Echo competitor until Siri is ready to step up to the plate and its name doesn't really imply audio as being the main feature so my guess is that it will eventually be a complete Echo/Google Home competitor with good enough audio for its size. When the time comes, I expect to see a more simplified version with just standard speaker functionality that will enable more users to get on board at a lower price point as well as for users who already have good speaker setups.
  • Reply 53 of 69
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,625member
    So glad to see someone has heard the HomePod. I suspected Apple wasn't just throwing around marketing buzzwords when they talked about the audio processing going on (the overkill A8-in-a-speaker suggests they're doing some serious real time processing). Nice to hear it actually sounds like they claimed it would.
    Hearing is believing, so my judgement will wait until I can sample it for myself, but from the description given at the event, it sounds to me like Apple is using phase detection to pull apart the in-phase mono (usually vocals, bass and kick drum) and out-of-phase stereo components (usually the echo return and secondary instruments), processing them in some sophisticated way and then putting them back together.   That could be a great thing or an absolutely terrible thing.  The downside is that it could result in phase distortion, but the circular array of tweeters is probably going to result in phase distortion anyway, since the signals from each of those speakers is going to arrive at one's ears at different times.

    Will people care?  Unlikely.   Anyone who cares that much about the accuracy of reproduction will have a more traditional sound system and won't be listening to compressed MP3's.   Personally, I think most of the similar systems sold today have disastrously bad sound, but people obviously buy them anyway.   I haven't heard the Echo.  

    As an ex-recording engineer, it does disturb me that most of these home speaker systems are mono (unless you buy two).   The article above says, "and it can also be paired with another unit to deliver an even wider stereo experience", but if the writer meant "even wider stereo" as opposed to "less wide stereo", that would be incorrect, since if you only use one, the sound is mono, unless Apple is using half of the tweeters for one channel and half for the other (which was mentioned at the presentation, so I doubt is the case).
    edited June 2017 jasenj1
  • Reply 54 of 69
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    zoetmb said:
    So glad to see someone has heard the HomePod. I suspected Apple wasn't just throwing around marketing buzzwords when they talked about the audio processing going on (the overkill A8-in-a-speaker suggests they're doing some serious real time processing). Nice to hear it actually sounds like they claimed it would.
    Hearing is believing, so my judgement will wait until I can sample it for myself, but from the description given at the event, it sounds to me like Apple is using phase detection to pull apart the in-phase mono (usually vocals, bass and kick drum) and out-of-phase stereo components (usually the echo return and secondary instruments), processing them in some sophisticated way and then putting them back together.   That could be a great thing or an absolutely terrible thing.  The downside is that it could result in phase distortion, but the circular array of tweeters is probably going to result in phase distortion anyway, since the signals from each of those speakers is going to arrive at one's ears at different times.

    Will people care?  Unlikely.   Anyone who cares that much about the accuracy of reproduction will have a more traditional sound system and won't be listening to compressed MP3's.   Personally, I think most of the similar systems sold today have disastrously bad sound, but people obviously buy them anyway.   I haven't heard the Echo.  

    As an ex-recording engineer, it does disturb me that most of these home speaker systems are mono (unless you buy two).   The article above says, "and it can also be paired with another unit to deliver an even wider stereo experience", but if the writer meant "even wider stereo" as opposed to "less wide stereo", that would be incorrect, since if you only use one, the sound is mono, unless Apple is using half of the tweeters for one channel and half for the other (which was mentioned at the presentation, so I doubt is the case).
    From my own experience, most stereo setup in houses in pure crap no matter how expensive the stereo and speakers are.
    Bad placement, bad EQ, bad config vs room, bad sources, speakers along a wall forcing everyone in one perfect sweet spot.

    Of course, you could have someone who actually care for fixing all of that and actually get good sound out of his setup and listen to it with no noise around in the perfect spot.

    But, that's not how most people listen to music or how they act. Those systems have been forcing people to adapt to them instead of the other way around.

    If the speaker can do some DSP to auto configure with the listening environment and even positioning of people in the room (which I'm sure someone or Apple will do), it will be an improvement regardless.

     For those people even a great mono speaker will be fantastic and for some kind of music stereo barely makes a difference anyway. A singer songwriter with a guitar and a mike pretty much comes from one tight spot and that's what I mostly listen too.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 55 of 69
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    eightzero said:
    tzeshan said:
    If this thing is equipped with a ten hour battery, it will fly out of the shelf during the holiday season. 
    It is powered by 110vac. It is hard to tell how that wire is configured, or how much power it pulls. But...a third party could make a power base/stand for it.

    jbdragon said:
    pbrutto said:
    TomPMRI said:
    Any information yet on whether or not the HomePod can be used with an iTunes Match subscription instead of having to subscribe to Apple Music?  If an Apple Music subscription is a must, this will be a deal killer for me.
    Took the question right out of my brain. I wish they would have explained this.....I am out if I need Apple Music 
    I want it to work with Amazon Prime Music since I get that for free as part of being a Prime Member. I sure not going to fork out money for Apple Music. I don't tune into enough music that I want to pay $10 a month for it. I think it's to much. If there was maybe a $5 option, I'd think about it.
    Concur. I am very, very suspicious of subscription fees. Presumably you'll have access to an iTunes library (some sort of home share, or via Match.) But Apple isn't going to make a device that allows you to pay someone else for content on it.

    Wait...amazon prime on apple TV....hum...
    You can play someone else's content, just not run an app on it to play someone else's content; that's going to be all Apple (at least for a long while). It's airplay2 so its not like there is a barrier to what it will play using this protocol.
  • Reply 56 of 69
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,694member
    foggyhill said:
    eightzero said:
    tzeshan said:
    If this thing is equipped with a ten hour battery, it will fly out of the shelf during the holiday season. 
    It is powered by 110vac. It is hard to tell how that wire is configured, or how much power it pulls. But...a third party could make a power base/stand for it.

    jbdragon said:
    pbrutto said:
    TomPMRI said:
    Any information yet on whether or not the HomePod can be used with an iTunes Match subscription instead of having to subscribe to Apple Music?  If an Apple Music subscription is a must, this will be a deal killer for me.
    Took the question right out of my brain. I wish they would have explained this.....I am out if I need Apple Music 
    I want it to work with Amazon Prime Music since I get that for free as part of being a Prime Member. I sure not going to fork out money for Apple Music. I don't tune into enough music that I want to pay $10 a month for it. I think it's to much. If there was maybe a $5 option, I'd think about it.
    Concur. I am very, very suspicious of subscription fees. Presumably you'll have access to an iTunes library (some sort of home share, or via Match.) But Apple isn't going to make a device that allows you to pay someone else for content on it.

    Wait...amazon prime on apple TV....hum...
    You can play someone else's content, just not run an app on it to play someone else's content; that's going to be all Apple (at least for a long while). It's airplay2 so its not like there is a barrier to what it will play using this protocol.
    Yep. So when you say to it "Hey Siri. Play 'xxx' from my Prime music" Siri will respond with, "I'm sorry, Dave. I can't do that." Pretty sure Apple has rigged the internal AE35 unit to fail.
  • Reply 57 of 69
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member


    Please tell me HomePod works with AppleTV?

    wouldn't it have been great if this had AppleTV and HomePod in the same form factor? 

    Or or better yet, wifi, HomePod and AppleTV in this form factor....
    Actually no ... if you plug your TV into this, then you can't just move it wherever you need it. And I sincerely doubt this makes an adequate replacement for a TV soundbar. My ATV is mounted behind my TV where all the wires are hidden, and that's where I want it. 
  • Reply 58 of 69
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,068member
    NY1822 said:
    I am down for 3 homepods, the upgrade refresh cycle on these will be worse than the iPad 
    Yes, but I think in the second year they will probably add either a TV sound Bar or a bigger, more expensive speaker
  • Reply 59 of 69
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,068member
    Folio said:
    Another thing about HomePod prototype, in contrast to some models of Amazon Echo and Google Home, is its potential to blend in to living rooms, bedrooms, etc. without too much corporate branding. Unless you are tight with Larry or Sergei, or in a college dorm, or sitting on 10,000 shares, I can’t imagine many people wanting to repeat day and night like a parrot “Hi Google, Hey Google, Hi Google…” Especially nights when romance is in the air: Hey Google, lower the lights. Hey Google, play “Let’s Get it On.” Hey Google, stop listening, will ya?
    Amazon is working to open up the Alexa/Echo platform.   I think it has quite of few products with it built in.   They are even making the microphones available including a couple cars.   There was a lot of coverage of this during CES.    Apple really needs to make SIRI much better (I'm sure the microphones in the HomePod helps).  Apple seems to be emphasizing the Speaker half of the the HomePod.   

    I'm wondering if SONOS is smart enough to integrate with either Alexa, Apple AirPlay, or Google because if they don't Apple could take a lot of either business.
    I would really like Roger Fingas to do a review of the HomeHub as he reviewed SONOS.    It would be nice to know how the HomePod compares to SONOS Play 1, Play 3, Play 5, and/or PlayBase.





  • Reply 60 of 69
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    k2kw said:
    Folio said:
    Another thing about HomePod prototype, in contrast to some models of Amazon Echo and Google Home, is its potential to blend in to living rooms, bedrooms, etc. without too much corporate branding. Unless you are tight with Larry or Sergei, or in a college dorm, or sitting on 10,000 shares, I can’t imagine many people wanting to repeat day and night like a parrot “Hi Google, Hey Google, Hi Google…” Especially nights when romance is in the air: Hey Google, lower the lights. Hey Google, play “Let’s Get it On.” Hey Google, stop listening, will ya?
    Amazon is working to open up the Alexa/Echo platform.   I think it has quite of few products with it built in.   They are even making the microphones available including a couple cars.   There was a lot of coverage of this during CES.    Apple really needs to make SIRI much better (I'm sure the microphones in the HomePod helps).  Apple seems to be emphasizing the Speaker half of the the HomePod.   

    I'm wondering if SONOS is smart enough to integrate with either Alexa, Apple AirPlay, or Google because if they don't Apple could take a lot of either business.
    I would really like Roger Fingas to do a review of the HomeHub as he reviewed SONOS.    It would be nice to know how the HomePod compares to SONOS Play 1, Play 3, Play 5, and/or PlayBase.
    I am 100% sure there is a Siri version 2 - but it's not ready yet for prime demo at this stage. Several people already pointed out that Apple has been very busy in developing Siri 2 from several companies acquisition like VocalIQ. Apple knew they have been lagging behind in voice assistant, if they upgraded Siri, it has to be extremely good. Time will tell.

    And yes six low frequency calibration microphones array will definitely help Siri.

    As for competitors, they also need to up their games. I believe WWDC is like a wake up call for Google and Amazon alike. That A8 processing for spatial awareness is some serious high tech, how it can adjust and readjust its sound depending on the position and room size and how it aware of another HomePod unit and works together reminds me so much of robots.
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