Tune HomePod's sound using equalizers in iOS and macOS

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  • Reply 61 of 84
    I don't understand the desire to adjust for hearing deterioration. When you listen to live music like an orchestra, there is no compensation for your particular hearing response curve. That's simply what an orchestra sounds like with your ears. So why would a reproduction of that orchestra need to be different? Assuming wide, even frequency response from the speaker, your perception of it will be the same as it is live.

    I can understand being frustrated by the loss of speech intelligibility and perhaps even awareness of high frequency roll-off; what I don't understand is why anyone would accept it in every other aspect of their life but consider it a shortcoming if a reproduction system isn't able to overcome it? Seems like proper hearing aids are a much better solution than EQ controls on a little speaker.

    Stated with due respect by one who has had to examine the ramifications of special equalization on monitoring systems for aging mix engineers. Like me.
    This. I came from the factory with almost no hearing in my right ear (nerve deafness, rolls off rapidly above 100 hzj, I *feel* the presence of sound over there rather than the actual sensation of pitch. I actually studied acoustics on a layman basis out of curiosity how I could still hear binauraly (spoiler alert; phase shift). Over the course of my 60 years of rock concerts, garage bands, disco bars, and now AirPods, my hearing is just as bad as the day I was born.

    And Bitcoin is real money! No, dear reader, I realize that I’m experiencing the ‘boiling frog syndrome’ here, I have to get the subtitles up on “The Man In The High Castle” because these people must, by necessity of the plot, whisper. But as Mr. Schulz states, the world doesn’t adapt itself to accommodate your hearing, why should your speakers? My brain innately figured out how to compensate for defective inputs so my EQ doesn’t have to.

    Because of this way of thinking on my part, I’ve avoided cochlear implants or hearing aids, believing that hearing all that extra input could drive me to the point of distraction, since I’ve never heard in my right ear all my life, and I’ve survived this long, right? My point is, this is all as subjective as you can get, philosophers have been mulling this over for years:

    “Nietzsche says ‘Out of chaos comes order.’”
    ”Oh, blow it out your ass, Howard!”
    Blazing Saddles


    Been doin' more experimenting...

    I moved the homePod to the family room:  first,next to the TV;  second to the fireplace mantle;  last to the coffee table in the middle of the room.

    The coffee table setup is interesting, as you can walk 360° around it -- and sweet spot seems to travel with you!

    In my 60+ years of listening to HiFi, I've never experienced anything like it!

    This. Also. And earlier quotes I didn’t feel like grabbing, like using AirPods to give you a hearing test, make a profile (possibly a Health parameter), and spray it over all your audio settings. I’d like to experience what it’s like to have all my hearing, or a reasonable facsimile, *without* bionics, i.e.; air. Mr. Applebaum hit on this, the sound just exists. There are larger things in store here, software is everything, and this dovetails well with AR. Stay tuned and buy AAPL on the cheap.

    Chuck

  • Reply 62 of 84
    DoctorQ said:
    I don't understand the desire to adjust for hearing deterioration. When you listen to live music like an orchestra, there is no compensation for your particular hearing response curve. That's simply what an orchestra sounds like with your ears. So why would a reproduction of that orchestra need to be different? Assuming wide, even frequency response from the speaker, your perception of it will be the same as it is live.

    I can understand being frustrated by the loss of speech intelligibility and perhaps even awareness of high frequency roll-off; what I don't understand is why anyone would accept it in every other aspect of their life but consider it a shortcoming if a reproduction system isn't able to overcome it? Seems like proper hearing aids are a much better solution than EQ controls on a little speaker.

    Stated with due respect by one who has had to examine the ramifications of special equalization on monitoring systems for aging mix engineers. Like me.
    This. I came from the factory with almost no hearing in my right ear (nerve deafness, rolls off rapidly above 100 hzj, I *feel* the presence of sound over there rather than the actual sensation of pitch. I actually studied acoustics on a layman basis out of curiosity how I could still hear binauraly (spoiler alert; phase shift). Over the course of my 60 years of rock concerts, garage bands, disco bars, and now AirPods, my hearing is just as bad as the day I was born.

    And Bitcoin is real money! No, dear reader, I realize that I’m experiencing the ‘boiling frog syndrome’ here, I have to get the subtitles up on “The Man In The High Castle” because these people must, by necessity of the plot, whisper. But as Mr. Schulz states, the world doesn’t adapt itself to accommodate your hearing, why should your speakers? My brain innately figured out how to compensate for defective inputs so my EQ doesn’t have to.

    Because of this way of thinking on my part, I’ve avoided cochlear implants or hearing aids, believing that hearing all that extra input could drive me to the point of distraction, since I’ve never heard in my right ear all my life, and I’ve survived this long, right? My point is, this is all as subjective as you can get, philosophers have been mulling this over for years:

    “Nietzsche says ‘Out of chaos comes order.’”
    ”Oh, blow it out your ass, Howard!”
    Blazing Saddles


    Been doin' more experimenting...

    I moved the homePod to the family room:  first,next to the TV;  second to the fireplace mantle;  last to the coffee table in the middle of the room.

    The coffee table setup is interesting, as you can walk 360° around it -- and sweet spot seems to travel with you!

    In my 60+ years of listening to HiFi, I've never experienced anything like it!

    This. Also. And earlier quotes I didn’t feel like grabbing, like using AirPods to give you a hearing test, make a profile (possibly a Health parameter), and spray it over all your audio settings. I’d like to experience what it’s like to have all my hearing, or a reasonable facsimile, *without* bionics, i.e.; air. Mr. Applebaum hit on this, the sound just exists. There are larger things in store here, software is everything, and this dovetails well with AR. Stay tuned and buy AAPL on the cheap.

    Chuck

    Rev. Johnson: [praying] O Lord, do we have the strength to carry off this mighty task in one night? Or are we just jerking off? 

    Townspeople: Amen.

    Blazing Saddles

  • Reply 63 of 84
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,658member
    jdw said:
    foggyhill said:
    ...I've tried Alexa and it's nothing how those freaks at Macrumors keep clamoring it is, it's as dumb as a brick in almost everything that's not its niche. 
    You might enjoy this HomePod review.  SIRI takes a beating.  No real surprises for us who know from our iPhone and iPad use that SIRI isn't very smart at all.  Even so, for someone like me who would primarily consider a HomePod-like device for the quality of its virtual assistant, the review illustrates how disappointing SIRI would be, even if all those mics make her hear your voice better than any other Apple device...


    Right.. I will actually read a "review" with this clickbait title, give them clicks, give me a break.
    It's always the same shit basically, same type of searches, same type of use that is in no way similar to my use.  

    Notice that APPLE DIDN"T EVEN PUSH THIS IS THEIR GOD DAMN LAUNCH LAST YEAR.
    And most people buying it at that price surely are not buying it for Siri either, so wth is it a bust for?

    All other assistants suck ass at sound, and yes I've heard them. Not even close to being OK. And I've also used the Sonos 5 and again it's bigger and not really up to the task in most rooms except maybe in the living room (and even there it is debatable) compared to this speaker.
  • Reply 64 of 84
    DoctorQ said:
    [...] I have to get the subtitles up on “The Man In The High Castle” because these people must, by necessity of the plot, whisper.
    Nope, I place blame for that show squarely at the feet of the audio department, with the director as co-accused.

    The director for allowing actors to mutter and mumble. The "stage whisper" is a fundamental part of any acting class. One can "act" quiet while still being intelligible.

    Mostly I blame the audio department for failing to capture intelligible audio, or absent that, replacing mumbled lines with ADR and/or "helping" those lines in the mix. A little bump in level for a few words, with a little EQ cut in the low mids and little boost in the presence zone, allow a line to cut through and be understood. In certain circumstances the result may be less pretty-sounding as a result, and if the mixer goes too far it can draw attention to itself, taking the viewer out of the story, but as long as it's subtle it can really enhance the viewer's experience.*

    I've always said that a technically-flawed recording of a passionate performance is better than a technically-perfect recording of a snore so I feel like I'm contradicting myself, but based on my experience with this show I'm starting to think that maybe preserving a performance is pointless if no one can understand what the actor is saying!

    On-topic tie-in:


    This is why EQ on the HomePod may be useful. If the people who produce a product, whether it be a TV show, movie, or song, make decisions about spectral balance that interfere with the listener's enjoyment, EQ can help. Most of us will rarely bother with it, and the HomePod will probably sound better than most alternatives at a similar price point even without it, but that doesn't diminish its usefulness for those who would use it. Choosing not to include it on the HomePod isn't some kind of blessing in disguise, it's just something the HomePod doesn't do, period.


    * Footnote:
    Q: How many audio techs does it take to mix a show?
    A: All of them. One to do it, and the rest to talk about how THEY would have done it!


  • Reply 65 of 84
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,098member
    larrya said:
    maestro64 said:
    scafe2 said:

    Well after all the hype and excellent reviews, I must say I disagree, the HomePod sounds ok but not great, there is too much bass, I think there is a real need to be able to make adjustments.,  but after reading several forums I seem to be on my own here , so do I have a faulty HP or am I doing something wrong? is it the position / placement in my room or what it is placed on affecting it.,, because the rumbling / droning Bass is overpowering 

    By the way I like bass on my Bose speaker and BW Zeppelin but must say I am not liking it so much the Homepod 

    This why you can not trust internet reviewers of audio equipment. Everyone has their own presence of what sounds good. Some people actual like tinny sounds over heavy bass some people do not like how the bass feels on their body. My wife is one she does not like heavy bass music in my car. However the homepod seems to balance this she did not seem to mind it's bass. But just another set of opinions.
    We are starting to see objective (i.e., not based on preview units) reviews now, and this one agrees with scafe2.

    https://www.kirkville.com/homepod-review-when-it-sounds-good-its-great-but-it-doesnt-always-sound-good/ 

    "...sometimes this speaker sounds really great, sometimes it really doesn’t. I did find that, playing music from iTunes, with the Bass Reducer setting on the Equalizer, much of the music sounded better. There was less booming bass, and more subtle sounds. But no matter what, the midrange is weak on a speaker like this.

    What the HomePod needs, of course, is user access to settings like an equalizer..."

    As i said just another set of opinions, I personally like more bass than the highs, I like feeling the music to some degree, with that said I have been to some Rock Concerts with so much bass i could not stand it and had to move away the speakers. My theater room has some pretty heavy bass, and i have thumpers in the seats since watch some movies the bass is what makes the movie like loud explosions, but the bass is not on 100% of the time and the bass is set to only kick in below 150 HZ otherwise it goes through the other speakers. What I know from all of this, some people love my movie theater and other people do not like all the sensory inputs.
  • Reply 66 of 84
    jdwjdw Posts: 592member

    Soli said:
    1) @jdw, why do you write SIRI? Is this the same reason people write MAC and I-Phone?

    Thank you for asking.  The answer is because "Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface" is more accurate, in my opinion, than a "beautiful woman who leads you to victory"...

    http://theweek.com/articles/476851/how-apples-siri-got-name
  • Reply 67 of 84
    jdwjdw Posts: 592member
    foggyhill said:
    ...most people buying it at that price surely are not buying it for Siri...
    I don't believe any of us are equipped to say definitively what "most people are buying the HomePod for" at present.  We can only say definitively what we ourselves would want to buy it for.  And as I stated previously, I would only buy it if I got something more than just "a great speaker" out of it, especially for that price point.

    SIRI (yes, all-caps) has so much potential.  I know full well Apple bought the tech from someone else, but Apple has the funds and engineers to have made it much better than it is today.  The HomePod finally brings the "R" (recognition) to life in that Interface (the second "I" in SIRI) to life.  You can speak from anywhere in the room even with loud sound blasting and your Speech (the "S" in SIRI) will find its intended target.  But alas, the first "I" in SIRI is the problem part.  How badly she Interprets much of the time, even when she hears you well!  And that is really why I linked that HomePod review, even if some argue it isn't so Snazzy.  The interpretation fumble demonstrated in that video parallels my own experience with SIRI.  She really can't do much and what she can do she doesn't do very well.  She sends me to a web page or Apple.com most of the time, mispronounces my daughter's name even after I train the proper pronunciation (and after having written to Apple about that too), and SIRI refuses to adjust settings on my iPhone.  The only thing I really use on a daily basis is SIRI Voice Dictation on my iPhone when I want to input many sentences or paragraphs of text.  But even that isn't as good on my iPhone as it is on my 2015 MBP 15".

    No doubt some will quip, "You're not the intended target for the HomePod."  I smile.... People said the same of me with regard to the MacBook, and the late 2016 and newer MacBook Pros.  They said the same to me about the Mac Pro.  They said the same to me about he MacBook Air.  They said the same to me about AirPods.  They said the same of me regarding Apple Music.  In fact, many status quo defenders in online forums have essentially said that I, an Apple products fan since my Mac 128k in 1984, am not the intended target for most Apple products and services these days.  Whether they are right or just defending their own argument is irrelevant.  I can only voice what product features would appeal to me, which in many cases were features that Apple once offered in the past that I enjoyed and kept me loyal to Apple in the first place.  It's also a fact that I am not alone and unique in this world in thinking the way I do.

    Apple isn't perfect.  They need a kick in the pants from time to time -- they kind of kick they no longer get from Steve Jobs.  We aren't going to achieve that if we merely worship everything Cupertino kicks out to us perpetually.  It's up to us to give feedback (to others in forums like this and to Apple via their Feedback form) on whether a given product or feature does or would appeal to us.  I've given my personal assessment of the HomePod.  The rest of you may differ in opinions, but I still feel a sense of camaraderie with many of you here, as we are clearly Apple fans. We may not always agree, but I believe we are in the same boat.  Paddle onward!
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 68 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,305member
    jdw said:

    Soli said:
    1) @jdw, why do you write SIRI? Is this the same reason people write MAC and I-Phone?

    Thank you for asking.  The answer is because "Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface" is more accurate, in my opinion, than a "beautiful woman who leads you to victory"...

    http://theweek.com/articles/476851/how-apples-siri-got-name
    How is Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface more accurate? It actually sounds like a backronym, but assuming that it isn't, that would like referring to macOS High Sierra as NeXTSTEP or iTunes as SoundJam. The closest I can find is the original work by SRI (Stanford Research InstituteInternational, which seems to be how the initial App Store app developers came up with name.

    Or, if you're trying to suggest that we should refer to all digital personal assistances as SIRI, that's still convoluted since it would be a confusing as a homonym, no one uses that as an umbrella term, and umbrella terms are literally not more accurate than actual brand names.

    But have fun with your MAC, I-Phone, and Ω-Pod.
  • Reply 69 of 84
    jdwjdw Posts: 592member
    Soli said:
    How is Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface more accurate? 
    How is endlessly arguing this point productive or fun?  :-)

    No matter what I say in my defense you will likely have a "yes, but..." response.  

    The great thing about human beings is our diversity of thought.  I appreciate the fact you Think Different.  Indeed, that's precisely why we all love Apple, in spite of its flaws.  But getting along with each other doesn't mean getting a satisfactory explanation from them.  Sometimes, we just have to shake our heads and say, "I don't get it.  But that's OK."

    Best wishes.
  • Reply 70 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,305member
    jdw said:
    Soli said:
    How is Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface more accurate? 
    How is endlessly arguing this point productive or fun?  :-)

    No matter what I say in my defense you will likely have a "yes, but..." response.  

    The great thing about human beings is our diversity of thought.  I appreciate the fact you Think Different.  Indeed, that's precisely why we all love Apple, in spite of its flaws.  But getting along with each other doesn't mean getting a satisfactory explanation from them.  Sometimes, we just have to shake our heads and say, "I don't get it.  But that's OK."

    Best wishes.
    1) You have the right to be obtuse, unclear, and ignorant all day long, but don't expect people not to shake their heads when they see you actively choose to communicate poorly.

    2) Steve Jobs was very clear about "think different" when asked why Apple was dropping AppleTalk for Ethernet. He said it's a misnomer that Apple be different for its own sake, and that Apple is trying to think better. Good advice.
    edited February 11
  • Reply 71 of 84
    jdwjdw Posts: 592member
    Soli said:
    1) You have the right to be obtuse, unclear, and ignorant all day long, but don't expect people not to shake their heads when they see you actively choose to communicate poorly.

    2) Steve Jobs was very clear about "think different" when asked why Apple was dropping AppleTalk for Ethernet. He said it's a misnomer that Apple be different for its own sake, and that Apple is trying to think better. Good advice.
    Thank you for your advice.  Despite the name calling, and despite your having indirectly compared me with Steve Jobs and found I surprisingly do not compare, I shall stick by my choice of all-caps for SIRI simply because it suits me.  It brings me personal satisfaction even if I fail to adequately explain why I have chosen to write it that way.  Therein lies the answer to your query that needs no further dispute or argument.

    Now go outside and enjoy life, thinking no more of that silly guy on the internet that you don't even know and who means nothing to you in the greater scheme of things.  There's more to life than arguing in an online forum over laughably trivial matters like capitalization.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 72 of 84
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,305member
    jdw said:
    Soli said:
    1) You have the right to be obtuse, unclear, and ignorant all day long, but don't expect people not to shake their heads when they see you actively choose to communicate poorly.

    2) Steve Jobs was very clear about "think different" when asked why Apple was dropping AppleTalk for Ethernet. He said it's a misnomer that Apple be different for its own sake, and that Apple is trying to think better. Good advice.
    Thank you for your advice.  Despite the name calling, and despite your having indirectly compared me with Steve Jobs and found I surprisingly do not compare, I shall stick by my choice of all-caps for SIRI simply because it suits me.  It brings me personal satisfaction even if I fail to adequately explain why I have chosen to write it that way.  Therein lies the answer to your query that needs no further dispute or argument.

    Now go outside and enjoy life, thinking no more of that silly guy on the internet that you don't even know and who means nothing to you in the greater scheme of things.  There's more to life than arguing in an online forum over laughably trivial matters like capitalization.
    I didn't call you a name. I specially referring to your writing style. If you can't figure that out then maybe you're attempt at whimsical writing and party-of-one acronyms should be reevaluated.
    edited February 11
  • Reply 73 of 84
    Soli said:
    jdw said:
    Soli said:
    1) You have the right to be obtuse, unclear, and ignorant all day long, but don't expect people not to shake their heads when they see you actively choose to communicate poorly.

    2) Steve Jobs was very clear about "think different" when asked why Apple was dropping AppleTalk for Ethernet. He said it's a misnomer that Apple be different for its own sake, and that Apple is trying to think better. Good advice.
    Thank you for your advice.  Despite the name calling, and despite your having indirectly compared me with Steve Jobs and found I surprisingly do not compare, I shall stick by my choice of all-caps for SIRI simply because it suits me.  It brings me personal satisfaction even if I fail to adequately explain why I have chosen to write it that way.  Therein lies the answer to your query that needs no further dispute or argument.

    Now go outside and enjoy life, thinking no more of that silly guy on the internet that you don't even know and who means nothing to you in the greater scheme of things.  There's more to life than arguing in an online forum over laughably trivial matters like capitalization.
    I didn't call you a name. I specially referring to your writing style. If you can't figure that out then maybe you're attempt at whimsical writing and party-of-one acronyms should be reevaluated.
    NO!!! @jdw, I enjoy and appreciate @Soli's posts here and find I quite often agree with her/his views about Apple things, but not this time.

    Please do NOT reevaluate your writing. I find it amusing, enlightening, and entertaining (or as you might describe it, AEE). The attitude you convey is refreshing.
    jdw
  • Reply 74 of 84
    Playing audio over Airplay to the Homepod already reduces perceived audio quality, since Apple does not process Airplay audio the way they do with Apple Music. There is quite a difference between playing the same song from Apple Music or streaming a lossless audio file over airplay. The Airplay stream sounds worse. So Apple is not doing audio matching or filtering to Airplay streams. Another way to get more people to switch from competing streaming services.
  • Reply 75 of 84
    michelb76 said:
    Playing audio over Airplay to the Homepod already reduces perceived audio quality, since Apple does not process Airplay audio the way they do with Apple Music. There is quite a difference between playing the same song from Apple Music or streaming a lossless audio file over airplay. The Airplay stream sounds worse. So Apple is not doing audio matching or filtering to Airplay streams. Another way to get more people to switch from competing streaming services.
    Where did you get this information? Can you refer me to an explanation I can look at?

    You mentioned that Apple processes Apple Music streams but not Airplay. Can you elaborate on what this processing is and/or what it does? Also, I don't understand what "audio matching" is. Can you explain? What filtering is Apple applying to Apple Music streams that is not present via Airplay?
  • Reply 76 of 84
    michelb76 said:
    Playing audio over Airplay to the Homepod already reduces perceived audio quality, since Apple does not process Airplay audio the way they do with Apple Music. There is quite a difference between playing the same song from Apple Music or streaming a lossless audio file over airplay. The Airplay stream sounds worse. So Apple is not doing audio matching or filtering to Airplay streams. Another way to get more people to switch from competing streaming services.
    Where did you get this information? Can you refer me to an explanation I can look at?

    You mentioned that Apple processes Apple Music streams but not Airplay. Can you elaborate on what this processing is and/or what it does? Also, I don't understand what "audio matching" is. Can you explain? What filtering is Apple applying to Apple Music streams that is not present via Airplay?
    From what I've read:
    • Apple Music and iTunes Match have the capability to contain metadata defining an audio profile.  The audio profile is provided by the artist at the time of recording -- or generated by Apple analytics when it is added to Apple Music or iTunes Match. This profile is downloaded with the music and the homePod uses it to dynamically tune itself (EQ settings) prior to and during playback.
    • For sounds lacking this profile (no iTunes Match/Apple Music, older music, personal songs/podcasts, whatever) the HomePod tunes itself (creates a dynamic profile at play time) by listening to the sound and making adjustments as it is playing

    I have quite a few of the latter -- and they sound better on the homePod than any system on which I've played them.

    Here's one that I have the .mp3 that plays great on the homePod, not as well on youtube using the iMac's speakers:



    edited February 12
  • Reply 77 of 84
    michelb76 said:
    Playing audio over Airplay to the Homepod already reduces perceived audio quality, since Apple does not process Airplay audio the way they do with Apple Music. There is quite a difference between playing the same song from Apple Music or streaming a lossless audio file over airplay. The Airplay stream sounds worse. So Apple is not doing audio matching or filtering to Airplay streams. Another way to get more people to switch from competing streaming services.
    Where did you get this information? Can you refer me to an explanation I can look at?

    You mentioned that Apple processes Apple Music streams but not Airplay. Can you elaborate on what this processing is and/or what it does? Also, I don't understand what "audio matching" is. Can you explain? What filtering is Apple applying to Apple Music streams that is not present via Airplay?
    From what I've read:
    • Apple Music and iTunes Match have the capability to contain metadata defining an audio profile.  The audio profile is provided by the artist at the time of recording -- or generated by Apple analytics when it is added to Apple Music or iTunes Match. This profile is downloaded with the music and the homePod uses it to dynamically tune itself (EQ settings) prior to and during playback.
    • For sounds lacking this profile (no iTunes Match/Apple Music, older music, personal songs/podcasts, whatever) the HomePod tunes itself (creates a dynamic profile at play time) by listening to the sound and making adjustments as it is playing

    I have quite a few of the latter -- and they sound better on the homePod than any system on which I've played them.

    Here's one that I have the .mp3 that plays great on the homePod, not as well on youtube using the iMac's speakers:



    Unless said metadata provides unique data for each type of playback device it seems like a weird approach. If it applies one EQ curve for listening from an iPhone and another for the HomePod and yet another for a laptop, there could be benefits. If it's just a universal curve, it seems like it would just be a redundant step. If the track requires remastering via metadata, it strikes me as not being ready for release.

    That aside, the OP indicated that this processing is absent when using AirPlay. Is this feature somehow unique to the combination of the HomePod with Apple's cloud music storage system? If the HomePod does it "on the fly" for ripped tracks, wouldn't it also do so for anything played via AirPlay?
  • Reply 78 of 84
    michelb76 said:
    Playing audio over Airplay to the Homepod already reduces perceived audio quality, since Apple does not process Airplay audio the way they do with Apple Music. There is quite a difference between playing the same song from Apple Music or streaming a lossless audio file over airplay. The Airplay stream sounds worse. So Apple is not doing audio matching or filtering to Airplay streams. Another way to get more people to switch from competing streaming services.
    Where did you get this information? Can you refer me to an explanation I can look at?

    You mentioned that Apple processes Apple Music streams but not Airplay. Can you elaborate on what this processing is and/or what it does? Also, I don't understand what "audio matching" is. Can you explain? What filtering is Apple applying to Apple Music streams that is not present via Airplay?
    From what I've read:
    • Apple Music and iTunes Match have the capability to contain metadata defining an audio profile.  The audio profile is provided by the artist at the time of recording -- or generated by Apple analytics when it is added to Apple Music or iTunes Match. This profile is downloaded with the music and the homePod uses it to dynamically tune itself (EQ settings) prior to and during playback.
    • For sounds lacking this profile (no iTunes Match/Apple Music, older music, personal songs/podcasts, whatever) the HomePod tunes itself (creates a dynamic profile at play time) by listening to the sound and making adjustments as it is playing

    I have quite a few of the latter -- and they sound better on the homePod than any system on which I've played them.

    Here's one that I have the .mp3 that plays great on the homePod, not as well on youtube using the iMac's speakers:



    Unless said metadata provides unique data for each type of playback device it seems like a weird approach. If it applies one EQ curve for listening from an iPhone and another for the HomePod and yet another for a laptop, there could be benefits. If it's just a universal curve, it seems like it would just be a redundant step. If the track requires remastering via metadata, it strikes me as not being ready for release.

    That aside, the OP indicated that this processing is absent when using AirPlay. Is this feature somehow unique to the combination of the HomePod with Apple's cloud music storage system? If the HomePod does it "on the fly" for ripped tracks, wouldn't it also do so for anything played via AirPlay?
    Not necessarily! If Apple decides to make homePod EQ not available (or optional), then legitimate Music or iTunes Match tracks would come with an EQ profile set by the author -- dynamically adjusted to the acoustics of the environment.  That would be best for most users -- but so-called audiophiles could experimentally override the profile to suit themselves.

    I suspect that Apple will offer the optional EG override in a future release... That's the way they roll.
  • Reply 79 of 84
    Sorry @"lorin schultz"  I had notifications disabled..I have no more information than what some users on twitters said. It seems like it is indeed EQ information.
    I have not seen any testers/reviewers try playing the same song through Apple Music and over Airplay and do some actual tests..only a few actual users of the Homepod. It would be nice to see some extensive testing.
  • Reply 80 of 84
    michelb76 said:
    Playing audio over Airplay to the Homepod already reduces perceived audio quality, since Apple does not process Airplay audio the way they do with Apple Music. There is quite a difference between playing the same song from Apple Music or streaming a lossless audio file over airplay. The Airplay stream sounds worse. So Apple is not doing audio matching or filtering to Airplay streams. Another way to get more people to switch from competing streaming services.
    Where did you get this information? Can you refer me to an explanation I can look at?

    You mentioned that Apple processes Apple Music streams but not Airplay. Can you elaborate on what this processing is and/or what it does? Also, I don't understand what "audio matching" is. Can you explain? What filtering is Apple applying to Apple Music streams that is not present via Airplay?
    From what I've read:
    • Apple Music and iTunes Match have the capability to contain metadata defining an audio profile.  The audio profile is provided by the artist at the time of recording -- or generated by Apple analytics when it is added to Apple Music or iTunes Match. This profile is downloaded with the music and the homePod uses it to dynamically tune itself (EQ settings) prior to and during playback.
    • For sounds lacking this profile (no iTunes Match/Apple Music, older music, personal songs/podcasts, whatever) the HomePod tunes itself (creates a dynamic profile at play time) by listening to the sound and making adjustments as it is playing

    I have quite a few of the latter -- and they sound better on the homePod than any system on which I've played them.

    Here's one that I have the .mp3 that plays great on the homePod, not as well on youtube using the iMac's speakers:



    Unless said metadata provides unique data for each type of playback device it seems like a weird approach. If it applies one EQ curve for listening from an iPhone and another for the HomePod and yet another for a laptop, there could be benefits. If it's just a universal curve, it seems like it would just be a redundant step. If the track requires remastering via metadata, it strikes me as not being ready for release.

    That aside, the OP indicated that this processing is absent when using AirPlay. Is this feature somehow unique to the combination of the HomePod with Apple's cloud music storage system? If the HomePod does it "on the fly" for ripped tracks, wouldn't it also do so for anything played via AirPlay?
    Not necessarily! If Apple decides to make homePod EQ not available (or optional), then legitimate Music or iTunes Match tracks would come with an EQ profile set by the author -- dynamically adjusted to the acoustics of the environment.  That would be best for most users -- but so-called audiophiles could experimentally override the profile to suit themselves.

    I suspect that Apple will offer the optional EG override in a future release... That's the way they roll.
    Where are you finding this information about track-specific metadata? I am apparently not wording my searches correctly, as I keep coming up with stuff about ID tags, nothing about EQ or any other kind of processing. I'd really like to learn more. Can you point me to anything published by Apple about it?
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