Video: Apple HomePod vs. Google Home Max

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2018
Apple's HomePod and Google's Home Max are both vying for the high end of the audio market. But which one is worth your hard earned cash? AppleInsider put these premium speakers to the test to tell you which one wins out.





If you're trying to choose a smart speaker with high-quality audio, Apple's HomePod and Google's Home Max are great choices.

If you're not willing to spend 350 to 400 dollars on a single speaker, then the Sonos One is the perfect choice for you.

You can also check out our HomePod vs. Sonos One comparison.

Apple HomePod versus Google Home Max smart speaker


First of all, if you don't own an iPhone, you should probably just go with the Google Home Max, since it supports both aAdroid and iOS.

The HomePod is a really great speaker, but it definitely has its limitations.

Siri is undoubtedly worse than both Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.

However, on the HomePod, everything's encrypted, so even Apple has no idea what you're saying to it.

This is why the HomePod doesn't have a mute switch like the Google Home Max does.

On the other hand, it has a pretty big flaw -- it can't register or recognize multiple voices.

So if you have personal requests turned on, anyone can ask Siri to read your messages.

Luckily, those things can be fixed with software updates.

What can't get fixed, however, is hardware, so let's talk specs.

The Max is over twice as heavy as the HomePod, coming in at 11.7 pounds compared to 5.5.

The HomePod is very compact compared to the Max, so it has more flexibility for placement.

The HomePod has seven tweeters and one subwoofer. The tweeters are horn-loaded, and can focus sound in 360 degrees around the HomePod.

The Max has two subwoofers and two tweeters that face frontward, so you're forced to put it against a wall or in a corner if you want the best results.

Both speakers use six far-field microphones to detect the space they're in and automatically balance sound output, but there's not much to balance on the Max compared to the HomePod, since all the speakers are facing one direction anyways.

The HomePod has a 4-inch woofer compared to two 4.5-inch woofers on the Max, but the HomePod uses special technology that allows for 20 millimeters of woofer travel compared to only 11 millimeters on each woofer in the Max, so this single woofer should be able to hold its ground.

The Max has a 3.5mm Auxiliary port, as well as a usb-c port that can be used for a wired internet connection.

The HomePod has neither, but it does offer more touch controls compared to the Max, which can only pause/play and adjust the volume.

You can double tap the center to skip to next track, triple-tap for the previous track, and tap and hold to invoke Siri.

The Google Home Max can actually do hands-free calling. With the HomePod, you have to manually call with your phone, and then switch the output to the HomePod

The Max can be placed horizontally to play stereo sound.

It comes with a magnetic rubber pad so you can easily place it vertically, which will automatically switch the Max to mono mode.

Unlike the HomePod, the rubber pad won't leave a white ring on furniture.

The HomePod can actually reproduce stereo sound by splitting channels between its 7 tweeters.

But as you can tell, stereo works better on the Home Max since it actually has 2 sets of speakers side by side.

You can also pair two Home Max speakers, either horizontally or vertically, and they will work in stereo. You can place them in different rooms for multi-room audio by creating audio groups, which can contain any combination of google home or Chromecast audio devices.

You won't be able to natively pair two HomePods for true stereo sound and multi-room audio until AirPlay 2 is released.

We were actually able to pair two HomePods without using Airplay 2 by using a couple of methods.

The Max supports voice control for music services such as YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music.

Home Max doesn't support Apple Music, but it can play it using Bluetooth.

Volume wise, the Google Home Max completely blows the HomePod out of the water.

There is definitely some distortion to be heard past 80 percent volume on the Home Max, especially in the highs.

Most people wouldn't listen to it past 80% volume unless they're hosting a house party or watching a movie on their TV using Chromecast.

Also, at least 80 percent volume, the Max has a very hard time hearing commands.

This makes for an awkward situation if a guest comes and you have to run over to turn the volume down.

The HomePod however, can also have some trouble, but only when maxed out.

We set both speakers to 50 percent volume to test the sound quality.

Interestingly, the HomePod beats out the Google Home Max in terms of bass.

The Home Max sounded muffled at 50 percent volume, the mids just didn't stand out at all.

We tested multiple songs, and the HomePod is hands-down the winner when listening at medium volumes.

We played a very bass heavy song, and the HomePod did a great job of maintaining audio reproduction of high and mid frequencies during the bass notes compared to the Max.

As you can hear, the bass on the HomePod is also much, much deeper.

If you're into music and enjoy lots of deep bass, the HomePod is the better choice.

In conclusion, the HomePod is the clear winner for sound quality, with extremely clear audio reproduction and no distortion at all.

However, after listening to the Home Max, you really start to wish it could get at least a little bit louder.

If you aren't planning on blasting the music on your new smart speaker, and enjoy listening at lower volumes, the HomePod is definitely the right choice.

The Home Max's highs are definitely louder and brighter at higher volumes, so if you really enjoy sharp highs, then get the Max.

Fortunately, there isn't enough of a difference between the two to justify buying one or the other for sound quality reasons alone.

If you really care about the smart side of the speakers, then the Google Home Max is the obvious choice.

The Max doesn't natively support Apple Music and the Apple ecosystem, yet that's the only thing the HomePod natively supports.

If you already have an Apple Music subscription, definitely buy the HomePod.

If you've got a subscription for any other music service that's supported by Home Max, and don't think it's worth switching over to Apple Music, then definitely buy the Home Max.
jahblade
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    HomePod is also HomeKit compatible and can control lights, thermostat, etc. That is a big plus for anyone planning on going that route. HomePod can even execute HomeApp commands from a remote location.
    jahbladeAirunJaejbdragonalbegarcwatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 2 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,375member
    1) You guys are killing it with these in-depth A/V reviews.

    2) Since there is so much possibility for alteration of the original sound between uploading to YouTube and playing on whatever speaker system one may have, is it feasible to have a visual display of the audio playback that would be useful to the viewer?

    3) Have you done far-field mic tests yet? From my experience on a scale of 1–10 of voice activated services:

    1 = iPhone
    2 = Apple Watch
    5 = Echo Dot (2G)
    6 = Echo (1G)
    7 = Echo Plus
    11 = HomePod

    I thought the original Echo was magical but the HomePod blows them all out of the water. Even at the loudest volume, from across the room or even out of the room, it picks up my commands. 
    jbdragonalbegarcwatto_cobraleptonlolliverchasmjony0
  • Reply 3 of 43
    Soli said:
    1) You guys are killing it with these in-depth A/V reviews.

    2) Since there is so much possibility for alteration of the original sound between uploading to YouTube and playing on whatever speaker system one may have, is it feasible to have a visual display of the audio playback that would be useful to the viewer?

    3) Have you done far-field mic tests yet? From my experience on a scale of 1–10 of voice activated services:

    1 = iPhone
    2 = Apple Watch
    5 = Echo Dot (2G)
    6 = Echo (1G)
    7 = Echo Plus
    11 = HomePod

    I thought the original Echo was magical but the HomePod blows them all out of the water. Even at the loudest volume, from across the room or even out of the room, it picks up my commands. 
    I agree. She even picks up something that sound like Hey Siri on occasion, the volume will lower and she says "Hmmm?".  I just laugh and tell her never mind.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Thanks for the video comparison, Mikey and Neil. Thanks so much for those. Getting to listen to the relative differences myself has been very interesting as has your technical assessment/analysis. It's been right on the spot for me. Not too technical but answers a lot of questions about listening over several music styles, volume, etc. (Also, sorry, but why is every sentence a paragraph?)
  • Reply 5 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,375member
    jcs2305 said:
    Soli said:
    1) You guys are killing it with these in-depth A/V reviews.

    2) Since there is so much possibility for alteration of the original sound between uploading to YouTube and playing on whatever speaker system one may have, is it feasible to have a visual display of the audio playback that would be useful to the viewer?

    3) Have you done far-field mic tests yet? From my experience on a scale of 1–10 of voice activated services:

    1 = iPhone
    2 = Apple Watch
    5 = Echo Dot (2G)
    6 = Echo (1G)
    7 = Echo Plus
    11 = HomePod

    I thought the original Echo was magical but the HomePod blows them all out of the water. Even at the loudest volume, from across the room or even out of the room, it picks up my commands. 
    I agree. She even picks up something that sound like Hey Siri on occasion, the volume will lower and she says "Hmmm?".  I just laugh and tell her never mind.
    Did you read what Amazon does so that "Alexa" being said on their ads doesn't get picked up by all the Echos? If not, long story short, the Echos listen for a certain signal which when received will then ignore the wake word while that signal is present. I read that's proprietary tech, but I'd assume that Google and Apple also have their own implementations.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,289member
    The HomePod has a 4-inch woofer compared to two 4.5-inch woofers on the Max, but the HomePod uses special technology that allows for 20 millimeters of woofer travel compared to only 11 millimeters on each woofer in the Max, so this single woofer should be able to hold its ground.
    Volume wise, the Google Home Max completely blows the HomePod out of the water.
    Elsewhere it's been stated that the Home Max woofers have 22mm of total excursion, +11 and -11, and presumably confirmed by Google themselves.
    They simply list the spec differently than Apple does so you'd be forgiven for the confusion. One of these days they'll need to learn how to market what they have. :/
    edited February 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 43
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,189member
    I don't think Alexa or Google Home could pick out different users when they launched. It was a feature added later by a software update. So I assume at some point Apple will do that also.

    Personally I have no need for a Smart Speaker like this. I think my Apple Watch overall is a better device as it works in every room I'm in and outside also. Siri works better. It will answer my questions, and set timers, and reminders, and on and on. As a growing Homekit house which I think is even more important for these things, makes the Apple Watch for me the perfect device. Like Last night, out in my backyard at night. Needed to take the garbage out. There's a light on the side of the garage above the fence. I used to never use it and just feel around for the lock. Because I didn't want to have to go into the garage, the the other side, flip the switch, work my way back outside to turn the light on, and then repeat that to turn it off. So I never used the light. Now I do. I just lift my wrist and go "Hey Siri, Turn on Outside garage light" and BAM the light goes on. I can do that from outside.

    Or I'm walking back home from 7/11 down the block. As I get near my house, I can lift my wrist and go "Hey Siri, Open Garage" and BAM, my garage door starts to open up. If I want to go out riding on my Harley, I have my iPhone in a phone mount. I have Bluetooth in my Helmet. I back out of the garage, and say in my Helmet "Hey Siri, Close Garage" and BAM,....It starts to close and I can leave. When I get home, have Siri open the garage again and drive on up into the garage.

    I have my Overhead lights on one side of the garage controlled by a Homekit Light Switch. It's linked to the Garage door using Apple's HOME app. When I open the door, the lights comes on and when I close that door, the lights go off. It doesn't matter if I use Siri, or I hit the normal button on the wall. It's these type of things that are much more important to me. Homekit is great.

    I do have a Amazon Dot and a Google Mini. I got them both for $30 each. I got them to just play around with. Compare them to say Siri on my 12.9" iPad Pro. Ask all 3 of them questions. They all have their Pros and Cons, but I still like Siri and Homekit the best. Oh I even play around with Cortana on my Windows 10 Desktop once in a while. Why take other people's word on things when I can try it all myself in real time and see what really works best for me.
    edited February 2018 watto_cobralepton
  • Reply 8 of 43
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    jbdragon said:
    When I get home, have Siri open the garage again and drive on up into the garage. 
    All works great so long as you are in range of your home WiFi, however with HomePod (or AppleTV) you could say "Hey Siri" turn on the AC, just as you are leaving your work/office. That way it would be cool at home when you arrive. There could be other scenarios that could make use of remote commands depending on what other HomeKit devices you might have.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 43
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 10 of 43
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    Soli said:
    jcs2305 said:
    Soli said:
    1) You guys are killing it with these in-depth A/V reviews.

    2) Since there is so much possibility for alteration of the original sound between uploading to YouTube and playing on whatever speaker system one may have, is it feasible to have a visual display of the audio playback that would be useful to the viewer?

    3) Have you done far-field mic tests yet? From my experience on a scale of 1–10 of voice activated services:

    1 = iPhone
    2 = Apple Watch
    5 = Echo Dot (2G)
    6 = Echo (1G)
    7 = Echo Plus
    11 = HomePod

    I thought the original Echo was magical but the HomePod blows them all out of the water. Even at the loudest volume, from across the room or even out of the room, it picks up my commands. 
    I agree. She even picks up something that sound like Hey Siri on occasion, the volume will lower and she says "Hmmm?".  I just laugh and tell her never mind.
    Did you read what Amazon does so that "Alexa" being said on their ads doesn't get picked up by all the Echos? If not, long story short, the Echos listen for a certain signal which when received will then ignore the wake word while that signal is present. I read that's proprietary tech, but I'd assume that Google and Apple also have their own implementations.
    My Echo in the living room sometimes picked up something from my TV when I watched movies at night and that scared the fck out of me. It was so creepy, seriously.
    albegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 43
    Soli said:
    jcs2305 said:
    Soli said:
    1) You guys are killing it with these in-depth A/V reviews.

    2) Since there is so much possibility for alteration of the original sound between uploading to YouTube and playing on whatever speaker system one may have, is it feasible to have a visual display of the audio playback that would be useful to the viewer?

    3) Have you done far-field mic tests yet? From my experience on a scale of 1–10 of voice activated services:

    1 = iPhone
    2 = Apple Watch
    5 = Echo Dot (2G)
    6 = Echo (1G)
    7 = Echo Plus
    11 = HomePod

    I thought the original Echo was magical but the HomePod blows them all out of the water. Even at the loudest volume, from across the room or even out of the room, it picks up my commands. 
    I agree. She even picks up something that sound like Hey Siri on occasion, the volume will lower and she says "Hmmm?".  I just laugh and tell her never mind.
    Did you read what Amazon does so that "Alexa" being said on their ads doesn't get picked up by all the Echos? If not, long story short, the Echos listen for a certain signal which when received will then ignore the wake word while that signal is present. I read that's proprietary tech, but I'd assume that Google and Apple also have their own implementations.
    I have actually.. Audible command filtering ?   I think it's like if the command phrase is below a certain hertz ( which they intentionally have the command in the ads in this range ) the Alexa speaker won't pick it up, or something like that.  This kind of stuff amazes me. Like and engineer had the forethought to think about this while it was being developed. Just awesome.. IMHO. We laughed about them going off in millions of homes from the ads during the Superbowl so I went and read about it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 43
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.

    I use my phone or ipad pro to airplay almost every thing so that isn't a reason I would return mine. Also I am not sure what type of source you are listening to but I have never felt the bass reproduction was distracting or painful? Different ears on different folks I guess?  Are you saying that the Homepod produces frequencies so low that you can't hear them, but you can feel them and it is uncomfortable?

    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).



    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 43
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    Solimuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 43
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    As I expected sooner or later there will be a bullshit comment like this one from a newbie. I hope the next newbie won't bring Bose SoundLink system to compare with the HomePod. HomePod is a fucking smart speaker, not only an Airplay speaker, for god sake. It's like you compare a smartphone with a landline phone and say that your landline phone sounds clearer and is a lot cheaper. WTF!
    edited February 2018 watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 15 of 43
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    jcs2305 said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.

    I use my phone or ipad pro to airplay almost every thing so that isn't a reason I would return mine. Also I am not sure what type of source you are listening to but I have never felt the bass reproduction was distracting or painful? Different ears on different folks I guess?  Are you saying that the Homepod produces frequencies so low that you can't hear them, but you can feel them and it is uncomfortable?

    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).



    Yes, the frequencies are pretty much below the threshold for hearing a "tone"--mostly in infrasound range.  Try listening to NPR for a while, especially when they play an outdoor clip.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    100 bucks for a Bowers and Wilkins Z2?  Right now there is only a refurbished unit on Amazon for $548, but I do see some used or refurbished for ~$100. I'm thinking the B&W was more than $350 when new (and of course, it is not a smart speaker), so how fair a comparison is this?
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 17 of 43
    fallenjt said:
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    As I expected sooner or later there will be a bullshit comment like this one from a newbie. I hope the next newbie won't bring Bose SoundLink system to compare with the HomePod. HomePod is a fucking smart speaker, not only an Airplay speaker, for god sake. It's like you compare a smartphone with a landline phone and say that your landline phone sounds clearer and is a lot cheaper. WTF!
    While I’m a newbie too, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion all these “returns” are probably pretty easy since there was likely never a purchade in the first place.  I mean people would have to be pretty stupid to read up on HomePod (or read the box at purchase) and NOT understand exactly what HomePod does...right?
    watto_cobralolliverspliff monkey
  • Reply 18 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,289member
    Lab4Us said:
    fallenjt said:
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    As I expected sooner or later there will be a bullshit comment like this one from a newbie. I hope the next newbie won't bring Bose SoundLink system to compare with the HomePod. HomePod is a fucking smart speaker, not only an Airplay speaker, for god sake. It's like you compare a smartphone with a landline phone and say that your landline phone sounds clearer and is a lot cheaper. WTF!
    While I’m a newbie too, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion all these “returns” are probably pretty easy since there was likely never a purchade in the first place.  I mean people would have to be pretty stupid to read up on HomePod (or read the box at purchase) and NOT understand exactly what HomePod does...right?
    They'd have no idea what it sounded like till they had it in their own home. I bought a pretty pricey soundbar last fall based on glowing reviews. In my listening space it did not glow. I returned it, bought another that was quite a bit less and sounded just as good, and actually had more useful features for me than the more expensive one. 
    Soli
  • Reply 19 of 43
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,823member
    Google Max seems like a knockoff of the Sonos Play 5.  Seems like it gets loud but the sound could be better.   The only appealing thing about it is the auxiliary in port.   Wish HomePod had that.
    Soli
  • Reply 20 of 43
    fallenjt said:
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    As I expected sooner or later there will be a bullshit comment like this one from a newbie. I hope the next newbie won't bring Bose SoundLink system to compare with the HomePod. HomePod is a fucking smart speaker, not only an Airplay speaker, for god sake. It's like you compare a smartphone with a landline phone and say that your landline phone sounds clearer and is a lot cheaper. WTF!
    Its a fair comparison because Apple made a big deal about the sound quality -- that is the focus in their marketing.  It also misses the mark as a smart speaker, its the worst one at being smart.  I really wanted to like it, but its not worth $350, I would've maybe paid $150 at most.  It is probably the most overpriced and underwhelming Apple product I have purchased (and returned).
    spice-boy
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