HomePod Alternatives to two (stereo) HomePods

dakwar

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 2, 2010
310
1
Hi all,

I'm looking for a fantastic home audio speaker set that I can, for now, use with my iPhone. It would be great if it supported AirPlay. It should be stereo. My budget is 1000 CAD. I'm not interested in the speakers having personal assistant capabilities.

I purchased two HomePods and while I like their sound quality, I'm wondering if there are better options out there within the same price range.

Any suggestions from those in a similar situation?

Thanks,
C
 

jljue

macrumors 6502
Feb 4, 2011
263
48
Brandon, MS
Why not an updated Airport Express connected to either powered speakers or to an amp and passive speakers? Another alternative might be a receiver with Airplay or AirPlay 2 and passive speakers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dakwar

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,436
2,979
Atlanta, USA
I was in the same position. I returned my HomePod after a few weeks because I didn't like:
  1. Its sealed nature (Apple sources only. No aux input, no bluetooth, no nothing)
  2. Always-on microphones
HomePod did sound great, however. I really missed that.

Solution: Naim Mu-So (and/or Mu-So QB)

No microphones. Incredible sound. Clear, physical controls on the device. All the connections:
  • Wi-Fi
  • Ethernet
  • Airplay (Airplay 2 update imminent).
  • Bluetooth,
  • 3.5mm Aux in jack,
  • Optical in
  • USB in (iPod or hard drive)
  • Streaming Radio presets built in
  • Tidal and Spotify connect streaming
Loved the first one so much I bought another two.

Can thoroughly recommend.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dakwar

dakwar

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 2, 2010
310
1
Why not an updated Airport Express connected to either powered speakers or to an amp and passive speakers? Another alternative might be a receiver with Airplay or AirPlay 2 and passive speakers.
Thanks. At this point what I'm really looking for is suggestions for a great set of speakers (which I can then e.g. hook up to an iPhone or Airport Express or some other audio source).
[doublepost=1541941280][/doublepost]
I was in the same position. I returned my HomePod after a few weeks because I didn't like:
  1. Its sealed nature (Apple sources only. No aux input, no bluetooth, no nothing)
  2. Always-on microphones
HomePod did sound great, however. I really missed that.

Solution: Naim Mu-So (and/or Mu-So QB)

No microphones. Incredible sound. Clear, physical controls on the device. All the connections:
  • Wi-Fi
  • Ethernet
  • Airplay (Airplay 2 update imminent).
  • Bluetooth,
  • 3.5mm Aux in jack,
  • Optical in
  • USB in (iPod or hard drive)
  • Streaming Radio presets built in
  • Tidal and Spotify connect streaming
Loved the first one so much I bought another two.

Can thoroughly recommend.
Thanks. This sounds perfect. Did you get the Mu-So or Mu-So QB? And do you know if either of those produces stereo sound? Or would I need e.g. two Mu-So QB units for stereo?
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,436
2,979
Atlanta, USA
Thanks. This sounds perfect. Did you get the Mu-So or Mu-So QB? And do you know if either of those produces stereo sound? Or would I need e.g. two Mu-So QB units for stereo?
After the HomePod went back, I got a couple of mu-so QBs. Similar footprint to the homepod with excellent sound from a compact box. I put the QBs in the rooms where the family spends most time - so they’d actually get used. Previously, a great separates system in a room all by itself was rarely used. It got it’s own room because it was big and messy (separate units, wires everywhere, etc) but that meant it was largely ignored by everyone.

The two QBs kept me happy for a few months and then I saw a recommendation here, on macrumors, that the bigger mu-so sounded even better. So I got one of those as well. It went in my office which is where I spend most time. Best ever sound.

Unfortunately, you can’t pair any of them up for L & R stereo like homepods. That doesn’t bother me as it’s rare that I get to sit between two perfectly positioned speakers just to enjoy music. The Mu-so is a big wide box and has a good stereo separation when you’re in front of it. It sits on my desk under computer monitors. The sound is pure musical joy.

The smaller QB’s have a very narrow soundstage, but easily fill large rooms with beautiful music. I’m constantly being told to turn them down. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: dakwar

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,436
2,979
Atlanta, USA
Mu-So QB $799 each on Amazon, ugly AF IMHO. But then I love my three HPs.
Yeah, the mu-so's aren't as cute as the HomePod. Agreed. I would've been happy going the same route as you if it wasn't for the fact that the HomePod would lock me even further into Apple's ecosystem. They've already got me handcuffed with iPhones, iPads, watches, macs, minis, AirPods and pencils. And I'm good with that. It's worth it.

But what really irked me about the homepod was the lack of any way of getting a music signal into it other than through Apple's airplay. What happens if Apple stops supporting it in 4-5 years?

That and the always-on microphones. One mic might be okay in (say) the garage or the basement for convenience (and I might still buy a HomePod for that). But having mics all through my house was a bit off-putting.
 

JPGR_Fan

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2003
188
29
St. Louis
Yeah, the mu-so's aren't as cute as the HomePod. Agreed. I would've been happy going the same route as you if it wasn't for the fact that the HomePod would lock me even further into Apple's ecosystem. They've already got me handcuffed with iPhones, iPads, watches, macs, minis, AirPods and pencils. And I'm good with that. It's worth it.

But what really irked me about the homepod was the lack of any way of getting a music signal into it other than through Apple's airplay. What happens if Apple stops supporting it in 4-5 years?

That and the always-on microphones. One mic might be okay in (say) the garage or the basement for convenience (and I might still buy a HomePod for that). But having mics all through my house was a bit off-putting.
All good points, and thanks for being so civil versus my kind of snippy first response.
I'm happily into the Apple world and find the HomePod a wonderful outlet for Apple Music. I use Siri occasionally.
Apple is the only company I would trust with those microphones in my home, yet who really knows. But Google, evil, and Amazon already knows so much about me I just want to keep some secrets.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.