Apple Allows Behind-the-Scenes Look Into Audio Lab Used to Test HomePod, AirPods, and More

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    At the same time that reviews launched this morning for Apple's upcoming HomePod smart speaker, a few websites also shared a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the audio lab where Apple tested the device. Apple invited journalists into the lab last week, and Jim Dalrymple of The Loop shared his experience in a post today.

    Images via The Loop

    Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, noted that the lab where HomePod was tested wasn't only for HomePod, as Apple also focuses on speakers found in iPhone, iPad, Mac, and AirPods, as well as the audio performance of Siri and Apple TV. For HomePod, Apple vice president of hardware engineering, Kate Bergeron, said the project began six years ago with a "small, focused team."
    Once testing began, Apple used multiple chambers to study HomePod. The first became one of the largest anechoic chambers in the United States (first image), allowing Apple engineers access to a non-reflective and echo free room to put the speaker's sound through its paces.


    Another room was made to focus on voice detection and Siri recognition, while the third was a "Noise and Vibration" chamber (second image) built to detect and help prevent electronic noises and buzzing from escaping HomePod when it's plugged in but not playing music.
    Because the audio lab was built to test many products in addition to HomePod, Apple's senior director of audio design and engineering, Gary Geaves, hinted that progress made on the speaker in the lab has led to advances in other, unnamed Apple devices. "There's been certain catalysts in the development of HomePod that are feeding other products," said Geaves. "That's one of our advantages--we work on a bunch of different areas of audio."

    HomePod pre-orders began on January 26, and remain available for launch day delivery of February 9 in the United States, although Apple Store pickup has now become unavailable in all three launch countries. For the U.K. and Australia, delivery estimates have also slipped today, with the current shipping date marked as February 12.

    To read more about Apple's HomePod audio lab, be sure to check out The Loop's full article.

    Article Link: Apple Allows Behind-the-Scenes Look Into Audio Lab Used to Test HomePod, AirPods, and More
  2. danieleilertsen macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2016
    Oslo, Norway
    How does the beats apartment work together with the apple audio apartment?

    Are they two different sections? Did the engeneers move to apple? Would love to know how they work together, in everyday and new products
  3. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I am surprised they didn't have white walls on this set.
  4. travelsheep macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2013
    I want this room, and the gear. I'd even keep the HomePod ffs.
  5. blacktaxi2d macrumors newbie


    Aug 10, 2011
    this is neat, im just not looking to spend $300 on a tiny speaker. especially one which is controlled by Siri, which is complete trash compared to google assistant and alexa.

    Ill stick to my JBL charge 3 that i got for $85. best value bluetooth speaker
  6. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2016
    the pool
    Beats has no engineers, just marketing :D
  7. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Being in these chambers for even a few minutes begins to cause issues for most people. You can hear your heart beat and blood pumping through your body. Eventually you can go crazy.
  8. tsrail macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2011
    Live in a house with 5 teenagers... You'll beg for a chamber like this. ;)
  9. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I like the idea of the new HomePod, but

    "HomePod started by us asking a question: What would it mean if we decided to design a loud speaker where we could put it in any room, and that room wouldn't affect the sound quality," said Bergeron."
    rather contrasts with the picture of the testing room, the walls of which are covered in acoustic tiles....
  10. bollman macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2001
    Lund, Sweden
    That's BS:
  11. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    All of his videos are bias to get more views. Try again.
  12. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    That’s exactly the room you need to do that job. You don’t drive cars in wind tunnels, but you need one to optimize their design in the engineering phase.
  13. deanthedev Suspended


    Sep 29, 2017
    This reminds me of the anechoic chamber at the NRC (National Research Council) in Canada where Dr. Floyd Toole basically redefined the audio industry with respect to how speakers are tested and compared.

    Because of this facility and his research we now have several Canadian speaker manufacturers that are highly regarded among audiophiles.
  14. tzm41 macrumors regular


    Jul 11, 2014
    It does look cool but isn't this standard for any speaker design process?
  15. Mike MA macrumors 68020

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    HomePod everywhere! Now get it finally shipped to the rest of the world. We’re ready!
  16. wigby macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2007
    What do you mean bias? Wouldn't he get a lot more views if he went crazy and begged to be released from the room? You don't have to shoot down every counter argument when there's a much simpler explanation...some people are affected by pure silence much more than others.
  17. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I get that. I was poking fun at Apple. ;) However, I do wonder how many real environments they tested the system in to create their adaptive acoustic design.
  18. anthogag macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2015
    Anechoic chambers don't reflect sound so you do hear what your speaker puts out.

    Where did they test its real world abilities to adapt? I don't see this in the article. Room surfaces, shapes, fabrics, furniture, etc, change sound qualities, right.
  19. danieleilertsen macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2016
    Oslo, Norway
    Is this true or is this a joke?:p haha. What happend to them?;)
  20. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Just think how much more Apple could get if they would sell an Apple Room as an accessory. "All of our devices are designed to sound their very best in this kind of room."

    Then, imagine visiting people who are living in such rooms because Apple told them they should.

    And you know there would certainly be such people. ;)

    Now, where can one buy that black HP torch stand? :eek:
  21. Labeno macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2008
    Hey Apple, that's not how the house looks. Could you come over here and test?
  22. goodcow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2007
    They do all of this, yet Siri is still dumb as ever.
  23. fede777 macrumors newbie


    May 10, 2017
    350 + tax
  24. truthertech macrumors 68000

    Jun 24, 2016

    The Internet Myth about Siri is just plain silly. They all have their strengths, but Siri is by far the most used personal assistant in the world--over half a billion people use Siri regularly every month. She knows more languages, again more by far, than the others. Independent testing shows Siri excels over Alexa and Google in many areas. Siri is also the only one that protects your privacy. If you choose to go with Google or Amazon, everything they hear is collected in the cloud on their servers for their use, as well as available to law enforcement, intel agencies, hackers, etc.

    Google goes even farther and links everything you say to your universal identifier number. Amazing that people don't care that Google is trying to build a dossier on every person that links the contents of every Gmail sent or received, every photo taken or received, everywhere you drive, every document you upload, every website you visit, every post you make, everything you watch, everything you buy, etc. At some point, when people realize how those dossiers are being used and misused, they will have tremendous regret.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2018 ---

    If that's true, why do more people in the world use Siri (over a 500 million use it regularly each month), by far than any other assistant?
  25. RogerWilco macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2011
    Yeah, but this is *Apple*, and that makes its anechoic test chamber doubleplusgood.

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