Apple Details How HomePod Can Detect 'Hey Siri' From Across a Room, Even With Loud Music Playing

Uofmtiger

macrumors 68020
Dec 11, 2010
2,039
735
0
Memphis
www.uofmtiger.com
This might be one of the most impressive aspects of the HomePod, much better than my Echo's ever were. I can be almost anywhere in my house (2,400 square feet) and either my upstairs or downstairs HomePod will hear me perfectly.
Agree 100 percent. It is so important for something that can play audio. I have Echo Dots and a Spot and good luck getting them to hear you with loud music playing without standing next to them and screaming.
 

brubeast

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2009
20
9
0
With all this advanced tech, I just wish the HomePod could use its microphones to automatically sync with other speakers in the house. I’ve tried every setting on my Apple TV and Receiver, and there’s nothing I can do to overcome a delay of 20-30 milliseconds on my Apple TV. The HomePod is slightly ahead at all times which makes grouped audio unusable. Why not use those complex mics to automatically correct this delay? Or at least allow manual sync adjustment in Airplay 2, as in Chromecast audio groups.
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,687
9,595
0
Philadelphia, PA
It's very good how far away it hears you.

What's NOT good is how sometimes Siri will say NOTHING when I tell her to turn off a light or turn on a light etc (but the light still turns off or on etc), or she'll say "OK, THERE YOU GO!" or some other acknowledgment. Or sometimes she'll just make a "DONG" sound and do it. Like... what? Consistency, please, Apple.

Second, I've found her responsiveness when loud music is playing to be AWFUL. When the room is quiet, works great - from even across the room. With music playing? Nothing, unless I yell.
So I actually figured out why Siri does this. If you are asking Siri to control something within the same room that the HomePod is located, it won't say anything. It assumes that you see the action occuring (since you are in that room) and doesn't say anything. When you are asking Siri to do something in another room, it'll let you know because you aren't there to see it.
[doublepost=1543869912][/doublepost]
This is a really good engineering feat. I bow down to Apple engineers on their technical accomplishment! I heard one and was really impressed (i'm not a audiophile or anything)

Still not impressed with it's limited functionality, no audio in, only be used with airplay (OSX or iOS), and can't directly work with good play or spotify (unless through airplay). Really drops the utility for me.

God forbid someone comes over and wants to play something or show you a song!.
Yea, I get that. I also get why Apple made the decision as well. I have found Apple Music to have a lot of the music I request though so when people come over - I tell them just to request a song. Always works.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,562
1,604
0
DE
www.flickr.com
This is definitely one grip I have with Google Home. If I'm streaming music and say "Hey Google" I have to say it at least three times - the last of which I'm basically screaming. Mind you, I'm in the same room as our Google Home.

As much as I'd like a HomePod, I'll wait until they're sub $200 before I pony up.
 

341328

Suspended
Jul 18, 2009
734
939
0
It is amazing and scary how good it is at picking up “hey Siri”. Brilliant really.
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,687
9,595
0
Philadelphia, PA
This is definitely one grip I have with Google Home. If I'm streaming music and say "Hey Google" I have to say it at least three times - the last of which I'm basically screaming. Mind you, I'm in the same room as our Google Home.

As much as I'd like a HomePod, I'll wait until they're sub $200 before I pony up.
I noticed this as well. My parents have a Google Home and they have to say "Hey Google" multiple times, every time, to get a response. It doesn't hear well over music either. I have 2 HomePod's (bought them for $249 each), but I would agree that $199 is the likely sweet spot for a lot of people.
 

Uofmtiger

macrumors 68020
Dec 11, 2010
2,039
735
0
Memphis
www.uofmtiger.com
Yea, I get that. I also get why Apple made the decision as well. I have found Apple Music to have a lot of the music I request though so when people come over - I tell them just to request a song. Always works.
In my case, Siri works better for this than Alexa. My girlfriend has a polish accent and Alexa can't understand her, while Siri understands every word.

She claims that Siri is cool with her and Alexa is jealous. :D
 

WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2016
308
251
0
It's all so easy right. Imagine how much further Apple would be if only they hired you.
Ask any STEM graduates and they will tell you right away the same thing I told you. Signal analysis II and Calculus IV are fairly common courses. Especially for Applied Math, Physics, Nanotech, and Engineering graduates.
 

brubeast

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2009
20
9
0
In my case, Siri works better for this than Alexa. My girlfriend has a polish accent and Alexa can't understand her, while Siri understands every word.

She claims that Siri is cool with her and Alexa is jealous. :D
Having use Spotify and Google Play Music for a couple years on the google Cast platform, I can understand why Apple would be hesitant to build in other music platforms. It just introduces all sorts of playback bugs to be communicating with other services. Spotify is the worst, since spotify connect introduces a whole other layer of handshakes. The result is that you request music, nothing happens, or one track plays and then everything stops. Probably because Spotify connect thinks its running on some other device, who knows.

The main advantage of the HomePod is that it just works really well for playing music. The way you can “move” music throughout the house, from speaker to speaker is something you can’t do with google homes at all (at least i’ve never been able to do it). Now, if i could just get the damn thing to sync up without latency to my stereo, I might not have to return it to best buy.
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,413
1,124
0
Ask any STEM graduates and they will tell you right away the same thing I told you. Signal analysis II and Calculus IV are fairly common courses. Especially for Applied Math, Physics, Nanotech, and Engineering graduates.
You know what the hard part is? Going from college textbooks to fully realized products. You know what new college graduates know about that? Nothing.
 

Asarien

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2015
310
3,073
0
Oakland, CA
Sounds physically impossible what You say. Only possible when they filter the output of the voice frequencies from the music. Even then how should it hear You from far away when there’s loud music?
But then it is an inferior speaker, all very strange info around HomePod.
Clearly, you've never used a HomePod.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

paulcons

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2017
86
67
0
New York City
About 2+ years now I have been going "Hey Siri" to my iPad... and the ONLY thing she responds to properly is "what is the temperature." NONE of the other things I've asked has resulted in anything that makes any sense.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mi7chy

b11051973

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2006
330
333
0
Same here, I've disable Siri completely everywhere. I was talking about a friend with my wife one day and when I picked up my phone, it had the entire conversation we had just had in a text message ready to send to the friend I was talking about. Talk about freaking me out.
This happened to me. I was up in the middle of the night and was playing a podcast on my iPhone. My Homepod heard something that turned into it putting together a text message to a friend. Would not have been cool had it sent a text to someone in the middle of the night. I freaked out worry if it sent it or what.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ericgtr12

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,109
1,774
0
Between the coasts
I'd like it for a voice recorder.

Every single recording of a meeting or lecture sounds like it was recorded in a gymnasium. For some reason, omnidirectional microphones SEEM to "enhance" the room reverberation, and the result is way more "muddy" than what it sounds like "live".
It's more accurate to say that the omnidirectional microphone is not able to distinguish room reverberation from any other sound. Omnidirectional microphones capture sounds equally (you could say blindly), regardless of direction or source. The reverb is real, not "enhanced." Most people's hearing, however, is three-dimensional, thanks to having two ears, the design of our outer ears, visual cues, and our fabulous brains. We can distinguish echoes/reverberations that arrive from the side or behind, and our minds can use that spatial information to focus our attention on "direct" sounds and de-emphasize extraneous noises.

A single microphone or single camera lens captures far less spatial data than is present in the "live" environment - monaural sound, monocular vision. No brain.

Intelligibility is greatly enhanced by having that microphone as close to the primary sound source as possible, so that the intensity/signal strength is proportionally far louder than the extraneous sounds/reverberation. However, if you have a room full of potential sound sources (as you do in a typical conference room), the people speaking may be as far or farther from the mic than the nearest sources of echo/reverberation. That means the signal you want is barely louder than the signals you don't want.

One very successful microphone technique (that doesn't require the kind of signal processing done by HomePod) is called "boundary layer" or "sound stage technique," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_microphone - placing a microphone close to a hard reflecting surface (like a floor, tabletop, or wall) so that the strong echo bouncing off that surface is proportionally louder than the more distant "direct" sound source or other reverberations/echoes. The closer the mic can be to that reflecting surface, the better. Lacking a specialized mic for the purpose, recording engineers might simply position a garden-variety mic an inch off the floor.
 

AlumaMac

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2018
129
176
0
There are two types of people on the plant. The kind who think everything is magical, and the kind who think nothing is magical.


~~~~~~~~~~
Spoil alert!
~~~~~~~~~~







I am the boring kind...
Or you just see marketing bs for what it is.....
 

BoulderAdonis

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2012
239
114
0
Palo Alto, CA
This is why the watch on my wrist can’t hear me, but the HomePod across 3 rooms at the back of the house can ...

Seriously. I’m cooking in the kitchen, and the Apple Watch won’t catch “Hey, Siri ...”, but from across the kitchen, across the living room, through the door and at the back of the bedroom, I now have two timers running in stereo ...

:D:D:D
 

WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2016
308
251
0
You know what the hard part is? Going from college textbooks to fully realized products. You know what new college graduates know about that? Nothing.
That is because you should never leave with just a college degree, everyone got one now. That's like nothing. Bachelor degree is just the beginning. If you want to do anything intellectually complex in life, you need to have a PhD. We treat undergrads as kids, not as colleagues, unless you are an undergrad working with grad students, and collaborate on research papers. Then you are something, otherwise you are nothing, but you can be something if you just sit through the course of education and enlightenment.
[doublepost=1543889672][/doublepost]
Or you just see marketing bs for what it is.....
Well, I wouldn't discount the fact that HomePod is thoughtfully put-together. They went an extra mile and engineered science into a utility generating product, or at least a good concept, surely is somewhat courageous.
[doublepost=1543889967][/doublepost]
And Siri is still dumb as a rock.
It's always easier to do things yourself, Siri is hopelessly cognitively impaired.
[doublepost=1543890279][/doublepost]
In my case, Siri works better for this than Alexa. My girlfriend has a polish accent and Alexa can't understand her, while Siri understands every word.

She claims that Siri is cool with her and Alexa is jealous. :D
Sounds like your GF is quite a pleasantly humorous gal to be with. Now, the problem is, Heyyy Siri, how ya doing? I'm jealous too!!!
 
Last edited: