HomePod Can I use a HomePod as a TV speaker?

zinacef

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2018
68
82
Seeing as the HomePod is now on sale for Christmas at BestBuy, I wanted to get some opinions/advice on whether I can use the HomePod like a soundbar for my Apple TV & TV. I mainly use the Apple TV to watch Netflix, iTunes movie rentals, and Apple TV+ and that's about it.
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2015
334
211
You can and I do. However, it’s not ideal. HomePod isn’t designed for it. It’s an AirPlay speaker so it works the way AirPlay was designed to work. Meaning you have to connect to the tv every time you want to use it if at any point you do something that breaks the connection. That means connecting to your HomePod and then disconnecting from tv if you want to be able to change the volume with your remote. HomePods do not have a center channel for dialogue. So when music and dialogue are playing at once the music takes priority and the dialogue can be muffled. I wouldn’t recommend using it in a family situation where everyone may not be on the same technological level.

Now with that said I love using my HomePods with my tv. In fact I have disabled the internal speakers in my TV. I can pretty much control almost everything with just my voice. I’ve made shortcuts that allow me to to launch every app without touching my remote. The only thing I can’t do is say, “Hey Siri, what did they say?” Other than that everything works.



Overall, I just wouldn’t recommend this as a first choice. I do it because I already had the HomePods and when I got them I had a TV with good internal speakers so I never wanted/needed a sound bar. Fast forward a year later and I now have a super thin 4K TV with crappy internal speakers. I don’t want a sound bar now because I have these HomePods and I’m cheap. I’m not trying to spend more money because if I did I’d buy a Sonos Beam. Those aren’t cheap. I got my Mom one for her tv because there’s no way she’s be able to deal with the finicky-ness of AirPlaying tv to HomePod.

If you you decide to do it I suggest getting two. You’ll want a pair for stereo.
 

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,243
235
you will not be able to send sound from the TV, only the appletv

unless you've bought a television in the last year or 2, and it supports airplay2.

I have the sonos beam, it's a great sounding bar, connects via HDMI (your TV needs to support ARC) so you can control volume using the aTV remote (and maybe your TV remote)
it supports airplay2, so you can send audio to it from any apple device.
it has alexa, and ok google (no siri now, or probably in the future, thanks apple)
and you're able to connect pretty much any music streaming service, and play music directly on the sound bar without it having to go through your phone (there's computer and phone apps to control, and you can use the voice assistant also)
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2015
334
211
you will not be able to send sound from the TV, only the appletv

unless you've bought a television in the last year or 2, and it supports airplay2.
Nice catch. tv is only thing plugged into my tv. I don’t have satellite anymore so using my HomePods only works for me.
 
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Itinj24

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2017
881
334
New York
You can also create a Shortcut to send the audio to the HomePod and at a specific volume level to bypass having to enter it in the Airplay screen. I have a Shortcut for the kids called “It’s Disney Time.” Opens the Living Room ATV remote app on my iPhone, turns on the TV and awakens the ATV (HDMI CEC required), Opens the Disney+ app on my ATV, Airplays to my Living Room HomePods at 75% volume.
 

JBaby

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2015
334
211
You can also create a Shortcut to send the audio to the HomePod and at a specific volume level to bypass having to enter it in the Airplay screen. I have a Shortcut for the kids called “It’s Disney Time.” Opens the Living Room ATV remote app on my iPhone, turns on the TV and awakens the ATV (HDMI CEC required), Opens the Disney+ app on my ATV, Airplays to my Living Room HomePods at 75% volume.
Me too. But mine is part of my Good Morning and Good Night scenes.
 

DaveN

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2010
614
273
You can and I do. However, it’s not ideal. HomePod isn’t designed for it. It’s an AirPlay speaker so it works the way AirPlay was designed to work. Meaning you have to connect to the tv every time you want to use it if at any point you do something that breaks the connection. That means connecting to your HomePod and then disconnecting from tv if you want to be able to change the volume with your remote. HomePods do not have a center channel for dialogue. So when music and dialogue are playing at once the music takes priority and the dialogue can be muffled. I wouldn’t recommend using it in a family situation where everyone may not be on the same technological level.

Now with that said I love using my HomePods with my tv. In fact I have disabled the internal speakers in my TV. I can pretty much control almost everything with just my voice. I’ve made shortcuts that allow me to to launch every app without touching my remote. The only thing I can’t do is say, “Hey Siri, what did they say?” Other than that everything works.



Overall, I just wouldn’t recommend this as a first choice. I do it because I already had the HomePods and when I got them I had a TV with good internal speakers so I never wanted/needed a sound bar. Fast forward a year later and I now have a super thin 4K TV with crappy internal speakers. I don’t want a sound bar now because I have these HomePods and I’m cheap. I’m not trying to spend more money because if I did I’d buy a Sonos Beam. Those aren’t cheap. I got my Mom one for her tv because there’s no way she’s be able to deal with the finicky-ness of AirPlaying tv to HomePod.

If you you decide to do it I suggest getting two. You’ll want a pair for stereo.
Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering why I always had to reset my Apple TV settings to output to my HomePod. I have over the air TV and and AppleTV connected to my tv and it is a nice combination.
 
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DaveN

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2010
614
273
Well, I gave in and picked up a second HomePod for the bedroom tv. Nice to have great sound for watching movies on winter nights.
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2015
334
211
Well, I gave in and picked up a second HomePod for the bedroom tv. Nice to have great sound for watching movies on winter nights.
Awesome! Next week Will be a year for my first. And I got my 2nd one a month later. I do not regret paying full price for the 2nd. It was worth it! It may not be ideal but I love the way they sound when watch tv/movies.
 
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theinstructor

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2007
149
97
Took all four of mine back as they wouldn’t stay connected and it became a real effort trying to fix it every time. Too bad they sounded great.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
6,339
1,787
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Awesome! Next week Will be a year for my first. And I got my 2nd one a month later. I do not regret paying full price for the 2nd. It was worth it! It may not be ideal but I love the way they sound when watch tv/movies.
Non-smart TV user here. When I had my HomePod (I’m coming back btw), the volume from Netflix seems very very low. Anyone else experience this?