HomePod Different sound quality when using Airplay vs Apple Music?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by rsg1010, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. rsg1010 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    #1
    Hey Everyone,

    Is the sound quality the same when using airplay with the HomePod compared to Apple Music within the HomePod?

    I tested about a month ago in-store and in my opinion, it sounded worse when content was played by airplay from iphone/macbook to the HomePod. The bass seemed lower and also the volume didn't seem to get as loud. It was difficult to tell in-instore with all the noise but can anyone comment if there is any difference?

    I don't use Apple Music or Spotify so I would only be using airplay from my iTunes library on my iPhone X and MacBook Pro.

    Thanks in advance everyone.
     
  2. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #2
    I haven't noticed this, however...

    Could be your Equalizer settings on the source device when using Airplay.

    It's perhaps possible that Apple Music may be configured to tweak equalizer settings on a per-song basis as it knows what is playing, but who knows if apple could be doing that.
     
  3. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #3
    Airplay transcodes to ALAC which is Apples lossless compression so it should be bit accurate. Even metadata is sent for volume to prevent multiple controls from effecting bit depth.

    Not that it matters but the thing I can't find is if the AirPlay receiver (HomePod) can natively decode the original file is it sent without transcoding at all.....?

    Things that could cause a difference would be "sound check" being set to on on a device or HomePod. This setting normalizes the volume of all music. And also like mention EQ settings on transmitting devices Music/iTunes.
     
  4. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #4
    Should be able to, it is essentially iphone 6 (or 6s, i forget) hardware in it.
     
  5. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #5
    I figured as much and it makes sense just couldn't find documentation specifically how AirPlay works in conjunction with the with an AAC. Again not that it matters if the transcode is to lossless ALAC.
     

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