HomePod Does lossy music make a big difference on HomePod?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by subjonas, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    I know not everyone can hear the difference, but for those who can:

    Compressed Apple Music
    Lossless music airplayed

    Has anyone compared? Is the HomePod a good enough speaker that it makes the difference in the two source qualities very apparent? What types of music have you compared?

  2. karnsculpture macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2006
    London, UK
    I can't hear much difference. I prefer earlier masterings of key albums in my collection, so the difference between one being AirPlayed via the mac is apparent as HomePod defaults to Apple Music sources if you don't airplay (so you most likely get the latest master of an album). In terms of quality though, if the source is good the sound is good.

    Types of music - electronic, 80s, indie, guitar pop, Beatles etc. I find HomePod is particularly good at bringing out the bass on earlier masterings from the 80s or 90s but keeping everything else as it should be. Almost a "vinyl" sound without the crackle.

    In short, if the source is good the sound is good. Lossless quality depends on how lossless - Apple Music sounds great but a low bitrate MP3 is going to sound bad whatever you play it on.
  3. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Comparing Apples 256kb AAC to ALAC I can only hear the difference over quality headphones or hifi setup in a studio. A normal rooms acoustics make the difference between the 2 indistinguishable to me regardless of how good the sound system is.

    I'm trying it right now and once I account for volume differences I think any difference I hear is placebo. I have a friend with a recording studio that I can test it out for you (he wants to hear it too). I do feel like the results will be pointless in reality since I use it in my living room with tall ceilings, hardwood floors, etc.

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