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HomePod HomePod AirPlay lag from Mac: anyone experiencing it?

Are you experiencing lag when AirPlaying to your HomePod?


  • Total voters
    27

DeanLubaki

Contributor
Original poster
May 29, 2014
1,084
998
Toronto
Anyone experiencing lag when AirPlaying from Mac to the HomePod? I can't even watch Netflix because the lag is too big. Strangely, AirPlaying to my  TV has no lag.
The lag occurs with iTunes as well.
 

treimche

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2012
117
34
When I'm AirPlaying music from my MacBook Pro to HomePod while browsing the web, some websites will cause the music to skip. It doesn't pause, it keeps going, just no sound for a few seconds. I haven't restarted my MBP in a while, so maybe I'll try that.
 
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iLog.Genius

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
4,858
386
Toronto, Ontario
By lag, do you mean it takes 1-2 seconds before any audio is played? If so, welcome to the world of AirPlay. I am hoping AirPlay 2 addresses this but I have seen no such documentation or acknowledgement. If you're just playing audio, this should not matter to most but its definitely a pain if you're trying to stream audio and using any speaker as computer speakers.
 
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tazinlwfl

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2008
219
154
Florida
Pretty common for AirPlay, but only happens to me when using Chrome. Safari works great to keep audio in sync. Used it for the Super Bowl (NBC.com's livestream, system audio AirPlay'd to AirPort Express, video projector connected to iMac). When I use other apps (like OpenEmu), there's too much lag for wireless AirPlay.
 
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Jesla

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2013
541
170
Tennessee USA
If you are using 5Ghz try switching to the standard LAN connection.

Netflixs has issues on Apple TV if you use 5Ghz. maybe the same with Home Pod.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,630
1,908
It’s very hit or miss for me. Using it with my Mac and AppleTV it buffers out in an attempt to sync but I don’t think it gets it right 100% of the time.
 
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AndrewSalfinger

macrumors newbie
Feb 17, 2016
27
2
Australia
Yeah I'm having the same issue two when using the HomePod as a audio output via sound settings but when using iTunes to airplay music only to HomePod have no issues...

Hopefully Airplay 2 fixes this issue.
 
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Jamester23

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2017
9
1
#1
Has anyone else had this problem? Got the homepod yesterday. Played fine from itunes on mac and from phone. However, it will not play audio from mac beides itunes. Both browsers Safari and Chrome and anything else. I have been through the sound settings and have selected it as output. Still nothing. Have reset my laptop, reset homepod and reset phone. All are on same network. Again, homepod is playing right now music from mac itunes. But nothing else will it play from mac. Took back Homepod yesterday, got a new one and same problem. HELP!
 
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AndrewSalfinger

macrumors newbie
Feb 17, 2016
27
2
Australia
@Jamester23 and @mpainesyd I think the reason behind this is due to Airplay 1 on the Mac limitation due to A1 haves a delay of 1 to 2 seconds and Airplay 2 haves a much shorter delay with the Audio so when apple brings this out to the Mac it should be fine.

You also have to rember that Apple dose not even put Mac as a compatibility device for the HomePod.
 
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Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
726
544
Pacific Northwest, U.S.
Yeah I'm having the same issue two when using the HomePod as a audio output via sound settings but when using iTunes to airplay music only to HomePod have no issues...

Hopefully Airplay 2 fixes this issue.

I'm basically experiencing the same thing. I believe this has been discussed as well on one of the other threads, that there is a minor lag built-in, I am guessing the streaming to HomePod is due to a small amount of buffering that is done in order to reduce disruptions that may occur in wi-fi transmissions.
 
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mpainesyd

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2008
658
159
Sydney, Australia
I'm basically experiencing the same thing. I believe this has been discussed as well on one of the other threads, that there is a minor lag built-in, I am guessing the streaming to HomePod is due to a small amount of buffering that is done in order to reduce disruptions that may occur in wi-fi transmissions.
It would be useful if Airplay had a setting to delay audio or video to sync them. But I guess that is too much to hope for since the Mac is supported less and less these days.
 
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ShizumiAoki

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2019
52
13
Australia
By lag, do you mean it takes 1-2 seconds before any audio is played? If so, welcome to the world of AirPlay. I am hoping AirPlay 2 addresses this but I have seen no such documentation or acknowledgement. If you're just playing audio, this should not matter to most but its definitely a pain if you're trying to stream audio and using any speaker as computer speakers.

If this is due to Airplay how come real time audio works fine on iPadOS and iOS product for me (no audio lag at or on a system output level) but on the mac anything not outputted via Apple Music, or Apple TV apps the audio lags tho? (on a system wide level)
 
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nick42983

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2009
442
344
California
This is the biggest disappointment of Homepod so far, DVD and Netflix content audio is out of sync with the video. YouTube was almost perfect at first, but today I noticed it's out of sync as well. iTunes seems to be the best, but even there I have a big lag (3-4 seconds) with system sounds and play/pause. The audio quality is excellent, but performance is worse than my $18 Anker bluetooth speaker. At least I got it at a discount ($220). I understand this is new technology so I can cut Apple some slack, but I'll be disappointed if they never fix this and hang Mac-first customers out to dry. Is Airplay 3 on the horizon?
 
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mattnfg1

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2019
7
2
Yes - I am getting this too. Makes it almost impossible to use HomePod for things like Zoom calls etc and as I use a ProDisplay XDR I am now considering having to get a different speaker for system audio / zoom calls and then only use HomePod for the music app :-(
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,045
2,815
Yes - I am getting this too. Makes it almost impossible to use HomePod for things like Zoom calls etc and as I use a ProDisplay XDR I am now considering having to get a different speaker for system audio / zoom calls and then only use HomePod for the music app :-(
I believe live interactive video like a zoom call will always have lag on any wireless speaker. Can’t get around that because it’s a precise real time event, and all wireless audio has some lag. Even Bluetooth has a little lag, but airplay has more because it has more bandwidth and more data to carry.

Airplay should be able to sync up pre-recorded video fine though (haven’t tried from Mac but it works great from iOS and Apple TV). So homepods are good for things like movies (and music obviously), but for things like for zoom calls and twitch reaction games, one will need at least Bluetooth if not wired audio. And of course one needs wired audio for things like audio editing where you can’t have any lag whatsoever.
 
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mattnfg1

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2019
7
2
Thanks subjonas for your super helpful reply.

It's such a shame to have to get some wired speakers when the HomePods sound so good, but it seems that this will be necessary :-(
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,045
2,815
Thanks subjonas for your super helpful reply.

It's such a shame to have to get some wired speakers when the HomePods sound so good, but it seems that this will be necessary :-(
Tell me about it..

I have a stereo pair for my Apple TV and they sound great and work great for the most part. There’s just that 20% that it can’t do, like play audio from my blu ray player, play ATV navigation sounds, play audio for games (though I rarely play), play certain audio from from devices without severe lag.

Also I think since it has a chip and radios if it’s just a matter of time before they lose compatibility with my device ecosystem. Whereas wired speakers never lose compatibility.

It seems like a lot of downsides, but homepods have great conveniences as well, on top of their great sound. They look great, take up very little space, you can airplay to them from any Apple device, and Siri is extremely convenient for Apple Music, controlling the TV, controlling other HomeKit devices, personal assistant, and general inquiries. It also allows you to use any Apple device as your remote control even for volume. (They don’t need wires going to a source or amp, but they do need to be plugged into a wall outlet, so that’s kind of a wash.)

So I’m a bit torn as well. Ideally, the homepods would have an optional wired connection, but Apple doesn’t seem like they would do that.
 
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Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
726
544
Pacific Northwest, U.S.
Good points - my own HomePod setup with my home office iMac is considerably improved since airplay 2 was released, but not perfect. The iMac doesn't recognize the stereo pair in some applications - it does for Apple Music, and for Apple TV+, but if I'm watching something that is browser based on the iMac (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video) then it will only stream to one of the two HomePods, not both in stereo.

That is a separate issue from the lag that you're talking about, or maybe not. The points made by @subjonas regarding live zoom calls and the like, are good ones.
 
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jigzaw

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2012
441
203
I tried using it when editing some video months ago and it was terribly out of sync. I haven't bothered trying to Airplay anything to the Homepod from my Mac since then.

Even airplaying things from my iphone is difficult, buggy, takes forever and often just randomly either mutes itself until I reboot my phone or just kicks my phone off of it. And I have an iPhone 10s Plus on the latest iOS.

The hardware technology of the Homepod is very very good. The mic is surprisingly sensitive and responsive, and the sound quality is great, but aside from playing my Apple Music subscription (which it is VERY good at), I find it mostly unusable and keep a bluetooth speaker around for all other uses like podcasts, Audible, Sirius, etc.

Seriously if the Homepod just allowed a bluetooth connection, it would be far more useful and snappy.

Sadly, if I could send a message to my early-adopting self a couple years ago I would have advised waiting until the Homepod is ready for primetime... which it sill isn't.
 
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