Oddly enough they managed to make this (low latency AirPlay to HomePods) work on the Apple TV 4K with Home Theater mode. System and game sounds work fine with no perceptible latency. I honestly figured it was impossible before then, but I don't see why they wouldn't be able to make it work on a Mac as well.
I heard/read this was possible, but I'm not sure if it is or not because I don't own an Apple TV.
And possibly other AirPlay 2 + HomeKit speakerswww.flatpanelshd.com
I would be interested to hear from someone who can clarify this though, because if it's possible on AppleTV, it should be possible through MacOS.
It's also worth mentioning that the delay is not only present on MacOS but also on iOS devices too. Basically anything that buffers is good; anything immediate has the delay.
I think there are several points in your post I’d like to address:Correction, I was wrong! I found out my homepods were connected to my ATV but not actually set to theater mode this whole time. I didn’t know that required additional action, but apparently that was why my system and game sounds weren’t working. After being set in theater mode, they now work and with no obvious lag.
This is puzzling to my understanding of airplay. I had always experienced major lag when mirroring live video streams from my iPad to the atv and assumed that was just a limitation of airplay. The live stream website I usually use is not live at the moment so I can’t test it, but I tried a live YouTube channel and there was no noticeable lag. Assuming the channel was indeed real time, this is quite surprising. The only explanation I can think of as to why there is no lag, is that Apple made a change to how the atv connects to the homepods via airplay, in that the “real time” audio now primarily uses Bluetooth, since airplay can make use of both WiFi and bluetooth. So I assume the sound quality is worse than normal airplay, but it’s hard to know with things like system sounds. I’d have to do some testing with music etc.
But this does beg the question as ersan said, if it’s possible for the atv, what’s to stop it from working on the Mac. Perhaps it is coming.
Yep, so “live” tv channels on the atv have always been able to have synced video/audio with homepods. The interactive system and game sounds never worked at all and are now working and laglessly which is the surprise. The live streaming site i usually use has a chat side window which I’m assuming is why the atv and homepods weren’t able to sync the video and audio when I tried to mirror them from my ipad before. That’s why I’m not sure if the “live” YouTube channel I tested is truly live, as in “no delay at all”. I don’t know if there exists shorthand terminology to differentiate between possibly slightly delayed live and absolutely zero delay live, but it sure would be helpful.I think there are several points in your post I’d like to address:
1. A lag with sound delivery to the Airplay 2 speakers doesn’t mean that the sound has to lag behind the video. Apple developed an algorithm that calculates the lag with sound delivery in Airplay and delays the video by the same delta, effectively synchronizing audio with video. This trick works with all kinds of content, including live content like live TV - as long as the content is not interactive where a 2-second delay in audio delivery (even if synced with video) is not tolerated well by the users.
Yeah I agree, I think HTM (home theater mode) switches between bluetooth and WiFi depending on the type of video/audio. I didn’t know there was a requirement to have the atv and homepods in the same room for HTM, that probably does indicate bluetooth dependency.2. The case of game sounds being delivered to the HomePods in Home Theater Mode is a good example of an interactive application, where a 2-second delay (with the audio only or with both the audio and the video) is not acceptable. So, if game sounds are, in fact, delivered to HomePods without any noticeable lag, Apple has a trick up their sleeve with Home Theater Mode. This trick, as you mentioned in your post, is most likely Bluetooth delivery of the sound or, perhaps, it’s a dual-protocol delivery of the sound, where the Airplay 2 protocol determines if the application is interactive or not and uses Bluetooth for interactive applications, while using Wi-Fi for non-interactive applications (such as music or movie streaming). Another piece of evidence to support the Bluetooth delivery of the sound in Home Theater mode is the requirement to place the Homepod(s) in the same room with the Apple TV to enable Home Theater mode.
See 5 response.3. HomePod Mini is not compatible with Home Theater mode even after the release of tvOS 14.5 and HomePod firmware 14.5. Home Theater Mode works exclusively with full size HomePod(s) and no other kind of Airplay 2 speaker (made by Apple or a third party). There’s an Apple support document on enabling Home Theater Mode that mentions that.
Agreed, bluetooth.4. When using the HomePod Mini as a speakerphone for a phone call from the iPhone, there is no lag with audio delivery, so I’m 99% sure that in the case of using the HomePod / HomePod Mini as a speakerphone for a phone call, Bluetooth is used instead of Wi-Fi.
Yeah it’s not obvious or immediately apparent what the difference is between the regular vs mini HomePod hardware that makes HTM possible for the regular but not mini. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is that the mini homepods aren’t as good sounding as the regulars, so Apple doesn’t think people should use them for home theater. ?♂️5. Even though the HomePod Mini has Bluetooth capability, for whatever reason Apple hasn’t enabled Home Theater mode with the HomePod Mini(s). There’s absolutely no guarantee that Apple is planning to do so in the future, as the release of HomePod firmware 14.5 would have been the opportune moment to enable lag-less audio delivery to the HomePod Mini. Especially, because macOS 11.3, released on the same day, made it possible to send audio system-wide from the Mac to a stereo pair of HomePods / HomePods Mini rather than to individual HomePods only, as it was in previous macOS versions.
I don’t have macOS 11.3 so I can’t test, but since there doesn’t seem to be an underlying technical difference between the regular and mini, I’d think it wouldn’t work for either in this case (ie. both would lag). Maybe someone else has tested and posted about this.6. I don’t have a full-size HomePod to try to send audio from macOS 11.3 to the HomePod to see if there’s a 2-second lag in interactive applications, so I don’t know if Apple has solved this problem with the full-size HomePod, but I have a pair of HomePod Minis, and I know for a fact the 2-second lag is present when using the HomePod Mini stereo pair as computer speakers. And again, there is absolutely no guarantee that Apple will resolve this issue any time soon, if ever, or if it’s even technically feasible to deliver lag-less audio to the HomePod Mini from macOS or from tvOS.
Is it doubling down or tripling down on an unfortune post?It’s not a joke. I’ve never heard of it nor experienced it nor seen it mentioned. People love to come here and complain and never take a minute to file a bug report with apple.
Stop being petty. Not everyone experiences this issue, I don’t, my friends haven’t. Im simply telling people to make sure they report it instead of crying on a forum that Apple doesn’t read.Is it doubling down or tripling down on an unfortune post?
Over neatly 16 years of me being a Mac user, I have filed several dozen bug reports with Apple. Each took hours of my time, multiple calls with Apple support, back and forth with engineering, and the bug was never squashed.
The 2-second audio delay with HomePods Mini used as Mac speakers when using interactive applications is reality. Your assertion that this delay doesn’t exist is pure fantasy.
You are the one who is being petty. You probably don't even have HomePods or HomePods Mini. You are just here to be argumentative like a true Apple fanboy.Stop being petty. Not everyone experiences this issue, I don’t, my friends haven’t. Im simply telling people to make sure they report it instead of crying on a forum that Apple doesn’t read.
The HomePod Mini connect to the Mac over WiFi not Bluetooth, which explains the 2-3 second lag. It's stupid since they have Bluetooth. Apple should enable it for sound output WITHOUT airplay.Once I tested a pair of HomePod Minis running 14.5 with macOS 11.3 and confirmed that the 2-3 second lag with audio is still present, I ordered a pair of Pebble V3 speakers by Creative for $40. The speakers have Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, and analog Aux inputs. The reviews are great. I will test them with Bluetooth to see if there’s a lag in audio. If there is, I will use USB-C or Aux cable.
I’m returning my HomePod Minis and I’m done with HomePods. From now on, it’s wired or Bluetooth speakers for me to be used as computer speakers, and it’s Sonos for high-quality music. Apple has screwed up another one of their promising product lines. It’s no wonder Sonos was completely unphased by Apple when the HomePod was first released. They knew that Apple would screw up the HomePod and were not threatened by the HomePod at all.
This works with the Mini which is not discontinued. There are lots of wired speakers that aren't as good as some non wired. Its not an all or nothing statement.Wired bookshelf speakers is the way to go for great audio quality. Also, no point in buying a product that is discontinued.
The HomePod Mini connect to the Mac over WiFi not Bluetooth, which explains the 2-3 second lag. It's stupid since they have Bluetooth. Apple should enable it for sound output WITHOUT airplay
It doesn't use bluetooth and from a phone is an entirely different application. It looks like apple tossed this into the capability of acting as a Mac speaker because they could. Probably should have just left it alone. I had 8 OG HomePods and when apple decided they were done with them I was too. Sold them and spent $3500 on Sonos. I have two minis for voice control but now wondering if I should even stick with HomeKit.HomePod is dead now that we know that the HomePod Minis made to look like computer speakers can’t be used as computer speakers for real-time audio. As a semi-premium speaker, the HomePod (full size) was recently killed by Apple. As a miniature and much inferior version, the HomePod Mini has just died due to the 2-3 second lag that renders it useless with any real-time applications.
The HomePod Mini can’t be used as a true computer speaker. What is the point of this device exactly at the miniature size and pretty unimpressive sound quality? Sonos speakers beat the HomePod Mini in sound quality and are Airplay 2 capable. Apple killed the full size HomePod that had any chance to compete with Sonos on quality and utility. Is the only redeeming quality of the HomePod Mini the Siri capability? Is this the reason that Apple thinks the HomePod Mini has any traction?
The strange thing is that when a single HomePod Mini is used as a speakerphone for the iPhone calls, there is no delay in the audio. Maybe the speakerphone feature uses the hidden Bluetooth capability in the HomePod Mini? If Apple can make the speakerphone on the HomePod Mini work without a noticeable lag in audio output, why can’t computer audio be lag-free? Basically, the HomePod Mini is an abandoned, unfinished product.
Amusing that you think Apple is stupid but good thing they know you are on top of it and can tell them how they should do things. There are multiple reasons why bluetooth would suck in this application but it would be stupid to tell you since you know everything already.The HomePod Mini connect to the Mac over WiFi not Bluetooth, which explains the 2-3 second lag. It's stupid since they have Bluetooth. Apple should enable it for sound output WITHOUT airplay.
They should. They should have a long time ago. They’ve lost me as a buyer of the HomePod Mini.The HomePod Mini connect to the Mac over WiFi not Bluetooth, which explains the 2-3 second lag. It's stupid since they have Bluetooth. Apple should enable it for sound output WITHOUT airplay.
And why would that be?Amusing that you think Apple is stupid but good thing they know you are on top of it and can tell them how they should do things. There are multiple reasons why bluetooth would suck in this application but it would be stupid to tell you since you know everything already.
Yeah it still doesn’t have airplay 2 as main output even on macos 12 it’s shocking apple hasn’t done thisIt seems like they still do not support AirPlay 2 on macOS, because there is abstolutely zero lag when playing from iOS or when using Apple branded apps on macOS (TV, Music etc.)
Can anyone confirm?