HomePod My 11.4 (stereo+Airplay2) experience with 4 HomePods

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
1,132
864
Well I had two HomePods. One in the bedroom, one in the kitchen. I liked them a lot although I did feel the firmware update reduced my bass and left me less satisfied. I refused to buy more of these expensive little speakers because I wanted a true whole home solution to replace my Sonos system and without Airplay 2 and stereo functionality it just wasn't worth getting more.

Today I bought (gulp) two more HomePods from the local Apple Store as soon as I heard the news. These go as a stereo pair on either side (in tall bookshelves) of a large television in a large family room that is open to the kitchen where I already have a HomePod.

So?

It's so good. First off lets talk about the stereo pairing. Like Steve liked to say its "magical". The bass seems to have returned first off (not sure if that applies to the single HomePods I'll have to check) and I love the sound again. The ability of two HomePods to fill the huge room is amazing, it is far, far beyond the ability of a single HomePod. I can bring the walls down practically. The real amazing thing though is the sound stage and separation. For example of Dua Lipa "New Rules" the left/right separation is HUGE, with sound pushing far wider than even the speakers physically sit and somehow they swirl that sound around with it seemingly coming even from behind me. I have NEVER, EVER had 2 speakers do that, only a true 5.1 or greater surround system. It also does an incredible job of placing the singer directly in front of you without the least hint it is coming from the speakers, it honestly seems like there has to be a invisible HomePod in front of you. It's incredible technology, its not "just" two stereo speakers.

So now I have the stereo pair in the family room, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. Control by voice / Airplay 2 is brilliant and just what you would expect. All of the following just work "hey siri, play U2 in the kitchen" "hey siri, play U2 in the kitchen and family room" "hey siri, stop playing U2 in the family room (still continues playing in the kitchen)" "hey siri play U2 on all my homepods" "hey siri play U2 everywhere" “hey Siri transfer this to the bedroom”. The voice control is perfect.

One final mildly interesting thing, if you ask a stereo pair of HomePods something the answer only comes from the RIGHT speaker, never the left.

I enjoy HomePod so much more today.
 
Last edited:

MacBird

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2010
805
348
Thanks for sharing your observations, I think I will get another HomePod tomorrow.
 

MontTrain

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2012
31
16
One final mildly interesting thing, if you ask a stereo pair of HomePods something the answer only comes from the RIGHT speaker, never the left.
According to Rene Ritchie via iMore, if you tap (hold) on the display of the one you want to answer and tell it to turn on Hey Siri, it will switch it over to be the default to answer. Try it :)
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
1,132
864
According to Rene Ritchie via iMore, if you tap (hold) on the display of the one you want to answer and tell it to turn on Hey Siri, it will switch it over to be the default to answer. Try it :)
That sure did work! I actually like the left better since it is closer to the kitchen and mudroom so it answers questions from “closer” to me when I ask from anywhere other than just in the center of the family room on the couch.
 

Fant

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2009
169
1
So are you playing the 3 speakers together in one open concept are? The two on the family room as a stereo pair + 1 in the kitchen in mono? If so does that sound ok with a 3rd speaker in the mix as opposed to all 3 playing as single speakers?
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
1,132
864
So are you playing the 3 speakers together in one open concept are? The two on the family room as a stereo pair + 1 in the kitchen in mono? If so does that sound ok with a 3rd speaker in the mix as opposed to all 3 playing as single speakers?
I’ve done both. My review comments on sound quality are based on just the pair but yes I add in the kitchen one to the family room pair as that combo fills the main floor of the house nicely. You don’t really hear the kitchen one when in the family room but as you walk to the kitchen the sound seemlessly continues (sonos does the same, just not by voice with Apple Music) although yes it loses the stereo wide feel. Clearly great for parties.
 

deeside81

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2018
35
10
With HomePod on its own the sound quality has degraded so much with 11.4. Honestly after 11.3 I didn’t think they would make it worse. IMO it sounds like a £50 speaker. I have no bass at all now. Calling Apple to see if there’s a fix.
 

kschles

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2008
242
31
With HomePod on its own the sound quality has degraded so much with 11.4. Honestly after 11.3 I didn’t think they would make it worse. IMO it sounds like a £50 speaker. I have no bass at all now. Calling Apple to see if there’s a fix.
That’s not my experience. I currently have one HomePod (picking up two more today from Best Buy). After upgrading to 11.4, the sound, including bass, is fine. I do think the HP needs an equalizer to appeal to a wide range of listeners.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruinsrme

Gandalflino

macrumors newbie
Apr 25, 2014
2
0
Well I had two HomePods. One in the bedroom, one in the kitchen. I liked them a lot although I did feel the firmware update reduced my bass and left me less satisfied. I refused to buy more of these expensive little speakers because I wanted a true whole home solution to replace my Sonos system and without Airplay 2 and stereo functionality it just wasn't worth getting more.

Today I bought (gulp) two more HomePods from the local Apple Store as soon as I heard the news. These go as a stereo pair on either side (in tall bookshelves) of a large television in a large family room that is open to the kitchen where I already have a HomePod.

So?

It's so good. First off lets talk about the stereo pairing. Like Steve liked to say its "magical". The bass seems to have returned first off (not sure if that applies to the single HomePods I'll have to check) and I love the sound again. The ability of two HomePods to fill the huge room is amazing, it is far, far beyond the ability of a single HomePod. I can bring the walls down practically. The real amazing thing though is the sound stage and separation. For example of Dua Lipa "New Rules" the left/right separation is HUGE, with sound pushing far wider than even the speakers physically sit and somehow they swirl that sound around with it seemingly coming even from behind me. I have NEVER, EVER had 2 speakers do that, only a true 5.1 or greater surround system. It also does an incredible job of placing the singer directly in front of you without the least hint it is coming from the speakers, it honestly seems like there has to be a invisible HomePod in front of you. It's incredible technology, its not "just" two stereo speakers.

So now I have the stereo pair in the family room, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. Control by voice / Airplay 2 is brilliant and just what you would expect. All of the following just work "hey siri, play U2 in the kitchen" "hey siri, play U2 in the kitchen and family room" "hey siri, stop playing U2 in the family room (still continues playing in the kitchen)" "hey siri play U2 on all my homepods" "hey siri play U2 everywhere" “hey Siri transfer this to the bedroom”. The voice control is perfect.

One final mildly interesting thing, if you ask a stereo pair of HomePods something the answer only comes from the RIGHT speaker, never the left.

I enjoy HomePod so much more today.
Can you make a test?

It's possible to do two stereo and play a song/movie in both at same time? For example, one stereo in front e another in back. For movie, the experience maybe interesting (it's not a true 5.0/5.1 but maybe expand the sound)
 

jabingla2810

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2008
2,271
937
So now I have the stereo pair in the family room, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. Control by voice / Airplay 2 is brilliant and just what you would expect. All of the following just work "hey siri, play U2 in the kitchen" "hey siri, play U2 in the kitchen and family room" "hey siri, stop playing U2 in the family room (still continues playing in the kitchen)" "hey siri play U2 on all my homepods" "hey siri play U2 everywhere" “hey Siri transfer this to the bedroom”. The voice control is perfect.
.
"Hey Siri, never play U2" fixed this issue for me. :)
 

Z3man

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2012
744
370
UK
I do think the HP needs an equalizer to appeal to a wide range of listeners.
Very true, it certainly does.

I am so glad i returned both my HomePods within their return period and didn't get stuck with either of them, with all this messing about with the sound.

Original sound was poor, 11.3 was an improvement but still not good enough, gods knows what i would have thought of 11.4, so glad i got rid of them.

Until they introduce some presets or equaliser settings i shan't be buying any more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruinsrme

Mark Booth

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
1,623
454
I now have 2 HomePods and updated everything to iOS 11.4. Disappointingly, it is FAR too easy to get Siri confused when using voice commands to control HomePods.

One is in the kitchen the other in a bedroom. In the less than 24 hours I've heard Siri respond "I'm sorry, something seems to have gone wrong" multiple times. It is trivial to confuse Siri just by using simple commands. She'll pause or mute music on one HomePod when you were actually issuing a command for the other HomePod. Other weird stuff going on too.

Apple has a serious lack of beta testers, apparently. It gets tiring being an unpaid beta tester.

Mark
 

BlankStar

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2004
677
503
Belgium
Can you make a test?

It's possible to do two stereo and play a song/movie in both at same time? For example, one stereo in front e another in back. For movie, the experience maybe interesting (it's not a true 5.0/5.1 but maybe expand the sound)
With Airplay 2 you can play everything you want, from whichever source, on as many speakers as you want.

You can play a movie on the Apple TV and use all the HomePods and the TVs built-in speakers. You can play music from your iPhone and stream it to the Apple TV and HomePods.


I now have 2 HomePods and updated everything to iOS 11.4. Disappointingly, it is FAR too easy to get Siri confused when using voice commands to control HomePods.

One is in the kitchen the other in a bedroom. In the less than 24 hours I've heard Siri respond "I'm sorry, something seems to have gone wrong" multiple times. It is trivial to confuse Siri just by using simple commands. She'll pause or mute music on one HomePod when you were actually issuing a command for the other HomePod. Other weird stuff going on too.

Apple has a serious lack of beta testers, apparently. It gets tiring being an unpaid beta tester.

Mark
I've had the same problems when still on 11.3 and when checking my routersettings I discovered one HomePod was connected to the 2.4Ghz network and the other one to 5Ghz. When you say "Hey Siri", all the devices that hear you try to figure out which one needs to respond, but my router wasn't doing a good job rerouting from the 2.4Ghz network to the 5Ghz and the way around.
I disabled the 5Ghz network and since then everything is working like a charm again.

I hope we'll get the option to pick a WiFi network in the HomePod settings soon...
 

Mark Booth

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
1,623
454
With Airplay 2 you can play everything you want, from whichever source, on as many speakers as you want.

You can play a movie on the Apple TV and use all the HomePods and the TVs built-in speakers. You can play music from your iPhone and stream it to the Apple TV and HomePods.




I've had the same problems when still on 11.3 and when checking my routersettings I discovered one HomePod was connected to the 2.4Ghz network and the other one to 5Ghz. When you say "Hey Siri", all the devices that hear you try to figure out which one needs to respond, but my router wasn't doing a good job rerouting from the 2.4Ghz network to the 5Ghz and the way around.
I disabled the 5Ghz network and since then everything is working like a charm again.

I hope we'll get the option to pick a WiFi network in the HomePod settings soon...
Thank you for the suggestion. Both of my HomePods were on my 5GHz network but the signal for the one in the bedroom was only 2 bars (vs 4 bars for the one in the kitchen). I decided to put them both on the 2.4GHz network, just to see what would happen. The kitchen HomePod connected right up to the 2.4GHz network right after I blocked (removed) its MAC address from MAC address filtering on my 5GHz network.

I did the same for the bedroom HomePod and I've been fiddling for 20 minutes trying to get it on the 2.4GHz network. It's MAC address is definitely in the permissions for the 2.4GHz network but it won't connect.

Fun! You are right, it SUCKS that Apple doesn't allow us to manage this ourselves by simply using the Home app to TELL the network we want HomePod to use. Another example of Apple trying to make it "simple" for simple folks that don't know a WiFi network from their microwave oven.

Mark
 
  • Like
Reactions: BlankStar

Mark Booth

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
1,623
454
Unfortunately, your suggestion didn't work out. I was finally able to get my bedroom HomePod on the 2.4GHz network and Siri remains confused too easily.

Sigh.

Mark
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.