Stereo HomePods for Mac setup.

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by satinsilverem2, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. satinsilverem2 macrumors 6502a

    satinsilverem2

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    Nov 12, 2013
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    Richmond, VA
    #1
    I know this is a total first world thing but I had the idea of getting a couple of HomePods and placing them in on either side of my Mac setup to replace my aging Klipsch speakers. I know the stereo feature isn't coming until later this year but would this work or not? I think it would look cool on either side of my 5K.
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #2
    You might have a bit of latency since it's wireless, but when multi-speaker support comes I see no reason it wouldn't
     
  3. TheColtr macrumors 6502

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    Feb 1, 2014
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    California
    #3
    Yes you can. In fact you don't even need to wait till Airplay 2 multi room is ready, you can use the older Airplay 1 and play to multiple speakers with iTunes.
     
  4. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

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    Big D
    #4
    Here's the thing... it's kind of wrong to think of one of these as mono and two as stereo. The purpose of stereo is to use two enclosures that when the sound is combined it creates a staging... with a sweet spot. But what if you can create this staging with one enclosure, many drivers, and managed by a computer chip - and instead of a rather small sweet spot, most of the room is the sweet spot? That's what Apple is going for. The only purpose of a second enclosure is to deal with much larger room for more volume, not for stereo. That's why Apple calls using a second HomePod as "Full Room."

    So to sit in front of it and it's supposed to relate to a screen, this might be awkward, not sure yet. We have to try it. If you are close to it and it is off to one side it won't be "everywhere, it'll be to your left. We aren't supposed to use it the way we did traditionally with speakers. To put two of these that close together on a desk would be a waste, I think.

    Experiment.
     
  5. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

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    #5
    For desktop audio you would be much better off getting some Audioengines at https://audioengineusa.com/shop/speakers/. These are considered as some of the best speakers on the market especially for the price. The HomePod is really not designed for that use even though you can make it work.
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #6

    That made me smile! I have AudioEngine A5+ as my speakers for my iMac
     
  7. vipergts2207 macrumors 68000

    vipergts2207

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    Columbus, OH
    #7
    What do you mean by ‘aging’ exactly? Speakers are relatively simple things as far as electronics go and can very easily last a decade or more. If they’re paired with proprietary electronics though, then that can be another story.
     
  8. satinsilverem2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    satinsilverem2

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    Richmond, VA
    #8
    one of the voice coils on the left is rattling and ive been wanting something a little more modern looking (yes, I know they are just speakers). other than the rattle nothing is wrong with them and even though they came out going on 20 years ago they still are sold in stores and hold very high ratings for sound quality.
     
  9. essential, Feb 7, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018

    essential macrumors regular

    essential

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    Apr 8, 2008
    #9
    I had a similar idea for my Windows machine. I thought a set of HomePods would make great desktop speakers, but I don't think they will work well in practice. Yes, with iTunes as a source they will be great, but with anything else there will be issues. I don't think Windows or Mac can set a default audio source to a wireless speaker (maybe bluetooth) so you'd need AirFoil for anything outside iTunes.

    So, for example, if you're watching a video in VLC, or you're on YouTube, how can you get that audio to the HomePods? The only solution I've found is AirFoil, which I've used in the past to play FLAC files to some AirPlay speakers I had. AirFoil allows you to select a particular program or "System Audio" but there will be a 1-2 second delay between everything. This is fine for music, but for movies, youtube, anything like that it won't work. I used AirFoil v3, and they are on v5 now, so maybe there are latency improvements.

    Unless I'm missing something I think that'll be the biggest issue. I'll be curious if someone tests the HomePod hooked up to a computer with AirFoil on system audio. If it works with all media without any noticeable delay, I'd jump back on the idea of HomePods as computer speakers.

    Edit:
    Also, playing to the HomePods through iTunes or your iOS device, they can tell there is another HomePod and adjust accordingly. Playing to two HomePods via AirFoil might just be playing to two AirPlay speakers. With AirFoil i'm not sure if the HomePods will be "aware" they are being grouped for "stereo-like sound" as Apple puts it like they would if the audio source was an iOS device.
     
  10. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #10

    Mac's can indeed set the general audio source to be wireless speakers, either AirPlay or Bluetooth, without this AirFoil needed. And you can group devices any way you want in the MIDI section of macOS. However, you might still see a latency issue.
     
  11. sam2428 macrumors 6502

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    Houston, TX
    #11
    Out of curiosity....why would you need two HomePods? I understand the stereo setup (which will be available via software update sometime later this year), but the HomePod has all these multidirectional speakers that will fill the room and make great sound with just a single unit.

    I always thought the multi-HomePod setup was more for larger rooms to fill more space, etc.

    I too want to use a HomePod beside my iMac for audio and for music listening, but the latency issue does worry me as well. Still am not sold on the price tag either, but that is a separate issue.
     
  12. essential macrumors regular

    essential

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    Apr 8, 2008
    #12
    I can't speak for anyone else, but with my current computer setup, I couldn't fit a HomePod under my monitor. If you can have the HomePod directly in front of you, maybe one would be fine.

    If I ran a single HomePod as computer speaker, it would either have to be, at best, two feet to the left of me, or a two feet to the right. Maybe the HomePod audio-magic is good enough that I wouldn't be able to tell with my opposite ear that the audio is coming from the other side, but sitting so close I just assume there is going to be an imbalance. That's why I'd prefer one left and one right, hopefully in the "stereo-like" mode. However, maybe my assumptions are wrong and a single unit would perform without any imbalance issues.
     
  13. sam2428 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 8, 2011
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    Houston, TX
    #13
    Yea, your points are valid and make total sense....I just thought that since the HomePod has all these built in sensors to measure wall distances and adjust the internal speakers to allow for optimal sound you wouldn't really need a stereo setup unless the room was very large.

    I guess I am mistaking a true "stereo" setup with the speakers being able to talk to each other to make best use of the available space. Perhaps they do both.
     
  14. southflguy macrumors regular

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    Mar 17, 2012
    #14
    I have this for my Mac. It's amazing:

    https://us.creative.com/p/speakers/sound-blasterx-katana
     
  15. DeepIn2U macrumors 603

    DeepIn2U

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    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #15
    You must then understand the pain I’m going through!

    Recorded DJ mixes, samples, etc on MiniDisc way back. Stuff I cannot get anymore (records and crates of them was NOT cheap). I figured as MP3 began to grow in populatority, all thanks to Napster & BitTorrent, Sony will make a software to export over USB to a computer so I wouldn’t have to use manual play & simultaneously record. I mean that’s the whole point of having digital music in the first place. Then with NetMD my prayers where answered. More than a decade past where I can find a NetMD or Hi-MD for cheap. Ed I sorely mistaking. Only Hi-MD’s aloe USB read and writing of content. Seems that NetMD’s cannot grrr. This after hours sourcing software va a delta to download the full working SW and getting the right drivers from 5-6yrs ago only to find out nope will not work. Frustration is being polite.
     
  16. Phil77354, Feb 11, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018

    Phil77354 macrumors regular

    Phil77354

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Location:
    Eastern Washington State
    #16
    Do you mean something like this?:

    IMG_1232.jpg
    --- Post Merged, Feb 11, 2018 ---
    The two HomePods shown above replace two audioengine A2 speakers that used since 2010. I was very happy with the audioengine speakers but the HomePods are in an entirely different category.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 11, 2018 ---
    I'm not familiar with their models other than the audioengine A2 speakers that I previously used, but I wouldn't be too quick to disregard the HomePod for this particular application, even though it is probably not what they are generally intended for.
     
  17. essential macrumors regular

    essential

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    Apr 8, 2008
    #17
    This was my plan exactly till I found out there were no inputs. I'm Windows based so I'm waiting on some reviews with AirFoil set to system audio, but I have no doubt 2 HomePods won't work for me with the latency issues. I tested AirFoil 5 this week with some AirPlay speakers I have, and while music works great, any video still lags at least 2 seconds. AirPlay 2 might improve this but I doubt that it'll be as good as physically connected speakers.

    With your Mac can you play videos, youtube, itunes, etc with no lag, does everything sync up automagically?
     
  18. Phil77354 macrumors regular

    Phil77354

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    Jun 22, 2014
    Location:
    Eastern Washington State
    #18
    I hadn't tried video on the computer yet, but just now I tried to watch a YouTube video, and with the audio streaming to one of the HomePods there is a slight lag, as you say. This is when I'm viewing the video in a browser window.

    However, using the HomePods as speakers when watching a movie on iTunes, the sound syncs up perfectly.

    I have not tried to use HomePods with my Apple TV yet so I can't comment to how they work in that application.
     
  19. essential macrumors regular

    essential

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #19
    Yea, makes sense they sync up well with an iTunes movie, I figured anything Apple sourced would work well. I've read things from the AppleTV sync as well.

    For computer speakers, I'd say maybe 30% of my audio is from iTunes, but a lot is Twitch, YouTube, VLC, and I don't think the HomePods will work for any of that, in sync at least. Even think about video clips on ESPN or Twitter, that audio will be out of sync. Unless AirPlay 2 eliminates that delay I'll have to wait for gen2 and hope they have a physical input, at least in terms of being able to use them for computer speakers.

    Either way, your setup looks awesome!
     
  20. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    Jan 26, 2014
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    Horsens, Denmark
    #20
    The A2's are in an entirely different category to the A5+ as well.

    A2, as the name suggests, uses a 2-inch woofer, whereas the A5+ is the second generation with a 5-inch woofer. The tweeters on the respective pairs are also sized accordingly.
     
  21. SwiftApple, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    SwiftApple macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2016
    #21
    Hi, how did you setup two homepods for your mac external speaker while watching iTune movies? I seem to only be able to have one working at a time (not two)

    I can do iTunes music on both HomePods at a time, but not iTunes movies, only one :/
     
  22. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #22
    Can't you just set them up as a multi-output device in the MIDI settings, thus getting all audio available for playback on the speakers?
     
  23. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a

    SuperMatt

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    Mar 28, 2002
    #23
    I recommend buying Airfoil from Rogue Amoeba if you want to stream audio to different speakers around the house. It's a great piece of software and can stream from any piece of software, not just iTunes.
     
  24. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

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    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #24
    I just can’t see spending $700 for a pair of computer speakers. HomePods are made to be listened to at some distance hence why I think a good pair or 2.1 speakers would work better with a computer. I have the Audioengine a5+ and they sound fantastic. And besides the computer I have Alexa connected so I have the best of both.

    I’m not saying that HomePods are in any way bad. I just don’t think they’re optimal to have them around 3 feet apart for computer use. Maybe if they had a line in at least...maybe.
     
  25. Phil77354 macrumors regular

    Phil77354

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    Jun 22, 2014
    Location:
    Eastern Washington State
    #25
    I'm not sure why that would be the case. I can have both HomePods playing from my iTunes on my computer, regardless of whether or not the source is my music library, or something else. In all cases I simply select the speakers I want the music to stream to, one or more HomePods as well as any other AirPlay speakers that might be available.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 12, 2018 ---
    I get the point that two HomePods dedicated to simply be my computer monitors is probably overkill - but I love it anyway! And I can tell you that when I went from one HomePod to two, the difference was significant.
     

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