HomePod Stereo homepods without the update

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by tywebb13, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. tywebb13, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018

    tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Apple are supposedly going to release an update enabling stereo for homepods later this year. But Airplay 2 has been removed from the latest beta of iOS 11.3.

    In fact apple never said it would come with iOS 11.3 - but many people assumed it would. So it might even come with iOS 12.

    However you can enable stereo homepods now even without the update.

    It can be done with a mac or with an iOS device as follows:

    For a mac you can use Airfoil. For an iOS device you can use a mac, Airfoil and Reflector. There may be other ways to do it too, but this is how I got it to work.

    First set up Airfoil

    1. Download AirFoil from Rogue Amoeba’s website. AirFoil is a paid application at $29 per user.

    2. Once you have AirFoil downloaded, copy it to your Application folder.

    3. Open it and ensure that all of your AirPlay-enabled devices appear.

    4. Choose your audio source. Easiest way is to choose System Audio. Then all sounds from the mac will play. But if you are a bit fussy about mouse clicks not coming through for example you can select specific apps instead which will exclude such noises.

    5. Go to your Applications folder on macOS and find the AirFoil app. Right click on that file and choose “Duplicate.” This makes another copy of Airfoil called Airfoil copy.

    6. Open Airfoil copy. It will open right over the Airfoil window. Move it away from it.

    7. In AirFoil, choose the HomePod that’s on the right side of your configuration. Click the equalizer icon along the top and drag the “Balance” slider all the way to the right side. This will play only the right channel through that HomePod.

    8. In AirFoil copy, choose the HomePod that’s on the left side of your configuration. Click the equalizer icon along the top and drag the “Balance” slider all the way to the left side. This will play only the left channel through that HomePod.

    Now you can run stereo homepods with your mac.

    Then set up Reflector (if you want to run it from an iOS device)

    You can get reflector here: http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/

    Now you can airplay stereo music from your iphone to the homepods - via the mac and the 2 apps airfoil and reflector running simultaneously.

    I tried this and it works really well.

    Stereo homepods sounds much better than 1 homepod.
  2. tywebb13, Feb 22, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018

    tywebb13 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    I would of course like to know if apple’s version of stereo will be better. If not then maybe we should stick with the airfoil and reflector version. This is what has been described as “true stereo” - where the left signal is sent to the left speaker and the right signal is sent to the right speaker. What apple are saying they will do has been criticised as not true stereo.

    So either apple should prove them wrong and create a not-so-true stereo that is actually better than true stereo - or admit this is not possible and just go with true stereo. But of course then they would just be copying what is already available.

    In any case so far true stereo is what you can get now with the methods I posted above. And true stereo homepods sound awesome. So it is going to be tough for apple to produce something better. Maybe that is what is slowing them down.

    I think airfoil are very aware of the attention they are getting now. They just came out with a new update specfically saying they are compatible with homepods. I think the new version of airfoil 5.7 shows the audio levels more accurately now. It wasn’t really a problem before but it is better that the levels are more accurate.

    If you update airfoil be sure to update airfoil copy too.
  3. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2015
    Problem with the above is it does not help any when streaming directly from iCloud music.....
    Only good for Airplay, which is not the main intent of the Homepod IMHO.
  4. tywebb13 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    If you want to use siri to play music directly with homepods you are restricted to using just 1 so far. Apple's update should let you do it in stereo with 2 later this year.

    On the other hand if you just want the best possible sound then you can use stereo homepods now with the methods I wrote about which requires using a computer or ios device. You can use these to stream apple music too if you want.

    I have done both and reckon that it sounds better in stereo. So I don't mind using my mac or iphone to play the music if that produces a better sound.

    The real question though is will apple's version of stereo be better than what we can currently get with airfoil and reflector? We won't know until the update comes.
  5. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2015

    I pick up my second HomePod tomorrow at Mall of America Apple store (ordered online).....definitely going to try your Airfoil trick and see how I like it.
    I just hope Apple gets the update out soon........for me Siri streaming from my iCloud music library works so slick it would be great to do the same in stereo.
  6. tywebb13, Apr 9, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018

    tywebb13 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    The EQ can also be used to turn down the bass if one so desires.

    Not sure why macrumors haven't had much coverage on this. It got some more attention over at 9to5mac.

    But now with apple's recent update it seems to have got more people on macrumors talking about lack of apple provided homepod EQ - bemoaning the fact apple haven't provided one - most of whom don't seem to realise they can already get an EQ with airfoil.
  7. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    It's not that the community here on Macrumors don't realize other options to "modify" the HomePod to their liking, it's more to do with having to pay the price of a HomePod only having to research and download other programs just to make HomePod work in a way that was advertised by Apple but not yet available due to updates. I'm sure others have downloaded AirFoil but most would like a native solution from Apple.
  8. tywebb13 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Now that stereo pairing is enabled we may wonder can you still use airfoil anyway in case you prefer it to apple's version of stereo pairing?

    The answer is yes - you just have to unpair the homepods first.

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