Two HomePods are NOT a Soundbar

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by AustinIllini, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. AustinIllini, Jan 27, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2018

    AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    Oct 20, 2011
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    Austin, TX
    #1
    So many people are asking it, we should sticky this thread. Two HomePods will not work well on TV. This article says it better than I can.

    https://17orbits.com/2017/06/18/homepod-theater/
     
  2. BlankStar macrumors 6502a

    BlankStar

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    #2
    I quote the article: "Potential shortcomings"

    Which means: they don't have a clue.

    Let's wait for the hands-on reviews ;-)

    And for AirPlay 2 to get a full roll-out, which will be iOS 11.4 or maybe iOS 12... 'cause 11.3 only sets the first babysteps for the new protocol.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    The article was from last month, so you need to take what was written with a grain of salt. Now that its reaching people, we're getting first hand experiences, and without that, it was known that we have to wait for Airplay 2 before we can use two homepods together.
     
  4. AustinIllini thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    #4
    Still doesn't have the proper orientation of speakers for a soundbar replacement and Apple does not emphasize its usage for that purpose.
     
  5. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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    #5
    Why would one expect a pair of HomePods to function as a soundbar with no center channel?
     
  6. BlankStar macrumors 6502a

    BlankStar

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    #6
    If the HomePods are each placed on one side of the tv, both homepods could direct the "center channel" towards the front.

    Without full Airplay 2 this is not possible for sure, but with software-updates this could happen ;-) Maybe unlikely but not impossible...
     
  7. jjjjjooooo, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018

    jjjjjooooo Suspended

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    #7
    I’m not sure having dialogue coming from a point source below the screen is necessarily ideal.

    Sony’s OLED TVs have speakers behind the screen which allegedly makes dialogue sound as if it’s coming directly from the actors’ mouth, for one example.

    Homepods also allegedly don’t have a “sweet spot” like traditional stereo speakers and can direct sound to specific points using beamforming technology.
     
  8. AustinIllini thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    #8
    Yeah, but TV speakers are, by and large, horrible for audio consumption. Try again. Soundbars are designed to handle all of it but a discrete center channel is critical to a solid home theater system.
     
  9. t.k.dennis, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018

    t.k.dennis macrumors newbie

    t.k.dennis

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    Feb 9, 2018
    #9
    Allow me to shed some light on this situation.

    I can attest to the following first hand:

    - Videos sound just as fantastic as music on this thing. I don't see why these wouldn't be a superior sound bar replacement for Apple TV.

    - Off the top of my head, I don't see a way to use this with a PS4 .etc. Therefore, even though this device is more than capable of producing the required sounds for an excellent viewing experience, it still wouldn't be ideal for many setups. Thus, requiring a sound-bar (or system) anyway.

    So capability and ability don't meet up in this situation sadly. :(
     
  10. BlankStar macrumors 6502a

    BlankStar

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    #10
    Would LOVE for Sony to implement Airplay 2 in the PS4...

    Would be so awesome!
     
  11. johngordon macrumors 68000

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #11
    I don't know how relevant this is, and this won't be very technical, so others will know more than me....

    My understanding was that even two home pods wouldn't do "proper stereo", but rather would create some room filling soundstage that, if Apple was to be believed will sound as good or better than "proper stereo", and if audiophiles were to be believed be bad, because it wasn't "proper stereo".

    My understanding was that it wasn't necessarily "proper stereo" because it wouldn't necessarily adhere to the left and right channels, but for want of a better expression, be more 3D in effect.

    And because of that, my thinking was that this wouldn't be good for use with tv, because the left / right directionality is much more important than it is with music.

    However, I have seen a video of someone trying to pair two HomePods, and even though it is not supported he got as far as the phone prompts to pair, in which he set each of the HomePods to left and right channels. Which would suggest it would in effect be doing something very close to "proper stereo" even if it wasn't technically what audiophiles would describe as "proper stereo".

    Or something. The above might only make sense to me!
     
  12. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    #12
    shrug

    i use mine as an appletv 4k output at the moment and it works fine.

    i'll be using two for stereo/better output when airplay 2 hits.

    lack of console-peasant game machine compatibility... meh.

    i have a PC with its own speakers for that :D
     
  13. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

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    May 15, 2014
    #14
    I love how at first we didn't know if the HomePod could actually do it, now we know it does and there's this strange push to stop people from doing it.

    Most people aren't super duper audiophiles and will place this bad boy in the back center of their TV room and have a great theater experience. End of story.
     
  14. AustinIllini thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    #15
    How do you compensate for the sound delay over airplay?

    And Apple didn't design HomePod to do this.
     
  15. Diane B macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    Western NC foothills
    #16
    Not for TV but tried for Apple TV (gen 4) through settings. The sound was fine, in sync—but (and I expected this) unless the placement of the Homepod is with the TV, the sound isn’t directed correctly—soundbar is better. I tried simply out of curiosity.

    I also found just for general usage with Apple music, where I place the HP makes a difference. The room is long (kitchen/sitting/dining) and 2 stories over dining/sitting end so I worried about room volume and distance from end of room to end of room. I’ve tried center of room not in 2 story area then moved to end of room in the 2 story area. The difference was fairly striking—prefer end of room. BTW volume of HP was more than sufficient and I found I could communicate from the kitchen area at other end.
     
  16. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    The OP is correct in saying that the Homepod is NOT a sound bar. Honestly, I don’t think the Homepod can do actual stereo much less surround sound. The design is for an omnidirectional beam-forming experience which says to me that it will try to balance the sound to individuals in a room. The added complexity of having 2 HomePods would essentially route the audio to the listener in the same way. For people that don’t actually care, routing sound directly to a HomePod to watch media would give you decent enough sound that can be directed to you. Spatial qualities of sound however would probably not happen since the sound is coming from a single source. Home theater is a completely different experience from stereo or just piping sound to a single person.
     
  17. jjjjjooooo, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018

    jjjjjooooo Suspended

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    #18
    I think it is still unknown at this time how Apple will implement this.

    Apple denied that they will be calling their “stereo-like” pairing “FullRoom” (https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/06/homepod-fullroom-coming-before-multi-room-audio/).

    While there is reportedly input lag for things like gaming and selection feedback, audio and video are synced during playback for movies (the start of the video playback is delayed to account for the timing difference).

    (Airplay 2, when it is released, may fix the input lag.)
    Source?
     
  18. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

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    #19
    Obviously the HomePod lacks any kind of input for audio, so there’s the first hurdle in using it for all of your devices.

    Secondly it is not going to reproduce even a proper 2.1 sound system let alone expanding to more channels.

    However, if all you’re interested in is getting vastly superior sound than your TV can do and certainly better than a lot of sound bars then maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Even a single HomePod sounds significantly better than any TV out there and while it’s an expensive proposition to use two HomePod’s, we all know some of us will.

    That in mind what I’m playing around with just now, because, well why not, I like to tinker. Is getting a Raspberry Pi up and running as an AirPlay sender.
    Theory being I could route all sources through my TV, use the optical out of the TV into the Pi and Airplay from there to the HomePod.

    Will it work? Feck knows so far. But if it does and we can get AirPlay 2 onto the Pi as well, it’s a potential cheap solution for those who want to do it.
     
  19. dazz87 macrumors 65816

    dazz87

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    #20
    People are using HP for surround sound? :eek: Get a real system!
     
  20. lewisd25, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2018

    lewisd25 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Not everyone wants a surround system. I already plan on having two linked homepods for music, having them work with the Apple TV is a bonus. I have already tested one HomePod with iTunes movies on Apple TV and it sounds great with no latency, if two can work together with no latency it will be fantastic.
     
  21. AustinIllini thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    #22
    Apple? I don't need to prove a negative. Show me where Apple supports it for home theatre
    --- Post Merged, Feb 14, 2018 ---
    It would be, but you're actually getting a fairly bad experience for an outrageous price. But sure, if that's a bonus for you...
     
  22. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Anyone reading this can simply go to youtube and see videos of people using HomePod with Apple TV thru Airplay without audio lag. So, there goes that.
     
  23. AustinIllini thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    #24
    There are videos of people eating Tide pods. Doesn't mean you should do it.

    You want a subpar experience for $700? Knock yourself out. Complete waste.
     
  24. jyyz macrumors regular

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #25
    A little different take. I already have a nice sounding soundbar. I have tried connecting to a HomePod by AppleTV, and as mentioned it sounds pretty good as well. Will be neat once AirPlay 2 is out to use a HomePod or two in conjunction with the soundbar. I bet that will be fun.
     

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104 January 27, 2018