HomePod Using 2 HomePods with a Mac

evere13tt

macrumors newbie
Jan 14, 2018
6
5
Canada
Stereo-paired HomePods can receive stereo audio from AirPlay-supported apps from macOS/iOS/tvOS.
Screen Shot 2020-06-14 at 2.25.20 PM.png

However, stereo-paired HomePods can't act as the system output device for macOS.
Screen Shot 2020-06-14 at 2.24.59 PM.png

Hope this helps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Namara

gw0gvq

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 30, 2012
990
46
Barry, South Wales, UK
Stereo-paired HomePods can receive stereo audio from AirPlay-supported apps from macOS/iOS/tvOS.
View attachment 924094

However, stereo-paired HomePods can't act as the system output device for macOS.
View attachment 924095

Hope this helps.
I have them on my Mac as you have them but how on the mac do you play them as stereo when only left or right connect or am I trying to do something that cant be done?
 

evere13tt

macrumors newbie
Jan 14, 2018
6
5
Canada
I have them on my Mac as you have them but how on the mac do you play them as stereo when only left or right connect or am I trying to do something that cant be done?
First make sure they are paired:
It sounds like you're asking how to create a Homepods stereo pair. If so, here's the instructions:

At this point they will still only be able to receive stereo audio from apps within macOS, not the overall system audio from the Mac itself. If you want to set your system audio to a HomePod, you have to pick one. Hopefully they will change this with a future software update!
 

iAssimilated

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2018
382
758
the PNW
Agreed, this is super confusing. I wish Apple would let you stream to a stereo pair straight from the sound output dropdown. This is one my most desired features and it is coming from someone who does not have any Homepods setup in stereo (all my house's spaces are small enough that a single Homepod fills the area just fine).
 

gw0gvq

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 30, 2012
990
46
Barry, South Wales, UK
Agreed, this is super confusing. I wish Apple would let you stream to a stereo pair straight from the sound output dropdown. This is one my most desired features and it is coming from someone who does not have any Homepods setup in stereo (all my house's spaces are small enough that a single Homepod fills the area just fine).
I think its silly the way you cant stream straight from the sound output but I think technology is getting more confusing than complicated now, i. think that personally they out to make them that, if you have them you should be able to stream them if you're using them for video conferencing or movies, but, that's my opinion, not that it'll be listened to by Apple etc. I'm a disabled person and thankfully I can use my hands but Iknow some who have difficulty manoeuvring around a mac, so that would be my argument for putting these things in places that take up less time accessing functions.
 

Kylo83

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2020
286
456
It’s terrible in 2020 with the brand new macos we still don’t have airplay 2 as main output even using one HomePod on airplay has a massive lag, why don’t they just make it airplay 2 as a main output and not just music app
 

CJM

macrumors 65816
May 7, 2005
1,364
625
U.K.
Haven’t tested myself, but I have seen here and elsewhere that you can use the Apple Audio Midi Setup tool to create a new second device using the HomePods as left and right channels.

Let me see if I can find... [edit, here it is!]
The method can be switched, using either the Music app (iTunes should work if on Mojave) or the Apple TV:

Stereo pairing for all apps is possible in macOS
  1. Open Applications > Music. This will be the Proxy Application.
  2. Select your paired HomePods from the AirPlay menu.
  3. Open Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup
You should see a list of Audio Devices including AirPlay.
HomePods are not listed in this window because they are managed by AirPlay.
The AirPlay device is only in the list when AirPlay is running.
4. Hit the + button then select Create Aggregate Device.

5. On the right side of the window will be a list of all the audio devices. Click the Use checkbox for AirPlay.

6. Use the volume icon on the top menu to select Aggregate Device from the list of devices.

Your sound output for everything on your mac will now play through the HomePods as stereo as long as the AirPlay connection stays open.

Trouble Shooting
Disconnects: If your AirPlay keeps disconnecting use AppleTV instead of Music as the Proxy Application. Play any show to bring up the player then select your paired stereo HomePods and pause playback. Then continue from step 3.

Volume: If your volume is too low adjust it through the AirPlay proxy app and don't forget you can control the volume of the HomePod through the + & - buttons on the top of the device.

Sound/Video Synchronization: In my experience I can see no disconnect with video such as Netflix or Disney+. However if you try to get fancy and add Built-in Output and AirPlay in a Multi-Output Device you will see a strong lag in AirPlay. Keep it simple and just use AirPlay with an Aggregate Device and your synchronization should be fine.

How does this work?
When an AirPlay application is open and AirPlay is selected as the default output device a temporary AirPlay Audio Device is created. This Audio Device is handled by the same mechanisms as your other output sources and can be seen in the Audio Devices of the Audio MIDI Setup application.

Because the AirPlay Audio Device is temporary it will no longer exist when the proxy AirPlay application is closed or disconnected from AirPlay. These instructions detail creating an Aggregate Device. When the AirPlay Audio Device is removed it will be removed from the Aggregate Device too. The next time AirPlay is created it will be with a new instance of AirPlay and the old AirPlay Audio Device will be invalid.

So, does that mean you have to reconnect the AirPlay Audio Device in Audio MIDI Setup often? Well, yes. You can keep the same Aggregate Device in your list of Audio Devices and you can just keep assigning the active AirPlay Audio Device to the same Aggregate. In practice using AppleTV keeps the configuration valid even when putting the system to sleep.

Pro tip: rename your Aggregate Device to "HomePod AirPlay"
I'm looking to get a second HomePod when they drop in price again. So I'd like to give it a go.
Possible drawback is the sound quality isn't quite as good.

source:
https://www.reddit.com/r/HomePod/comments/e6co6o/playing_all_audio_through_paired_stereo_homepods/
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: evere13tt
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.