HomePod WARNING: HomePod 11.3 significantly changes EQ, please read before updating

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
1,122
853
Just a heads up, I have two HomePods and the 11.3 update significantly updated the EQ settings with no warning in the release notes.

1. The midrange (vocals) is much louder and clearer. To me this is a significant improvement as previously I felt this was a weak spot of the HomePod.

2. The bass has been DRAMATICALLY REDUCED. It simply removed any boomy or room shaking nature of the bass. The speaker is so much more flat. For example before Rita Ora's "My Song" had this great vocal / bells intro and then the bass would hit and anyone I demoed the speaker to would marvel at the incredible sound that was coming from such a small speaker... now? The bass is so, so reduced. Is it balanced? I guess, and I'm sure some would like it this way better but the speaker to me is now very flat sounding. It no longer sounds "bigger than its size" if that makes sense. For me I just needed the mids to be louder, not the bass to be reduced.

I get that sound is subjective and yes, in some ways this update to me makes certain songs sound better. That said it is a VERY SIGNIFICANT change in how the HomePod sounds and it was done without warning, nothing in the release notes, and no way to switch back. If you wanted lower levels of bass because your HomePod is in an apartment then this is the release for you. If you like the current boomy bass sound of the HomePod, please, please turn off updating before it is too late. I suspect that Apple will eventually allow some modest level of customizing the EQ (even if it isn't sliders maybe they will offer a handful of profiles) but right now I honestly feel like Apple just stole my speakers and replaced them in the night with speakers I just don't like as much.

Bummer.
 

Libertine82

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2016
37
14
I prefer it, the bass is still there its just not as emphasised, I felt before it was giving an untrue sound to the music, it now sounds a much more true representation of the music. maybe at parties not so good I may agree but for personal listening an improvement. I would suggest two settings, party and home listening and both camps would be happy. but to add again I find this update solves the two issues I had, the bass and Siri not understanding me, also genius now works.
 

MacBird

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2010
779
289
The change is really noticeable. The mid-range seems clearer and as the OP mentioned it is less bass-heavy, which is good for me since I listen to classical music most of the time. Before the update and without iTunes classical EQ, the bass sounded almost comical, it is much more balanced now.
 
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Z3man

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2012
741
368
UK
This is great news, i am going to buy another HomePod now, I returned the first one due to too much bass. With what people are reporting with the clearer mids and lower bass making it a better balanced speaker it sounds perfect for me now.

I must admit though, if i liked the over powering bass of the original software and Apple came along and changed it without offering an option to change it back, i would be very annoyed indeed.

The only option is to give us some presets or equaliser settings so we can all be happy. Some of us have been calling for this since day one.
 

darthbane2k

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2009
650
253
This is great news, i am going to buy another HomePod now, I returned the first one due to too much bass. With what people are reporting with the clearer mids and lower bass making it a better balanced speaker it sounds perfect for me now.

I must admit though, if i liked the over powering bass of the original software and Apple came along and changed it without offering an option to change it back, i would be very annoyed indeed.

The only option is to give us some presets or equaliser settings so we can all be happy. Some of us have been calling for this since day one.
If you guys wanted flat sound , you should have got an echo or sonos one. This update has been disasterous and I have complained to Apple and Cook (won’t hold my breath)
 
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Z3man

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2012
741
368
UK
If you guys wanted flat sound , you should have got an echo or sonos one. This update has been disasterous and I have complained to Apple and Cook (won’t hold my breath)
I want to be in the Apple eco system though, so don't want other brands.

I want a HomePod, but want it to sound good so this update might suit me, will find out in a few days.

The only real answer is, is to have some presets or equaliser settings so it will suit all tastes.

Apple knew from day one that they were going to sell many millions and the bass heavy sound was not going to suit everyones tastes, so there should have been some customisation from the beginning.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,400
33,050
Boston
The bass has been DRAMATICALLY REDUCED.
People complain about the bass being too over-powering and now they're complaining that its been reduced. I'm on the new update, mostly because my homepod was set for automatic update. I'm sure many people's are set for automatic update so its a moot point for segment of owners. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I agree it would be a nice move to introduce an EQ, but that goes against the grain of what Apple is doing, its promoting how the HomePod computes how to produce the best sounds, and that goes out the window if you let the owner change the settings.
 
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vipergts2207

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2009
2,138
2,613
Columbus, OH
People complain about the bass being too over-powering and now they're complaining that its been reduced. I'm on the new update, mostly because my homepod was set for automatic update. I'm sure many people's are set for automatic update so its a moot point for segment of owners. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I agree it would be a nice move to introduce an EQ, but that goes against the grain of what Apple is doing, its promoting how the HomePod computes how to produce the best sounds, and that goes out the window if you let the owner change the settings.
There really doesn’t need to be a full on graphic EQ or anything, but bass boost and bass reducer options might be welcome for at least a modicum of customizability in the sound.
 
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MacBird

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2010
779
289
There really doesn’t need to be a full on graphic EQ or anything, but bass boost and bass reducer options might be welcome for at least a modicum of customizability in the sound.
For now, your best option to boost the bass might be to use AirPlay and the iTunes EQ. It's a decent workaround. It would be nice if the HomePod had a designated EQ.
 

za9ra22

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2003
522
83
It's a bit moot for me, because with an unreliable router and poor bandwidth, I'd never be able to get an update that size downloaded!

Fortunately, I like the way it sounds now and I'm not bothered about new features. I may buy another HomePod later, and I'll probably wait until it's likely this will be pre-installed to see whether I like it enough to update the original. Otherwise, an original HomePod without the update might be a valuable commodity soon!
 

SoGood

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2003
419
191
Excellent! My first response when received my HomePod was the excessive base. Glad Apple engineers have recognised the same in their multi-million dollar acoustic lab and corrected the output.
 

TyWahn

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2003
376
34
It may be in my head, but I think mine sounds better. I didn't lose any bass at all. Maybe it's balanced out more?
 
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jonnyb098

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2010
2,868
2,274
Michigan
Apple isn’t going to keep switching sound signatures back and forth so for those of you who want the room shaking bass back only have one hope of Apple including a “bass boost” or “party mode” setting in the future. Personally I love the update as I thought the bass was almost obnoxiously room shaking. Also the new room measuring algorithm is MUCH BETTER and sounds very consistent in various places in my apartment compared to before having to find more of a sweet spot for balanced sound.
[doublepost=1522548736][/doublepost]
It may be in my head, but I think mine sounds better. I didn't lose any bass at all. Maybe it's balanced out more?
It’s just more balanced but yes the ultra low end booming bass has been reduced. Which I’m fine with. Even at 10 percent my walls sounded like they were shaking. Sounds much much better to me. More full. And no tons of bass doesn’t mean full for anyone wondering. Full means room filling balanced sound.
 
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TyWahn

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2003
376
34
Anyone feel that it doesn’t go as loud anymore?
Opposite in fact. Mine was blaring and I asked Siri the volume and it was 35%. Mine gets plenty loud. I'm sorry if yours is not what it used to be. :-(
 

falainber

macrumors 68000
Mar 16, 2016
1,987
2,572
Wild West
Vocals improved and bass reduced? I might actually try the HomePod again.
Are you sure? What if Apple change their mind and change the sound again with the next update? I think the main point here is that the audio system without EQ controls can't be used for any music listening but the background type one.
 

AidenL

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2013
419
208
Ireland
Opposite in fact. Mine was blaring and I asked Siri the volume and it was 35%. Mine gets plenty loud. I'm sorry if yours is not what it used to be. :-(
It’s odd, definitely I feel mine has less oomph.

Wish I had measured levels initially.
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,487
905
People complain about the bass being too over-powering and now they're complaining that its been reduced. I'm on the new update, mostly because my homepod was set for automatic update. I'm sure many people's are set for automatic update so its a moot point for segment of owners. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I agree it would be a nice move to introduce an EQ, but that goes against the grain of what Apple is doing, its promoting how the HomePod computes how to produce the best sounds, and that goes out the window if you let the owner change the settings.
I disagree. If the owner chooses to deviate from the automation that is their choice. They own it. It was very stupid of Apple to have not provided a means to control the sound. The whole Homepod release has been lacking in my opinion. Releasing something stupider than every other smart speaker was a huge letdown.
 
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iLog.Genius

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
4,830
358
Toronto, Ontario
I agree it would be a nice move to introduce an EQ, but that goes against the grain of what Apple is doing, its promoting how the HomePod computes how to produce the best sounds, and that goes out the window if you let the owner change the settings.
I guess in some cases, it is best for a manufacturer to set how a product should function but seeing how sound is HIGHLY subjective, it is not possible for Apple to determine how the HomePod should sound in each and different setting and nor should they. Apple can and should set a basis for how the HomePod should sound (default setting for most environments) but there should be an option to tweak because there is no one and right setting/sound for all rooms and environments
 

TyWahn

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2003
376
34
A good song to hear the "new" sound signature is "Thursday" Featuring Example by PetShop Boys. It sounds excellent on my updated HomePod. Just a random thought. :)
 

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