HomePod What are the chances of Apple adding Presets or Equaliser settings to HomePod

Z3man

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Original poster
Feb 19, 2012
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I returned my HomePod due to not liking the sound quality, i found it had too much bass and not enough treble for my liking.

I know the HomePod is capable of making a good sound, because when i Airplay to it from my MacBook using the presets and equaliser settings in iTunes, i could get a very good sound out of it.

What do you think the chances are of Apple adding presets of equaliser settings to the HomePod in the near future because i would really like to own another HomePod.
 

Kurri

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2009
393
125
I'd think they would add it. I feel the homepod came out too early. the software was not ready like no EQ and dual profiles and siri not knowing enough. I'm sure these will all be corrected with software updates (maybe not dual profiles if it cannot tell voices apart).

I returned my HomePod due to not liking the sound quality, i found it had too much bass and not enough treble for my liking.

I know the HomePod is capable of making a good sound, because when i Airplay to it from my MacBook using the presets and equaliser settings in iTunes, i could get a very good sound out of it.

What do you think the chances are of Apple adding presets of equaliser settings to the HomePod in the near future because i would really like to own another HomePod.
 

za9ra22

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2003
524
83
I think Apple knew pretty much exactly what they were releasing, and that it contained just about all the features they wanted it to contain. As such I doubt that they will add an equaliser because unlike iTunes which is merely the software controlling playback, the HomePod is a audio product that has been engineered to sound the way it sounds. Apple, bless them, believe they know what we need better than we know what we want. And judging by the test facilities they used, spent a great deal on making the HomePod behave acoustically exactly the way it does.

I do think that updates will add, or modify, features, and that Siri will gain some additional skills over time, but I wouldn't bet on them stretching much outside the ecosystem, if at all.
 
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tywebb13

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Apr 21, 2012
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I returned my HomePod due to not liking the sound quality, i found it had too much bass and not enough treble for my liking.

I know the HomePod is capable of making a good sound, because when i Airplay to it from my MacBook using the presets and equaliser settings in iTunes, i could get a very good sound out of it.

What do you think the chances are of Apple adding presets of equaliser settings to the HomePod in the near future because i would really like to own another HomePod.
As I said before in another thread ( https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/stereo-homepods-without-the-update.2106948/ ) you can make it sound better by running 2 homepods in stereo and you don't have to wait for the update from apple. But you can also get presets and equaliser via airfoil.

Here is my airfoil stereo homepod setup. I also have reflector running so that I can airplay the music from my iphone instead of my mac.

Bedroom is the left speaker and Bedroom (2) is the right one. As you can see I am getting the left signal through the left speaker and the right signal through the right speaker. So this is "true stereo". It might not be exactly what apple have in mind for their update. But it sounds pretty good to me. So that's good enough for me. Definitely better than 1 homepod anyway.

And as you can see I have turned the bass down and treble up.

airfoil setup.png
 
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Z3man

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Original poster
Feb 19, 2012
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As I said before in another thread ( https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/stereo-homepods-without-the-update.2106948/ ) you can make it sound better by running 2 homepods in stereo and you don't have to wait for the update from apple. But you can also get presets and equaliser via airfoil.

Here is my airfoil stereo homepod setup. I also have reflector running so that I can airplay the music from my iphone instead of my mac.

Bedroom is the left speaker and Bedroom (2) is the right one. As you can see I am getting the left signal through the left speaker and the right signal through the right speaker. So this is "true stereo". It might not be exactly what apple have in mind for their update. But it sounds pretty good to me. So that's good enough for me. Definitely better than 1 homepod anyway.

And as you can see I have turned the base down and treble up.

View attachment 753099
Sorry if i am wrong but isn't this just for Airplaying to the HP from a Mac or IOS device, which i can do anyway via iTunes.

It won't change the sound of the HP when just using it for its intended purpose as a stand alone device and using Siri.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2012
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Sorry if i am wrong but isn't this just for Airplaying to the HP from a Mac or IOS device, which i can do anyway via iTunes.

It won't change the sound of the HP when just using it for its intended purpose as a stand alone device and using Siri.
And good luck trying to get stereo homepods via itunes. You can airplay to 2 that way but they won't be in stereo.

And so far Siri can't be used either for 2 stereo homepods.
 

Z3man

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Original poster
Feb 19, 2012
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UK
And good luck trying to get stereo homepods via itunes. You can airplay to 2 that way but they won't be in stereo.

And so far Siri can't be used either for 2 stereo homepods.
I only plan on getting one homepod, just want to get good sound out of it when not Airplaying to it. I think the only way to get that will be if Apple add presets or equaliser settings to the home app. I just have a horrible feeling that Apple won't be adding them anytime soon, so i thought i would start a thread to see what other peoples thoughts were.
[doublepost=1520074245][/doublepost]
I think Apple knew pretty much exactly what they were releasing, and that it contained just about all the features they wanted it to contain. As such I doubt that they will add an equaliser because unlike iTunes which is merely the software controlling playback, the HomePod is a audio product that has been engineered to sound the way it sounds. Apple, bless them, believe they know what we need better than we know what we want. And judging by the test facilities they used, spent a great deal on making the HomePod behave acoustically exactly the way it does.

I do think that updates will add, or modify, features, and that Siri will gain some additional skills over time, but I wouldn't bet on them stretching much outside the ecosystem, if at all.
Unfortunately i think you are correct and we won't see any presets or equaliser settings.

I am really annoyed with Apple that they think this is the way all people will want a speaker to sound. Apple know fine well that people have different tastes in the way they like music too sound, so should have offer some adjustments.

I think they have tuned it for the kids, like beats products. Hoping to attracted the youthful audience like they have with Beats 1 radio. However Apple have hundreds of millions of customers over the age of 21, so how about catering for them Mr Apple.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2012
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921
I only plan on getting one homepod, just want to get good sound out of it when not Airplaying to it. I think the only way to get that will be if Apple add presets or equaliser settings to the home app. I just have a horrible feeling that Apple won't be adding them anytime soon, so i thought i would start a thread to see what other peoples thoughts were.
I agree about getting the best possible sound.

But for me that means 2 not 1.

And it means stereo now without waiting for apple's update.

And it means turning the bass down and treble up.

And it means airplay and not siri.

But more importantly it means taking control of the situation and not putting up with what apple are offering - or more to the point - not offering.

The way I showed you before that I have set them up means I am now living in homepod heaven.

So such a thing is possible. But to get there, YOU have to take control - not apple!
 
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Z3man

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 19, 2012
745
372
UK
I agree about getting the best possible sound.

But for me that means 2 not 1.

And it means stereo now without waiting for apple's update.

And it means turning the bass down and treble up.

And it means airplay and not siri.

But more importantly it means taking control of the situation and not putting up with what apple are offering - or more to the point - not offering.

The way I showed you before that I have set them up means I am now living in homepod heaven.

So such a thing is possible - but to get there, YOU have to take control - not apple!
I can see your point, but basically you just have an expensive set of Airplay speakers.

I already have speakers that are much better than the HP, and i just Airplay to them using Airport Express, so have that sorted if i want Airplay.

I wanted the HP for its stand alone ease of use, but i want it to sound good.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2012
2,509
921
I can see your point, but basically you just have an expensive set of Airplay speakers.

I already have speakers that are much better than the HP, and i just Airplay to them using Airport Express, so have that sorted if i want Airplay.

I wanted the HP for its stand alone ease of use, but i want it to sound good.
Well things may get better when apple actually release the update.

Siri could maybe then do stereo and maybe there will be an equaliser in the home app.

But until then I think the best way to get the best sound with homepods is the way I posted before - and for now that means using airplay, not siri.

Of course we won't know till apple come out with the update.
 

za9ra22

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2003
524
83
I only plan on getting one homepod, just want to get good sound out of it when not Airplaying to it. I think the only way to get that will be if Apple add presets or equaliser settings to the home app. I just have a horrible feeling that Apple won't be adding them anytime soon, so i thought i would start a thread to see what other peoples thoughts were.
[doublepost=1520074245][/doublepost]
Unfortunately i think you are correct and we won't see any presets or equaliser settings.

I am really annoyed with Apple that they think this is the way all people will want a speaker to sound. Apple know fine well that people have different tastes in the way they like music too sound, so should have offer some adjustments.

I think they have tuned it for the kids, like beats products. Hoping to attracted the youthful audience like they have with Beats 1 radio. However Apple have hundreds of millions of customers over the age of 21, so how about catering for them Mr Apple.
To be fair, when designing speakers, it is necessary to decide what acoustic properties you are aiming for. Loudspeakers of any kind are a set of engineering and practical compromises, and if not carefully balanced during design, the result is usually sonically awful.

All that Apple have done is decide exactly what they want their product to sound like, and engineer it accordingly. I can certainly say that mine doesn't sound like a Beats product, and given that Apple did not and still don't design Beats products, I wouldn't expect it to. Also, given that I am well over 21, and I think my HomePod sounds very good at what I want it to do, it isn't likely to be aimed at kids.

As a loudspeaker system designer myself - albeit some years ago - and having listened to a wide range of music on my HomePod, I get the design philosophy behind it. It's about delivering a clean and rounded performance, based on clarity of reproduction and detail. I'd say they engineered it for as flat a performance within the -3dB frequency response curve as possible, and given that it performs very well on classical music (not a favourite amongst the sub-21 age group, I'd guess) I think they have achieved their goal.

All of that said, however well it performs, it could not possibly suit everyone's listening preferences, and your experiences may simply be that the HomePod doesn't perform in accordance with your listening biases - and I don't use the word 'biases' in a pejorative sense, we all have acoustic biases which inform our listening preferences.
 
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Z3man

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Original poster
Feb 19, 2012
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All of that said, however well it performs, it could not possibly suit everyone's listening preferences, and your experiences may simply be that the HomePod doesn't perform in accordance with your listening biases - and I don't use the word 'biases' in a pejorative sense, we all have acoustic biases which inform our listening preferences.
Totally agree with you and its doesn't suit my music biases, which is really why i hope they introduced some adjustments.

I really want to own a HP again because it keeps me in the eco system, everything i have is Apple and want it to stay that way, but i just cant get away with the bass on the HP.
 

TrueBlou

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Sep 16, 2014
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I don’t think I’d hold my breath for a full on equaliser, but I am completely confident we will see some changes not too far down the line. Particularly for things such as reducing the bass for nighttime listening. Pity it wasn’t there on day one, but this is Apple, when is everything there on day one.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I'm thinking that apple will not because they're using an A8 chip to continusaly monitor the sound output and adjust it real time to provide the optimum sound experience. If they give the ability to change sound profile, then that more or less mitgates that whole feature. I think this fits in the apple way or the highway mentality.
 

TrueBlou

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Sep 16, 2014
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I'm thinking that apple will not because they're using an A8 chip to continusaly monitor the sound output and adjust it real time to provide the optimum sound experience. If they give the ability to change sound profile, then that more or less mitgates that whole feature. I think this fits in the apple way or the highway mentality.
Yeah I can see how that would be the perception and it does make sense. But for the same reason I was entirely certain we’d get to customise the controls on our AirPods long before it was announced, I’m confident there will be at least some changes to the HomePod’s sound.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,624
1,904
I also prefer my music to favor the higher frequencies a bit. My preference stems from constantly listening to car audio that lacked the ability to reach lower frequencies accurately, basically because "I've known no other".

Compared to my first gen Sonos Play:5 when using their truplay to adjust EQ for the space I find very similar results. The same applies to my surround sound system however the difference there is the bass in movies can be overwhelming since I live in a condo and possibly disturb neighbors.

Since getting the HomePod I've forced myself to start listening to music without favoring treble as much. And after about a week I now find the audio in my vehicles to seem "shallow". So for me it was just an adjustment from my preference to something a bit more accurate.

Preference is important though. I look at it like TV color calibration. While I have my 4k HDR tv calibrated for accuracy to the best of my ability that doesn't mean someone that PREFERS colors overly saturated is "wrong". Its just what they prefer....same applies here.

There is a host of problems with adding a native EQ adjustment. The most obvious is the difficulty (impossibility) to properly EQ an omnidirectional speaker yourself. When setting the EQ its done from the listeners position where inches matter to an audiophile/musician with a tuned sense of hearing. The reason people claim the HomePod "fills" rooms so well, has a "full" sound, and has volume consistency at range is because of the HomePod setting frequencies based on the space (aka EQ). Since the room depth (from speakers) and material can be different in all direction plus different sound frequencies respond differently to each then each tweeter is carrying different frequencies and volumes for the same "sound".

For example, I have my HP sitting on a "bar" that separates the kitchen from living area. My Amazon Echo will make a slight "echo" (literal echo) into the living room. The Echo is a volume hotspot too, to adjust it so I can hear it in my office its uncomfortably loud near it. The HP doesn't suffer from either those things, it sounds identical in the kitchen or living room and down the hall in my office I can hear sounds the Echo can't push that far (for me its the sax in M83's - Midnight city).

If I AirPlay from iTunes on my Mac I'm not completely convinced of the EQ's accuracy compared to what I set because I can't tell much of a difference walking around it (listening for peaks) however can lose the room filling sound and volume consistency. Especially increasing the highs.

I don't think its out of the realm of possibility to have a preset for "reduce bass" though, especially with the number of complaints. This is something that seems relatively easy (I could be wrong though) because I can pull the low frequencies without effecting much more than the bass, at least as far as my ears can tell.

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 8.23.07 AM.png

OP: I think you were smart returning it if it doesn't fit your needs. If Apple addresses this you can always buy another one, or get something that better fits your requirements.
 
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TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
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I also prefer my music to favor the higher frequencies a bit. My preference stems from constantly listening to car audio that lacked the ability to reach lower frequencies accurately, basically because "I've known no other".

Compared to my first gen Sonos Play:5 when using their truplay to adjust EQ for the space I find very similar results. The same applies to my surround sound system however the difference there is the bass in movies can be overwhelming since I live in a condo and possibly disturb neighbors.

Since getting the HomePod I've forced myself to start listening to music without favoring treble as much. And after about a week I now find the audio in my vehicles to seem "shallow". So for me it was just an adjustment from my preference to something a bit more accurate.

Preference is important though. I look at it like TV color calibration. While I have my 4k HDR tv calibrated for accuracy to the best of my ability that doesn't mean someone that PREFERS colors overly saturated is "wrong". Its just what they prefer....same applies here.

There is a host of problems with adding a native EQ adjustment. The most obvious is the difficulty (impossibility) to properly EQ an omnidirectional speaker yourself. When setting the EQ its done from the listeners position where inches matter to an audiophile/musician with a tuned sense of hearing. The reason people claim the HomePod "fills" rooms so well, has a "full" sound, and has volume consistency at range is because of the HomePod setting frequencies based on the space (aka EQ). Since the room depth (from speakers) and material can be different in all direction plus different sound frequencies respond differently to each then each tweeter is carrying different frequencies and volumes for the same "sound".

For example, I have my HP sitting on a "bar" that separates the kitchen from living area. My Amazon Echo will make a slight "echo" (literal echo) into the living room. The Echo is a volume hotspot too, to adjust it so I can hear it in my office its uncomfortably loud near it. The HP doesn't suffer from either those things, it sounds identical in the kitchen or living room and down the hall in my office I can hear sounds the Echo can't push that far (for me its the sax in M83's - Midnight city).

If I AirPlay from iTunes on my Mac I'm not completely convinced of the EQ's accuracy compared to what I set because I can't tell much of a difference walking around it (listening for peaks) however can lose the room filling sound and volume consistency. Especially increasing the highs.

I don't think its out of the realm of possibility to have a preset for "reduce bass" though, especially with the number of complaints. This is something that seems relatively easy (I could be wrong though) because I can pull the low frequencies without effecting much more than the bass, at least as far as my ears can tell.

View attachment 753188

OP: I think you were smart returning it if it doesn't fit your needs. If Apple addresses this you can always buy another one, or get something that better fits your requirements.
You’re not wrong, a preset to reduce the bass is not a particularly difficult task, heck it’s nigh on a necessity for late night use without seriously irritating the neighbours.

I actually like the sound the HomePod puts out as is. But I will concede that after a certain time of night there’s too much bass, even at lower levels. Being a considerate chappie, that means no HomePod for me after about 9pm.

I don’t know that I’d care for a full on EQ, I’ve never really been a fan of them.
Though to be fair with my Hi-Fi gear I went to great lengths to find a combination of components that produced the kind of sound I like. With just a little tweak to bass/treble for some less than stellar recordings.

Unfortunately that’s not something you have the luxury of with a one size fits all product like the HomePod. You can’t pick and choose the components that produce your preferred sound. So you’ll either like it or you won’t, even when they introduce a late night profile. Though with the large sales of things like the Echo, I don’t think sound quality is something the mass market is too concerned with at this point.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,832
27,283
I find it interesting that some think HomePod is too bassy. I don’t get that at all. In fact I think my Bose Soundlink mini has more bass than HomePod.
 
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