HomePod What audiophile quality speakers are alternatives to the HomePod if do not intend to use Siri?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by ducstar, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. ducstar macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2017
    I'm looking for audiophile speakers to simply hardwire connect to my MacBook Pro.

    I've tried the KEF X300a and are simply amazing sounding and top notch build quality. Unfortunately I had to return them as MacOS refused to retain the sound level and balance settings upon wake from sleep.

    I heard HomePods will satisfy audiophiles in sound quality.

    Any other alternatives out there for speakers?

    thoughts and insight appreciated.
  2. stfwayne macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    Look no one will respond and that is what is annoying

    Some people say "The Homepod is a joke compared to the system i can get for $350"

    Well here is what we are looking for
    - great COMPACT set up
    - Ability to Airplay (preferably Airplay 2 - but if not available you would need an Airport Express for $100)
    - doesnt even need smart features or bluetooth just an aux port

    But from what i see there are no similar priced alternatives unless you want to buy bookshelf speakers and a receiver and an Airport Express.

    That is what is so stupid about all these professional reviews claiming the audio is not good on the Homepod, well tell us at least three speakers which completely outperform it at $350 hell even $500 if it is actually worth spending a bit more

    But they dont, they just say the "Sonos One in stereo is better, hell the Sonos 5 blows it away" - some people say Apple is shilling which they are pretty hard in the case of the Homepod. But i was expecting more direct competition from Google for the Google Max speaker even a sale to match the Homepod's price. But instead it became a Sonos vs Apple war with no other brands or options mentioned
  3. john.burn macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2007
  4. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I will give you two, Bose SoundTouch 20 and Definitive Technology w7. I had friends listen to the HP versus those two and each gave the nod to the others I listed.

    And the Sony LF S50G is pretty darn close and that is one sale at BB for $150 and I thank them very much cause it has to be one of the best alternatives out there currently. And it does Bluetooth and WiFi.
  5. TrueBlou macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2014
    Well that’s really dependant on your definition of audiophile.

    If you want something as close to audiophile as you can get from a wireless speaker, be prepared to extend your budget.

    You’d be looking at something along the lines of a Naim Mu-so, which is around £900, or the cheaper and not quite as good Mu-so Qb at around £500 sorry no idea of $.
    Or push the boat out for the KEF LS-50W are around $2,500 or the amazing Devialet Gold Phantom at around $3,000.

    Those might sound excessive, but that’s what audiophile quality costs.

    Bang for buck though, the HomePod is actually pretty damn good. And it’s only going to get better with an upcoming software update.
  6. stfwayne macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    That is kind of weird bc the SoundTouch 20 at my friend's really sounds bad when compared to my Homepod not to mention when Airplay 2 comes out you will need to buy a separate one since they arent updating the current lineup
  7. bopajuice, Mar 15, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018

    bopajuice Suspended


    Mar 22, 2016
    Dark side of the moon
    The HomePod sounds fine, but a true audiophile would not be satisfied.

    I find a smart speaker and audiophile quality sound to be two different things. Apples and Oranges so to speak.

    Not to mention the source of your sound is just as important as the speakers that reproduce it.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 15, 2018 ---
    I was surprised with the sound that came from the Definitive Technology w7, but the software for iOS sucks.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 15, 2018 ---
    If you are going to try and reproduce quality sound using a laptop or desktop as a source and are serious about sound quality, at least get one of these to improve the sound source a bit.

  8. TigerMSTR macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2014

    With normal Hi-Fi speakers, when you move off-axis, the audio quality will significantly degrade. This is not the case with the HomePod. Keep this in mind when comparing the audio quality of the HomePod to other speakers.

    If you intend to only use these speakers as computer speakers, where I presume you'll always be sitting in the same spot, then a good pair of Hi-Fi speakers will beat the HomePod. But if you intend to move around the room, I strongly suggest the HomePod.
  9. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Nah, this stuff I mentioned is tonka toys I am just messing around with for curiosity sake.

    I have Rogue tube amps, a Maranatz SACD and Vandersteen speakers. :)
  10. AppleRobert, Mar 20, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018

    AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Even the Pioneer Elite VA-FA40 blows the diapers off the HP (because the latter is just still in its infancy).

    Run, don’t walk and pick up that Definitive Technology W7 speaker I mentioned. It is currently $150 off at Best Buy.
  11. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    So true, heck, there are a contingent of folks who won't even talk to you about speakers [for a MBP] until you've sorted out your external DAC and amp :D
  12. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Did you buy anything? Even the Sony xb-40 on sale at Best Buy blows the doors off the HP at about half the price.
  13. ericwn macrumors 68030

    Apr 24, 2016
    But who would want something this ugly in their home, assuming they are no longer 12 and find disco lights on speakers desirable.
  14. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Who would want to spend more than twice the money for a speaker that gets its doors blown off?

    Disco lights can be disabled and it isn’t ugly at all and folks will have lots of money left over.

    Whatever dude. Try being constructive in a thread.
  15. macmyworld macrumors 6502


    May 25, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    If you go pure Bluetooth, I love the Peachtree Audio deepblue3. Sells for $399 and really the only negative is the size - it is closer to the Sonos Play 5 in total size. But really an excellent speaker.

    I had a few HomePods scattered around the house and ended up returning or selling them. It ended up being too much of a compromise since Apple is so far behind on the software. Went back to the Sonos Play 5 which is more expensive but sounds better in a stereo pair and the software is decent.

    Where I'm not as fussy about sound quality I bought a couple of Echos. Alexa just embarrasses Siri.

    Hoping for Airplay2 soon and better overall software from Apple with more service tied in. AirPlay was tough listening to iHeartRadio or Sirius XM since other sounds on my iPad (like autoplay videos) would kill the music. Sonos at least gets around that (as does Apple Music).

    HomePod will be a nice option sometime. Apple has a a lot of work to do.
  16. bopajuice Suspended


    Mar 22, 2016
    Dark side of the moon
    How can that be? Apple charges more so their stuff has to be better right?
  17. vintagebob macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2013
    San Jose CA
  18. DarwinOSX macrumors 65832

    Nov 3, 2009
    The Kefs have crap firmware it’s not because of Apple.

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17 February 18, 2018