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

ducstar

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 13, 2017
4
0
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.
 

stfwayne

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2011
216
6
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
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,644
1,105
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
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.
 

TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
3,907
2,678
Scotland
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.
 

stfwayne

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2011
216
6
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.
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
 

bopajuice

Suspended
Mar 22, 2016
1,571
4,348
Dark side of the moon
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.
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.
[doublepost=1521173332][/doublepost]
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.
I was surprised with the sound that came from the Definitive Technology w7, but the software for iOS sucks.
[doublepost=1521173501][/doublepost]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.

https://www.meridian-audio.com/en/products/dacs/usb-dacs/explorer/
 
Last edited:

TigerMSTR

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2014
230
66
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.

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.
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,644
1,105
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.
[doublepost=1521173332][/doublepost]

I was surprised with the sound that came from the Definitive Technology w7, but the software for iOS sucks.
[doublepost=1521173501][/doublepost]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.

https://www.meridian-audio.com/en/products/dacs/usb-dacs/explorer/
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. :)
 
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AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,644
1,105
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.
 
Last edited:

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,644
1,105
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.
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.
 

ericwn

macrumors 601
Apr 24, 2016
4,843
3,015
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.
But who would want something this ugly in their home, assuming they are no longer 12 and find disco lights on speakers desirable.
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,644
1,105
But who would want something this ugly in their home, assuming they are no longer 12 and find disco lights on speakers desirable.
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.
 

macmyworld

macrumors 6502
May 25, 2006
337
409
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.
 
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bopajuice

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

DarwinOSX

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2009
1,540
94
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.
The Kefs have crap firmware it’s not because of Apple.
 
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