1. iBloke's Avatar
    I’ve had my HomePod since the 9th February.
    It’s been pretty much playing 24 hours a day since for Apple TV audio, and music whilst both sleeping and awake.

    I live in a caravan temporarily while going through a divorce so I don’t have a lot of space, and the HomePod was purchased with this in mind.

    I’m a live sound engineer of 30+ years and have been using a cobbled together 3000 watt (RMS) sound system that consists of two 10” mid + 1.75” compression driver (tweeter) speakers sitting on top of a single 2x12” bandpass subwoofer.
    All rated at 1000 watts RMS each, and have extensive DSP (digital signal processing, for those who don’t know)

    These speakers are physically big, and are designed to provide decent sound/coverage for live bands in a venue of up to about 200 people (I do have a lot more speakers for bigger venues though. Totalling 12000+ watts )
    This is all I’ve had at my disposal to provide sound in my caravan during my divorce/settlement.
    Totally Overkill for the living area I have, but running at almost idle they provide me with decent sound clarity, and an insane amount of low frequency thump and rumble while watching movies on Netflix. (Think about the powerful rumbling sound you hear/feel at the cinema)

    Being completely entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, and 99.9% happy with All my Apple products, it was a no brainer for me to buy a HomePod in an attempt to scale down the physical size of my audio system to fit into the small space of a caravan.

    Preamble finished.

    Enter HomePod etc..

    I’m mostly happy with it...
    Subtract points for Siri, which sucks donkey bits.
    Siri only responds to my “hey Siri” request about a third of the time.
    I end up using manual Siri button more times than I ever thought possible.
    I’ve never encountered this level of “Hey Siri” frustration with my iPhone’s, iPads, Watch, or MacBooks, which for the most part work flawlessly.
    The HomePod has 6 microphones that listen to various things, including my “hey Siri” requests...and yet only hear me about 1/3 of the time.

    6 microphones listening!

    Pathetic!!

    My second irk is the gutless 4” woofer.
    My spectrum analyser (really basic, but good for comparison purposes) shows it reproduces frequencies down to around 40-50Hz which is impressive on paper for such a tiny speaker...but it simply doesn’t move air, and provide any real “thump and thunder” even in a tiny space like my caravan.
    (Although I kinda expected this before my purchase though, so it’s no surprise)..

    My Big gripe is with all the glowing reviews about how great HomePod fills an average sized living room with full sound.

    Bollocks!

    The reviewers ears must be painted on, or they’ve been paid to hype the cr*p out of HomePod...or combination of both *rolls eyes*

    One HomePod is barely adequate even in a small caravan.
    I’d need multiples of them to fill my previous average sized living room with an acceptable level of low frequencies.
    (Think again about the sound you not only hear, but “FEEL” in a cinema)

    Ok so my gripes are out of the way lol.

    In my opinion HomePod Needs a subwoofer for those of us who actually enjoy the depth and feel only a subwoofer can provide.

    Apple should, and possibly will in future, make an AirPlay SubPod/WoofPod...but for now my only potential option is to hope that with the update to AirPlay 2 the HomePod_v1 will provide me with the multiple connectivity needed to Airplay audio to both a HomePod, AND my subwoofer (with a built in crossover) which is connected to the old AirPort express that I have been using for AirPlay.

    And if this is in fact going to be possible in the not too distant future I would hope there is no time lag between the HomePod and the AirPort express, which would render this potentially Very useful function useless.

    Fingers, and toes crossed.

    Thoughts?
    msm0511 likes this.
    02-16-2018 05:49 AM
  2. msm0511's Avatar
    Thanks for your write up!! I was interested to hear thoughts on how it sounded connected to AppleTV. I don't really have a use or room for something that isn't multipurpose. I currently use my sound bar/subwoofer for tv and use the bluetooth in it for music.

    My only thing about your review is comparing it to something so powerful and so much larger. Also booming theater sound isn't really what it's geared toward. It's really just a semi portable speaker mainly for music. Not a home theater type situation for movies and tv. That's why I have no interest in HomePod at the moment. It just doesn't fit any need I have.

    But all in all I appreciate your write up and point of view as a sound engineer.
    iBloke likes this.
    02-16-2018 08:56 AM
  3. iBloke's Avatar
    Thanks for your write up!! I was interested to hear thoughts on how it sounded connected to AppleTV. I don't really have a use or room for something that isn't multipurpose. I currently use my sound bar/subwoofer for tv and use the bluetooth in it for music.

    My only thing about your review is comparing it to something so powerful and so much larger. Also booming theater sound isn't really what it's geared toward. It's really just a semi portable speaker mainly for music. Not a home theater type situation for movies and tv. That's why I have no interest in HomePod at the moment. It just doesn't fit any need I have.

    But all in all I appreciate your write up and point of view as a sound engineer.
    G’day msm0511

    Thanks for your reply

    Yes I agree it’s not a fair comparison.
    Big speakers are likely always going to trounce small speakers in a shootout, at least from a low frequency/bottom end thump/moving air perspective.

    I never had any doubt I’d be sacrificing the thump and thunder I’m used to, for both music and movie audio, by switching to HomePod.
    I was quite prepared for this, and was never under any illusions otherwise.

    While the HomePod provides me with a lovely crystal clear overall listening experience (MUCH nicer than my big old speakers ever could), it simply doesn’t live up to the hype pre-release reviewers claimed.
    It Cannot Fill an average sized living room with a full and balanced sound by itself, let alone a small caravan!

    Multiple HomePod’s in the same room would help though.
    They are small enough to be unobtrusive in most regular living rooms.
    But for me, living in Australia where HomePod costs $499, multiple HomePod’s are out of my financial reach...

    A matching subwoofer, even a smallish one, would all but solve this HomePod inadequacy in both my small caravan, and more importantly an end users living room.

    Since my original post I’ve attempted to AirPlay the same song from my iPhone to the HomePod at exactly the same time as AirPlaying that song from my iPad to my subwoofer.. just out of interest.
    As you can imagine this is a difficult thing to do accurately from a timing/lag perspective.
    Hit play on both devices at the same time and then try to synchronise the music using the pause/unpause button to match them up.
    When I finally did get this close to perfect the overall sound experience was amazing, and would absolutely fill an average sized living room with full spectrum sound!

    I really do hope AirPlay 2, when it arrives, will give me a glitch and lag free result so I can combine my AirPlay subwoofer with the HomePod.
    That would completely resolve my personal issues with the lack of depth the HomePod currently has.

    Bring on the Apple WoofPod/SubPod LOL
    02-17-2018 03:30 AM
  4. msm0511's Avatar
    One of these days I'll go check one out in person, but seeing as I'm pretty sure I'm not buying one I'm in no rush.

    I agree it would've been nice for Apple to have added some kind of line out even just a tiny optical port wouldn't take up much room. That's small enough to not obstruct the design and allow for an easier connection for a sub.
    iBloke likes this.
    02-17-2018 07:49 AM
  5. iBloke's Avatar
    I’m new to iMore forums and not sure if I’m allowed to mention apps here, so please moderators give me a smack on the wrist and/or edit/remove my potential indiscretion lol

    During my research to find out about a bit more AirPlay 2 I stumbled across a reference to an iOS app called Whaale Multiroom Player which allows me to play purchased music stored locally on my iDevice through up to 6 AirPlay speakers simultaneously, and gives me a plethora of options, the most important to me being adjustable synchronisation for any potential lag issues.

    I tried the free version first and it worked really well so I bought the full version (not cheap, but not more expensive than a few Lattes )

    I can now AirPlay all my purchased music from my iPhone and iPads to both my HomePod and AirPlay connected subwoofer.
    And for a measly 3 bucks (AU$) more I can access 30,000+ global radio stations to AirPlay to multiple speakers.
    For me this is excellent value, and a reasonable stopgap option to tide me over until Apple releases AirPlay 2 to the general public

    Edit: note this app won’t play streamed music from Apple Music, nor downloaded music from Apple Music due to DRM restrictions.
    Only music you actually own and have stored on your iDevice is accessible.
    A little disappointing, but I can live with that for now
    02-20-2018 05:16 AM
  6. msm0511's Avatar
    You can certainly talk about apps in the App Store here. There's even a dedicated thread for apps! https://forums.imore.com/iphone-apps-games/

    It's on topic for this discussion, so you're good. Thanks for the suggestion!
    iBloke likes this.
    02-23-2018 07:04 AM

Similar Threads

  1. Apple Watch Series 3 speed and distance tracking for indoor runs?
    By James Falconer in forum Apple Watch Series 3
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-26-2018, 11:14 AM
  2. Backing my ipad air up to icloud and my mail
    By Cherylkclark1 in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-17-2018, 10:53 AM
  3. Google Maps and offline use
    By edd in forum iPhone Apps & Games
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-16-2018, 05:01 AM
  4. Thinking about Going off for the Ceramic Edition?
    By bakron1 in forum Apple Watch Series 3
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-15-2018, 12:36 PM
  5. How to fix the Indian character bug on iPhone and iPad
    By iMore.com in forum iMore.com News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-15-2018, 11:00 AM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD