HomePod Diary Stories May 30

It was a frustratingly long wait for Apple to finally launch AirPlay 2, adding stereo pairing to HomePod – along with multi-room playback from an iOS device and more.

If you haven’t already updated, you’ll need to upgrade to iOS 11.4, and then update your speakers. I did that yesterday, finding it a largely painless process, through there were a couple of glitches which I’ll get to.

That done, I was finally able to find out how a pair of HomePods sound …

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HomePod Diary Stories May 8

I said back in February that the HomePod is a Sonos Play 5 killer, and I’ve just demonstrated this by buying a second one to replace the Sonos in our bedroom.

I explained then the reasons why I felt that HomePod was the better buy, despite my fondness for Sonos speakers …

  • Sound quality: Almost no difference
  • Clunky Sonos app versus Siri control
  • Truly awful, flakey Sonos setup versus fully automatic set up
  • Speaker-only versus Home hub too
  • Large-ish size versus much more compact one
  • $499 versus $349 …

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HomePod Diary Stories March 20

I wrote last time that one of the tests of truly useful technology is how quickly it stops feeling like a luxury and starts feeling like something you wouldn’t want to live without.

For me, streaming music started out as a luxury – something I used to supplement my own collection of music – and has turned into my primary music source. Not just because it gives me access to music that would otherwise have cost me a fortune, but also because For You playlists have introduced me to more new artists than I could count.

I’m finding that HomePod is moving rather rapidly into the same category: a gadget I wouldn’t want to be without.

A month on, I can report that HomePod has definitely completed that transition …

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HomePod Diary Stories February 16

Well, almost. With the Apple Watch, I was pretty sure it was a pointless device, and was wrong. With HomePod, I did think it was going to find a role as a HomeKit hub and a device to allow my partner to control lighting when her phone was in another room. But I wasn’t expecting much from it as a speaker.

And yet it’s the speaker which is winning me over.

As I’ve said before, the sound quality isn’t up there with B&O or Naim – but is at least as good as a Sonos Play 5. I wondered last time whether two stereo-paired HomePods might go some way to closing the gap between the two levels, and I now find myself actively hoping this proves to be the case …

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HomePod Diary Stories February 12

Friday morning, my HomePod arrived; Friday evening, we had a small party. And the belle of the ball was the HomePod.

We had a group of friends round for drinks and pizza. That seemed a good opportunity to put HomePod to the test – both to see what others thought of it as a speaker, and to allow friends to try Siri control …

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HomePod Diary Stories February 9

There are Apple products I’ve been more excited to receive, but I can’t think of any that I’ve awaited with such impatience. The reason? Curiosity about that audio quality!

I wrote last time that it was Home hub and voice control of HomeKit devices for my partner that really sold it to me, and I wasn’t expecting too much from it on the audio front. Sure, it was going to beat out other smart speakers, but I didn’t see it as serious competition to proper HiFi brands.

But as the reviews came in, I started to wonder …

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