April 4, 2018

HomePod Makes My Life Better

My HomePodMy HomePod

Product: HomePod
Price: $349

My requirements of a connected speaker are different from most other people.

I was looking for a speaker within an "acceptable" price range, which sounded "good" to me. I was using a set of Bose Companion 2's. They are not bad for the price. There is only so much speaker you can get for $99. I wanted a speaker or set of speakers which sounded better than the Bose.

Most of the criticism of the HomePod centers around the inadequacies of Siri. I find myself a little self-conscious when speaking to an inanimate object. Siri thus was not a major feature behind my decision. I am happy asking Siri for the weather forecast and the news from NPR, but that is about it. Sometimes I like the ability to mute the speakers or ask it to play the next track. My use of a digital assistant I can speak to is severely limited. I understand this is not shared by most people. I see people interact with Siri or Alexa or Google a lot more than I am comfortable with.

It is fair to say that I am only interested in the sound that comes out of the speakers.

The HomePod sounds fantastic. I stream music from Apple Music and Spotify. Both sound crystal clear to me. I use Audirvana Plus to play my digital music and it sounds great. I am going to review Audirvana Plus one of these days. In the meantime, I must say that it has made my music sound better than played through iTunes.

I use Airfoil to stream music to my HomePod from Audirvana Plus and a whole host of other audio sources. It gives me two things:

  1. The ability to stream music from any application I want.
  2. Gives me the ability to use an equalizer to stream music to the HomePod.

These are a few of the albums I used to test the HomePod:

Muddy Waters - Folk SingerMuddy Waters - Folk Singer
Muddy Waters - Folk Singer is an acoustic blues album.

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan - SarodUstad Amjad Ali Khan - Sarod
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan - Sarod is the sarod maestro playing the Rag Pilu and Kirwani

Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia - Friday Night in San FranciscoAl Di Meola, John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia - Friday Night in San Francisco
Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia - Friday Night in San Francisco. This is a live album of three great talents.

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were HerePink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here is the Pink Floyd album I like best.

Ustad Hariprasad Chaurasia - LalitUstad Hariprasad Chaurasia - Lalit
Ustad Hariprasad Chaurasia - Rag Lalit is the artist playing a bamboo flute and the Rag Lalit.

I am intimately familiar with these albums having listened to them more times than I care to recall. They sound awesome on the HomePod. Both the actual CD and the digital files sound perfect on the HomePod. I am impressed with the sound quality.

What was surprising to me was that I heard things in albums I haven't heard before. Albums I am intimately familiar with sound fuller and encompassing with the HomePod.

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the MoonPink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon includes sounds I have never heard before.

Tom Waits - Small ChangeTom Waits - Small Change

Tom Waits - Small Change makes Tom's voice sound even more gravelly than I expected.

Miles Davis - Kind of BlueMiles Davis - Kind of Blue

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue makes me feel that he is in the room with me.

Djivan Gasparyan - Ask Me No QuestionsDjivan Gasparyan - Ask Me No Questions

Djivan Gasparyan - Ask Me No Questions makes me cry.

I am not a sound guy. My ears are not all that good. I have spent ten years or more of my life with headphones attached to this lovely machine. The HomePod sounds good to me. It has brought music back to my life in a way I haven't had in a long while. Incidentally I got the Space Gray one.

The HomePod was a gift for my birthday. Thank you.

If you are interested in a life enhancing experience, I suggest you get yourself a HomePod. I recommended it heartily.

macosxguru at the gmail thingie


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