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Is anyone using Apple HomePod speakers as a consumer reference?

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Is anyone using Apple HomePod speakers as a consumer reference?

Postby Uncle Freddie » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:09 am

Hi,

Is anyone using Apple HomePod speakers as a consumer reference?

If you are: do you use only one and listen in mono, or did you acquire two for stereo listening?

And finally: if you do have two HomePods for stereo listening, is it a painful process in the control app to decouple them for mono listening, and later recouple them back to stereo?


Thanks,
Fred
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Re: Is anyone using Apple HomePod speakers as a consumer reference?

Postby Uncle Freddie » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:50 pm

Wow. Maybe the silence answers my question. :)

I guess I was expecting the HomePod to be embraced as a consumer mix reference similar to what we have seen with AirPods.

Is anyone using any other high-end brand of "smart" or "home hub" type speaker as a mix reference?

For example Sonos, Bang & Olufsen or ?

Thanks,
Fred
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Re: Is anyone using Apple HomePod speakers as a consumer reference?

Postby Uncle Freddie » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:20 pm

And one more thing: it is my understanding that the HomePod, being a very smart speaker in the realm of smart speakers, is designed to adjust itself for the room it is in. However, by transitive property, it will also adjust itself to the mixdown playing through it.

So it occurrs to me that by design, this speaker will make everything sound great to consumer listeners. If not great, then at least good enough, in the bell curve sense.

So with these thoughts in mind: it is probably NOT a good speaker to use as a consumer mix reference: you will almost always be satisfied with its sound, which will be misleading. And it will always readjust itself to your mix, also misleading.

How flawed is my reasoning?

Thanks,
Fred
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Re: Is anyone using Apple HomePod speakers as a consumer reference?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:25 pm

For me, and many much better people may disagree, a grotbox-type speaker is just a comparison tool, but it's still about 'how does my mix compare to my reference mixes?'
So it really doesn't matter what the actual output is, just how it compares to the reference. So by that measure the apple could be as good as any other.
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Re: Is anyone using Apple HomePod speakers as a consumer reference?

Postby CS70 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:20 pm

Uncle Freddie wrote:Wow. Maybe the silence answers my question. :)

I guess I was expecting the HomePod to be embraced as a consumer mix reference similar to what we have seen with AirPods.

Is anyone using any other high-end brand of "smart" or "home hub" type speaker as a mix reference?

For example Sonos, Bang & Olufsen or ?

Thanks,
Fred

I'd never heard of HomePod until now. :D However, trying to make everything sound great is common to most hi-fi speakers (with various degree of success of course). Which is why they don't usually make good studio monitors.

I use a mono Auratone for a different perspective, but at my back I also have a BeoPlay A8 and a Sony little wireless speaker in the kitchen from a few years ago, about 7-8. They're there for leisure listening (sadly often monopolized by my 4yo to listen to Eiffel 65's "I'm blue" at full blast, but I digress). Both speakers occasionally receive my mixes, generally when they are at the "last retouch" stage.

However, keep in mind there's no "consumer mix reference". There's all kinds of systems out there (being so that it's quite hard to make good ones but no so hard to make not so good ones) so trying to evaluate a mix by listening to any consumer system is a bit quixotic.

My method is to think in classes: my good monitors and headphones first of course, but then hi-fi monitors (the A8 often does the job there), mono phone/computer speaker, earbuds, car, high power PA with accompanying mega-sub. If your mix conveys the message in any system belonging to these classes, it will work on anything.

Also worth nothing that your mix will always sound different on different classes of systems.
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Re: Is anyone using Apple HomePod speakers as a consumer reference?

Postby The Elf » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:32 pm

When creating a mix you're aiming for an average that will give of its best on any playback system. To that end it's all about 'accurate' (in the ear of the beholder), detailed monitoring, references and a pair of good ears. 'Consumer references' are ok for a quick check, but don't get hung up on one being better than any other.
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