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HomePod - An audiophile (whatever that is) speaker..


dmormerod
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Just one question, from an audiophile perspective.  I've never used any of the Fletcher-Munson techniques or curves, so I have no listening experience that way.  But given certain live listening experiences, such as small jazz or folk combos, where the live music doesn't have any compensation, how would the home experience with similar music play to audiophiles with the HomePod?  You might have some opinions on that comparison already.

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2 hours ago, semente said:

Thanks for the review. Can you make a new plot for the frequency response with 1/6 octave smoothing and more importantly a 50dB wide vertical scale?

 

The data files are all in that review, so you can play with them yourself. Here's the distortion plot with 50dB scale:

homepod.thumb.jpg.d3a94d61ac054688813db7889da456a8.jpg

 

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12 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

 

The data files are all in that review, so you can play with them yourself. Here's the distortion plot with 50dB scale:

homepod.thumb.jpg.d3a94d61ac054688813db7889da456a8.jpg

 

 

Thanks.

That's one very nasty peak at 1500Hz.

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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I might post this in a couple of places - please forgive: I visited the store again to test the HomePod at medium-loud levels with tracks that are very sensitive to mid-upper bass bleed into the midrange.

 

Generally, at the lower volume levels, a person like me who never uses Fletcher-Munson compensation hears a strong midbass with the HomePod.

 

My main concern here was whether the HomePod's bass would bleed into or muffle the midrange any, and I didn't experience that.  The other concern was whether the mid-bass (~55-65 hz or so) would be so thumpy as to be a distraction or irritation.  I think it's possible, but I didn't experience that either.

 

My test tracks were:

Cat Stevens - Morning has Broken.

Donald Fagen - Morph the Cat.

Trombone Shorty - Backatown.

U2 - With or Without You.

Van Morrison - Into the Mystic.

 

The heavy deeper bass in the Fagen and Shorty tracks didn't happen. The U2 into was noticeably boomy at the lower volumes, but again, that impression is me hearing F-M compensation that I'm not used to. The Cat Stevens sounded normal enough, and same for the Van Morrison.

 

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Excellent look at the measures from the article quoted in the OP to this thread.

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/apple-homepod-in-room-measurement.2353/#post-65297

 

Notice the huge distortion below 100 hz (50% for much of the range), and the very odd step response.  

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Test day #2 at the Apple Store.  My previous tests concerned the bass and whether it would bleed into or in any way compromise the midrange, and I found nothing except some obvious Fletcher-Munson boosting of the midbass at lower volume.

 

Today I tested for treble problems, using tracks that are easily irritating on a number of headphones and speakers that are fairly bright, or that have treble peaks.  Two of my tracks could not be found on Apple Music, even though they're available on iTunes - Tiger Okoshi-Bootsman's Little House, and Cath Carroll-Moves Like You.

 

Here are what I did play and hear:

 

Chris Isaac - Wicked Game: Very smooth, good detail.  Surprisingly good I thought, with no obvious forwardness or peakiness.

Animotion - Obssession: OK, good - it wasn't the sharpest clearest detail I've heard with this track, but again, no mid-treble emphasis or exaggeration, and no indication of a Fletcher-Munson boost in the treble like was so obvious with the bass.

Chromatics - I'm on Fire: This track normally has a very "live" sound with some distinct and bright tambourine sounds.  I thought the tambourine reproduced better than the average I've heard, but not as realistic as the best speakers and headphones.

 

My impression of the HomePod's overall sound quality is that it's far better than I'd expect of a speaker that size (or any that size that I've heard), but I can't say whether I'd buy one until I get it into a quiet room and spend time with it.

 

I've heard that the HomePod can play locally stored music "purchased from iTunes" etc., but I don't know whether that's restricted to Apple-format music only, or to all music that's playable from a local iTunes library (i.e. WAV and MP3, or FLAC if they allow that now).  If it will play all music that's stored in a local iTunes library, then the HomePod should be a terrific value at $350 USD.

 

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On 2/14/2018 at 10:18 PM, Ralf11 said:


Just experimented with F-M-like curves by programming DEQ in a DEQ2496 (what a powerful unit!) Can't say that I like the effect, and certainly the amount of lower frequencies increase is excessive. Had to dial it down quite a bit, which was easy to do with DEQ2496. In the end, didn't hear any real benefit to using F-M curves, but this was with headphones. Maybe will have a better effect with speakers.

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