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MONO is Back !!! the Apple Speaker ... Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 7th February 2018
  #151
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12tone's Avatar
 

Getting rave reviews about the sound quality.

Could be a great tool for mix reference.
Old 7th February 2018
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Getting rave reviews about the sound quality.
Every single time someone has told me they think they're new consumer speaker sounds great I've been disappointed. Every single time. It's always 'it sounds absolutely great, and it's so tiny'.... yeah, that's why it sounds just as tiny as it is.

People clearly have forgotten the days when you had decent size two-/three-/four-ways in the living room, with decent amps etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Could be a great tool for mix reference.
True.
Old 8th February 2018
  #153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Every single time someone has told me they think they're new consumer speaker sounds great I've been disappointed. Every single time. It's always 'it sounds absolutely great, and it's so tiny'.... yeah, that's why it sounds just as tiny as it is.

People clearly have forgotten the days when you had decent size two-/three-/four-ways in the living room, with decent amps etc.



True.
A few thoughts that loom large for me...

1 - it's probably not 'fair' to compare it to a proper high fidelity stereo rig... it's clearly a different sort of product designed for a different purpose and, to large extent, I suspect, a different market: a single, relatively portable unit that can work wirelessly with the iOS system

2 - it's highly unlikely that serious high fidelity enthusiasts would be satisfied with the sound of such a unit vis a vis a proper stereo rig, but they might well appreciate it for what it is, a wireless portable that -- according to [normitively tin-eared tech writers] is surprisingly 'impressive.'

3 - consumers will likely be very impressed with the sound... just as they were mightily impressed by the first smiley curve they pushed into a 'graphic EQ' on an 80s stereo.

4 - no one, from descriptions of the Siri-integration I've read, is going to be impressed with the speaker's 'smart' functionality with regard to much of anything past getting the local weather -- including, rather disappointingly, Siri's apparently terrible integration with Apple Music. Apple’s HomePod Has Arrived. Don’t Rush to Buy It. - The New York Times


Now, all that said, I have to say I'm fascinated by descriptions of the 'advanced' psychoacoustic design components Apple has apparently integrated, the 'room-sensing' tech, the dynamic interrelation of the multi-directional sound projection, etc. I joked to one of my audiophile buddies (whose iDevices are not integrated with his very high end, TT-centric hi fi) that we'd have to go on a fact-finding mission to the local Apple store. He seemed a bit skeptical.
Old 8th February 2018
  #154
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Not disagreeing with any of that Blue, I was just putting "rave reviews" into some sort of context (my context at least...).
Old 8th February 2018
  #155
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Not disagreeing with any of that Blue, I was just putting "rave reviews" into some sort of context (my context at least...).
Oh, I think we're pretty much on the same page with regard to our personal feelings about such products. (I wasn't in any way 'arguing' with any of your thoughts -- just using them as a jumping off spot. I should have made that more explicit.)

But, since I was a LITTLE KID at the start of the 1960s, I've dreamed about a decent portable sound rig I could feed from a central location. (When I wasn't drawing dog fights on my schoolbook covers, I was designing high tech futuristic houses in the back of my 3 ring binder: I was big on Japanese garden style ponds, waterfalls and streams running in and out of the house, windows that darkened 'electrically' -- just a dream then, of course -- and, naturally, an awesome through-the house-and-yard hi fi system.)

But, back then, though, the (legal) 'wireless' systems that were available sent their signals through the house wiring (meaning rather extreme filtering to keep 60/50 Hz out of the signal). The cool way to do it was to set up a (then-illegal) low power FM transmitter, but their legal status kept them from being commonplace, and, of course, if you had enough power to cover your own place, you were going to be spilling into the neighbor's radio space.


But, anyhow... it's not the transmission protocol I find fascinating (Wi Fi has been working for delivering high quality digital audio signals for some time), but 'smart' technologies applied to making the speaker adapt to different environments. I guess I'm less interested in the speaker as a product as I am in the technologies apparently folded into it.



If I was interested in a 'smart assistant' and wireless sound system, I think I'd look at Amazon's Alexa or Google's whatever it's called. Alexa gets considerably better reviews for smart assistance, all around, but I'm a heavy user of Google's stream service and I might go for its presumably tighter integration with that service. [I briefly tried Amazon's Prime music thing and wasn't impressed but I'm sure it's improved. I hope.]

That said, call me an paranoid old coot, but with a long personal involvement with IT and web technologies, I'm in NO kind of rush to have anyone's robots listening to my household conversations and personal mutterings.
Old 8th February 2018
  #156
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I agree with everything, especially the very last sentence.
Old 8th February 2018
  #157
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zephonic's Avatar
I dunno, I'm not expecting Genelec-level of audio quality here, but I have to say the Sonos stuff surprised me; much better than I expected. So if it is as good as or better than, it would sound pretty nice.

My understanding is that you are supposed to leave it stationary, as it measures room response when you first power it up and compensates with DSP. That is pretty novel in a consumer product.


Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
That said, call me an paranoid old coot, but with a long personal involvement with IT and web technologies, I'm in NO kind of rush to have anyone's robots listening to my household conversations and personal mutterings.
Absolutely. There's already more than enough info about me and my family out there. I'm not in a hurry to give up even more of our privacy.
Old 8th February 2018
  #158
One needn't be a paranoid conspiracy theorist to have at least some qualms about planting always-on, interconnected cams and mics in his living area, I don't think.

That said, if the really scary folks, (you know, THEM) really want to spy on you, I suspect they can do much better with some easily hidden filament-fed micro-cams and mics.

But, you know, why make it easy?
Old 8th February 2018
  #159
Tui
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
One needn't be a paranoid conspiracy theorist to have at least some qualms about planting always-on, interconnected cams and mics in his living area, I don't think.
Qualms..? Anybody who puts big-brother machinery into their own home has to be completely mad.

Privacy doesn't matter, right? OK, kindly tell me your banking details, SS and passport numbers, login IDs and passwords for Amazon and gearslutz - hey, I always wanted to impersonate theblue1.
Old 9th February 2018
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
One needn't be a paranoid conspiracy theorist to have at least some qualms about planting always-on, interconnected cams and mics in his living area, I don't think.

That said, if the really scary folks, (you know, THEM) really want to spy on you, I suspect they can do much better with some easily hidden filament-fed micro-cams and mics.

But, you know, why make it easy?
Always make sure your networking hardware is secure. I installed a camera system at a new house with the cable guy just installed the cable modem and left. I found out that the firewall in the Hytron Modems they are using has a bug in their firmware as the login screen is accessible from the internet regardless of the external access is disabled. This is really scary since the default login (which is in the documentation you can download off the internet) is cusadmin for the username, and password for the password. So I imagine there is a lot of those insecure cable modem/routers (built in 4 port router plus wifi) has been hacked and anything from bad websites to bitcoin mining is most likely going on... Always configure your hardware, and change the default passwords...
Old 9th February 2018
  #161
Quote:
Originally Posted by allengriswald View Post
Always make sure your networking hardware is secure. I installed a camera system at a new house with the cable guy just installed the cable modem and left. I found out that the firewall in the Hytron Modems they are using has a bug in their firmware as the login screen is accessible from the internet regardless of the external access is disabled. This is really scary since the default login (which is in the documentation you can download off the internet) is cusadmin for the username, and password for the password. So I imagine there is a lot of those insecure cable modem/routers (built in 4 port router plus wifi) has been hacked and anything from bad websites to bitcoin mining is most likely going on... Always configure your hardware, and change the default passwords...
Thanks for the cautionary advice!

I read the tech press (fitfully, though) and I've been more than a bit shocked by some of the already revealed lapses in security-critical Internet-of-Things related hardware. (And, as we all know by now, sometimes some big holes aren't discovered for years!) It sometimes looks like a lot of established companies jumped too fast integrate their old-tech with IOT capabilities and didn't perform anything close to due diligence.

The negative possibilities range from the amusing to the outright alarming.
Old 9th February 2018
  #162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Qualms..? Anybody who puts big-brother machinery into their own home has to be completely mad.

Privacy doesn't matter, right? OK, kindly tell me your banking details, SS and passport numbers, login IDs and passwords for Amazon and gearslutz - hey, I always wanted to impersonate theblue1.
I felt like I was reading one of my own screeds!

Excellent job, Tui!
Old 9th February 2018
  #163
Tui
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Old 9th February 2018
  #164
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Muser's Avatar
if it quacks like a CPU ?
Old 13th February 2018
  #165
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Peter Stengaard's Avatar
 

I have one and I think it sounds awesome...would love to use it as a mix reference speaker actually since this is what people will have in their homes. Anyone have an idea for an airplay plugin or something so we can get daw output into this thing ?
Old 2nd March 2018
  #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Stengaard View Post
Anyone have an idea for an airplay plugin or something so we can get daw output into this thing ?
Yes! You can use Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil to send audio from your Mac (maybe also PC?) directly to the HomePod. On the Mac you can also send to a Google Home via Chromecast Audio:

Rogue Amoeba - Under the Microscope >> Blog Archive >> Airfoil for Mac 5.7 Rocks the HomePod

Rogue Amoeba also make Audio Hijack, for capturing audio from a single application or applying Audio Unit effects to it. I've been using Audio Hijack to apply ToneBooster's Morphit correction plugin to the entire system audio output.

Last edited by SyneRyder; 2nd March 2018 at 04:45 PM.. Reason: oops, typo
Old 30th March 2018
  #167
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I've listened to them three times in different stores now with some of my own mixes and to be honest I can't believe how bad they sound. Super pronounced angular top end and really boomy bottom end. Just sounds like a glorified Bose to my ears. The 'pseudo stereo' thing was wreaking havoc with my mixes too, and most others I tried.
Old 30th March 2018
  #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
... The 'pseudo stereo' thing was wreaking havoc with my mixes too, and most others I tried.
How do they do "pseudo stereo", isn't it just a point source?
Old 30th March 2018
  #169
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexis View Post
How do they do "pseudo stereo", isn't it just a point source?
This is from Popular Science's write-up. Like most tech writers, this guy clearly isn't exactly an audio guru but you can probably get the idea...

Quote:
Inside is an array of six microphones it uses to listen for your “hey, Siri” commands (it's excellent at hearing you, even when audio is playing), and also act as a very competent speakerphone. It also uses those microphones, however, to monitor its sound as it reverberates around your room. It actively listens to the low-end frequencies as they bounce off objects in your room, so it can tweak the bass response. This is similar to the process that Google uses for its Home Max speaker, only Google’s big speaker is a more directional experience compared to the HomePod’s 360-degree soundstage.

Once the HomePod has analyzed the sound from the room, it can get a good idea of its own relative location. It then splits up the audio into two kinds of sound: ambient and direct. Direct consists of crucial musical bits like vocals, lead guitars, and some rhythm section, and the HomePod beams that directly at the listener. Ambient includes things like background vocals and reverb. The HomePod intentionally finds another surface in the room off of which it can bounce those sound waves to give it a sense of space. It sounds complex—and it surely is—but it leads to a very big sound coming from a small speaker.

Last edited by theblue1; 31st March 2018 at 07:28 PM..
Old 30th March 2018
  #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexis View Post
How do they do "pseudo stereo", isn't it just a point source?
The short answer is: who knows? Nobody I’ve spoken to.

The long answer is some sort of very complicated matrixing and phase difference stuff, EQ filters applied to different parts of the stereo image and timing adjustments through all of the full range drivers circling the unit, the idea being to create a large ‘sound stage’ from a single box.

A COMPLETE nightmare for translation.

I’d rather listen to my mixes on...



I also really didn’t have to turn it up all that much to hear the multi band compressors/driver protection algorithms kicking in. As if most Bluetooth speakers weren’t already presenting enough restrictions on what we can and can’t do with the bottom end of our mixes - this thing makes the whole issue of stereo spread/image placement decisions much more complicated, and I have a feeling many other manufacturers will start doing something similar...
Old 11th April 2018
  #171
Light years better than people listening to music on laptop speakers or phones.

The HomePod and Google Home both sound good for what they are.

Great mixes and songs still sound like great on them.
Old 1 week ago
  #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCrucifix View Post
God I hate Apple.

Making terrible ideas fashionable.
exactly!!!!!!
Old 1 week ago
  #173
Tui
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siad View Post
exactly!!!!!!
I missed that one. Absolutely brilliant.



"We at Apple make terrible ideas fashionable."

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