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Beosound Shape / Apple HomePod Sound

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Sal
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Sal posted on Tue, Jun 6 2017 10:44 PM

So we've all read about the Beosound Shape, its sound being unique rather than true stereo just based on the nature of the device. Now Apple introduces the HomePod, which can work together with another (perhaps multiple, I'm not sure) Homepod(s) to appropriately disperse sound throughout the room... Well, here's one of the first opinions of the sound of the HomePod:

https://sixcolors.com/post/2017/06/ears-on-with-the-homepod/

The reviewer, a longtime editor of MacWorld (not an audio reviewer) had a chance to listen to the homepod and said it sounded "not right" (in the third paragraph of the above link). I'm wondering if Apple use similar sound processing for HomePod(s) as does B&O for their Shape, and listeners for both products will have to "get used" to the sound.

Disclaimer: Yes, I know they're not the same product and their intended use is different, but they both use sound processing based on their placement, and can work with others of their kind to process their sound.

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tph
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tph replied on Tue, Jun 6 2017 11:05 PM

In the WWDC keynote, there was a demo on how HomePod supposedly breaks down the audio signal into different submixes that it plays through the different tweeters. Of course it's hard to get a very accurate picture from that demo but it's something.

It's going to be very interesting to meet this product in person.

-- Tuomas // Bang & Olufsen Create

Sal
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Sal replied on Tue, Jun 6 2017 11:10 PM

tph:

In the WWDC keynote, there was a demo on how HomePod supposedly breaks down the audio signal into different submixes that it plays through the different tweeters. Of course it's hard to get a very accurate picture from that demo but it's something.

It's going to be very interesting to meet this product in person.

I agree, this will be an intriguing product. The fact that Apple "analyzes" (for the lack of a better word) the source material for processing in addition to whatever it is doing to the sound to compensate for the room / placement should be interesting to hear in person. I hope it doesn't sound too processed and unnatural. The goal for speakers, at least for music lovers is accurate reproduction, but then again, are people buying Sonos, Shape or HomePod for accurate music reproduction? 

beojeff
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Sal,

Hello, old friend. I'm glad you initiated this thread. I was just pondering these thoughts earlier today. It seems such a new and alien world today from what we always thought growing up: stereo is best. It seemed so hard for me to accept the concept of these newer speakers, such as the BeoPlay A1, BeoPlay A2, BeoSound 1, BeoSound 2, BeoPlay M5, etc., where we have just a single speaker <gasp> and not a PAIR of speakers for stereo. It provokes me to question: IS stereo better?? Unable to abandon old habits, I paired two BeoPlay A2 speakers in stereo mode and gave them considerable separation. Wow. That's a really pronounced stereo effect. But.... is that really a good thing? In my kitchen, that exaggerated stereo effect might be a little distracting when you just want background music while cooking. I actually really love the sound of my BeoSound 1 and BeoPlay M5 -- even though they aren't stereo. I have a wall picked out in my dining room of my loft where a BeoSound Shape would look perfect. (You know the wall, Sal. We've enjoyed some pints together there!) While I could quite easily hear the music from my pair of BeoLab 1 speakers in the living room, I think that perhaps the effect of the BeoSound Shape might be more pleasant for background music while dining. I can't imagine feeling this way thirty or forty years ago.

Now, if I could just accept B&O's abandonment of IR remote control.

elephant
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I agree it is interesting that B&O and Apple are going down similar pathways; I just wished that's Apple had leveraged B&O's R&D so that B&O got a cash injection !

Here is the Macrumour review

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/06/06/homepod-first-impressions/

BeoNut since '75

Michael
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I somehow believe the HomePod uses somewhat the same technology as BeoLab 90 but in a much smaller and also automatic way. It's very interesting.

B&O decided to put the technology in a very expensive speaker that most people will never ever afford. And Apple put it in a speaker most people can afford and will want. The revenue difference is probably easy to tell.
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