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Will HomePod 'kill' BeoPlay?

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benoit
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benoit posted on Tue, Jan 23 2018 6:23 PM

Hi,

With HomePod coming February 9th, will BeoPlay be that successful? Will they still manage to sell the non battery powered BeoPlay audio speakers (except A9) ? I think that even BeoSound 1 and 2 could highly suffer... I guess that soon we will learn if HomePod is far superior than BeoPlay (audio quality speaking) and maybe not far from BeoSounds for a much much lower price. And I don't speak about the wireless connectivity dropouts that happen...

What do you think?

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Mikipedia
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Wow, that almost read like b&o doesn’t yet know people leave reviews online. Besides that though, i still can’t imagine wanting to have our corporate overlords listening in on private conversations which they share with third parties. They listen to more than just hey siri/google/alexa, they pick up more info from regular conversations too for the purpouses of ad shaping. So with that in mind i’d rather have a somewhat “dumb” speaker or nothing at all Stick out tongue

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Roger
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Roger replied on Fri, Feb 2 2018 9:40 AM

B&O customers that will go all-in on AirPlay 2.0 may get the HomePod, I guess. The B&O wireless speakers can co-exist with the HomePod in an AirPlay 2.0 setup, and they may even get a mic update this Fall as well.

For me, two typical Apple issues will keep me from jumping on the HomePod immediately: Siri is not very good in my native language and, for now, HomePod is more or less exclusive to your iTunes library and/or your Apple Music subscription. 

With a B&O wireless speaker I can cancel or sign up for any subscription with Tidal, Deezer, Spotify, Apple Music etc. Voice control may be the future, but for someone with a Scandinavian accent I still prefer a Scandinavian product with hands-on control.

Roger

elephant
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Roger:

Siri is not very good in my native language and, for now, HomePod is more or less exclusive to your iTunes library and/or your Apple Music subscription

I am continuing to prepare my family for the arrival of the HomePod (shhhhh it’s a secret) by using the ATV remote to invoke Siri and access music.

Voice commands used today included:

- play playlist Chariots of Fire

- play playlist Mum’s Favourites

- play playlist For Marg

- play playlist A9 (one I built for testing an in store A9)

And some specific tracks for my son that I don’t remember

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benoit
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1st more serious reviews are out : https://www.whathifi.com/apple/homepod/review

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/6/16976906/apple-homepod-review-smart-speaker

Seems quite amazing. Waiting for comparaison with BS2 BS1 and M5...

elephant
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So Apple has a chamber ?

And an audio team ?

But they don’t have Geoff and his colleagues !

http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/02/06/inside-apples-homepod-audio-lab/

Still Friday/Saturday’s unpacking and listening will be interesting.

Especially as I doubt any of the hundreds of employee homes in California are anything like mine !

BeoNut since '75

elephant
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benoit:

1st more serions reviews are out : https://www.whathifi.com/apple/homepod/review

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/6/16976906/apple-homepod-review-smart-speaker

Thanks Benoit !

I had already read about the loneliest speaker in the room Big Smile (The Verge review) and perhaps this is THE speaker for Geoff Martin’s “man without friends” LaughingLaughing ...

More seriously, I found What HiFi review the most thorough and informative to date ...

So using Siri on the iPhone I started with ...

that track was the followed by a Simon and Garfield “The only living boy in New York”

And then DJ Siri spun The Beatles “A day in the life”

I then inserted a live Horowitz recording of a Mozart piano sonata, and then I said ...

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elephant
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I said “hey Siri play something else” and this is what I got

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elephant
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Certainly different from Mozart (apologies for multiple posts) as my big thumb 👍 hits “Post” instead of “📷”

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lizethkemny
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If you just can't wait for the HomePod to come out, here are some alternatives that will make an alternative for homepod: https://www.howtoisolve.com/best-homepod-alternatives/

elephant
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Unboxing ... in some ways I feel guilty posting this

It is HEAVY for its size ... and comes with pacemaker warnings !

Not quite 3 steps ... hold iPhone close to HomePod and you get a pop up with 5 steps 1st which room ? Ts&Cs ? Then share contacts etc (ie loss of privacy) ? Then sync settings ? One voice test and you’re ready to rock ...

Now playing something I’d like ... Peyroux, Gardot, Bruni, etc

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elephant
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I have not done any B&O speaker shootout yet - I’ll save that for the weekend.

What I will say, based on some 30 mins of casual listening as I wandered between kitchen, bathroom, family room, and bedroom is that it is a pleasant speaker that was audible in all 4 rooms without an volume adjustments.

BeoNut since '75

AnalogPlanet
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Great to see first pics, thanks! :) Hope everything will run smooth with Siri... ;)

When Airplay 2 will be launched and B&O adds its support on current lineup I will be intrigued if HomePod could be used only as “Siri microphone” and AppleMusic streamer via Airplay 2 to B&O? Example: setting A9 in Home app in the “Living room”, setting HomePod in for example “Corridor” (even if it physically next to A9) and then asking Siri to play “some relaxing music from 50s in the living room”... :) 

I would like to bypass B&O app and fiddleing with mobile phone completely if possible. :)

elephant
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AnalogPlanet:

Hope everything will run smooth with Siri... ;)

This is my 2nd gripe ....

Hey Siri what’s playing ?

She names a song ... by Melody Gar-DOT

Ouch !

Siri is good on track names but not non-US artists !

(Melody Gar-DOH is Canadian!)

My 1st gripe was “her” pronunciation of “Madeleine Peyroux”

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moxxey
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moxxey replied on Fri, Feb 9 2018 11:22 AM

elephant:
I have not done any B&O speaker shootout yet - I’ll save that for the weekend.

Will be interesting to hear how the audio quality compares, as I've only read positive feedback on the audio performance, but still have no idea how this compares to, say, a BeoSound, BeoSound 2 etc.

For a shade over £300, if the quality is decent, sadly I'd consider one. My A6 is very flaky even with a fixed IP. Sound quality is very mid-range and I'm seriously considering moving it on. A9 is amazing in comparison though.

svinaik
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No direct comparison with B&O but just on standalone basis, HomePod is phenomenal. 

Received the HomePod today and have been listening for the past 2 hours. A real big sound in small package and lots of fun with Siri (though on the Apple Music quality) but I am not using this as a critical listening set up. Just a fun set up.

Sound remains pretty good through out the room and Siri has amazingly fine listening. 

Good separation of vocals and instruments. Everything comes out clean and not mushed at all.

If one can live in Apple universe (or use airplay without Siri), it seems a no brainer versus B&O small speakers.

Mark-N
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Mark-N replied on Fri, Feb 9 2018 11:46 PM

I received my two Homepods today and hooked one up for now.

- I am not an Apple Music subscriber

- I do have my iTunes library in iTunes Match

- I mainly listen to my music with iTunes Remote on my iPad using Airplay to the speaker(s) I want it.

- I have no reason to use Siri to select my music, I gather it would be more frustrating with Japanese words and Japanese names which is now a good portion of my library.  But it is fun to ask Siri "What's playing" and hear how Siri handles the names and titles.

My first listening session left me very impressed. Everything sounded good, but for me possibly a little bass heavy.  Without a direct comparison to anything I am very happy with it.  A lot of people think that the price of a Homepod is outrageous, but being a B&O customer I think it is a bargain.

I did move my BeoSound 2 to be next to it to see how it compares to a $2000 system.  I was mostly interested in initial impressions.

I used DB Meter Pro on my iPad to get the volume levels as close as I could.  I played a song on the HomePod and then the same song on the BeoSound 2.  The bass on the BeoSound 2 sounded very subdued in comparison, which made me go to the settings.  Bass & Treble - Flat, Position - Wall where it should be.  Loudness - off.  I turned it on to see if it would brighten up.  I wish I could adjust the bass on the HomePod a little, I would turn it down a bit.  The BeoSound 2 to my ears has better bass control, but I did find the mids and highs a little better on the HomePod, in general.  Sometimes in comparison (on a couple of songs) the mids on the BeoSound 2 appeared somewhat muffled in comparison.

The important test:  Kanna Hashimoto's Arigato

I've read that the HomePod is *not* a mono speaker so I was hopeful to hear the word of the out-of-phase word "bakari".  On the HomePod the sound level of this word is much lower, although it is clearly there. On the BeoSound 2 the word is either the same sound level or does even appear a bit louder.  I think the BeoSound 2 handles cases like this better.  I expect it will be fine when I can stereo-pair the HomePod.

Focusing on the vocals test: Alan's Sign

The HomePod is supposed to analyze the song and present the vocals toward you.  This song's lyrics are in Tibetan, but you would never be able to know this as the vocals are buried deeply in the instruments and you can barely hear them.  Listening to the song on the HomePod is like hearing a slightly different version of the song.  There seemed to be a pathway that opened up to the vocals, indeed a very pleasant new listening experience. The bass is handled better on the BeoSound 2, but everything else was wonderful on the HomePod.

This processing is what might be giving an edge to the HomePod in a lot of cases.  I still very much like my BeoSound 2, and I won't be doing back-to-back comparisons in my everyday use.  I have to admit that if I was deciding between a HomePod or the BeoSound 2 in a store, it would be hard to justify spending quite a bit more for the BeoSound 2, even after buying 2 HomePods.  The BeoSound 2 does look fantastic!  I do very much appreciate TuneIn being builtin to the BeoSound 2.  I do listen to that quite a bit.  If the HomePod was a little more open it would be a treal hreat to the existing market.  Apple doesn't claim that the HomePod presents the music faithfully, but it does do it in a very pleasant way, at least to me.

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