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HomePod is back! (Gen 2, 2023)


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HomePod is back! (Gen 2, 2023)
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2023-03-09, 15:30

Interesting... What HiFi's review validates some of my thoughts about speaker placement and phantom center channels. I imagine that if you can place the L and R at ear level and relatively close to the TV set, you generally won't miss a center channel.

The said, placement flexibility does seem to flatter this system. Each speaker has an upward firing driver, so you get height effects throughout the sound field. Strictly speaking it's a 4.0.4 system, or you could add a sub for a 4.1.4 system. Sony says that it creates 12 virtual speakers. Interestingly, it may be microphones, not drivers, that enable the trickery. Each speaker has only one tweeter (front facing) and one upward facing full range driver and one forward facing full range driver. But each unit listens through two mics, so the satellites would appear to have the ability to locate themselves and help the system determine the relative position of each satellite not just from a single listening position or sweet spot, but from around the room...

It would seem that a number of wireless speakers should already have the hardware to pull off similar trickery... With the right app features there's no reason a four pack of Home Pods or Sonos Eras couldn't do the same? Or for that matter any scalable number of speakers (within reason)...

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dglow
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2023-03-12, 23:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
It would seem that a number of wireless speakers should already have the hardware to pull off similar trickery... With the right app features there's no reason a four pack of Home Pods or Sonos Eras couldn't do the same? Or for that matter any scalable number of speakers (within reason)...
Yep, I think you're spot-on. When the HomePod was first introduced I recall reading that Apple's original R&D objective for omnidirectional design was, in fact, as surround speakers.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2023-03-14, 10:21

dglow, I might just spring for the Sony system. It's a little pricey at full retail, but it could be the right solution for a child friendly Movie nook: No cabinet full of components/wires for the little ones to mess with or the missus to complain about. Satellites look easy to wall mount. Emphasis on immersive audio, doesn't really matter what it would/wouldn't do with music...

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dglow
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2023-03-15, 17:08

Nice! Color me all shades of jealous! Please report back with your impressions. Are you planning to add one of the subs?

FYI I recall hearing reports of sound dropout for folks in wifi congested situations (apartments, duplexes, etc.), though apparently firmware updates have addressed some of this issue. fwiw, ymmv

This is the review that got me excited about this system. It looks like Sony have lowered the MSRP since introduction: $200 off the kit, $100 off the subs.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-03-15, 20:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
That's… bizarre. They discontinue it, then introduce largely the same product two years later?

Unless Marco Arment is right and there was a severe design defect, perhaps to the point where they risked having to issue a recall. So instead, they canceled the product, fixed it, reintroduced it. But does that take two years?
They did this with the iPhone SE, I think? Ditched/discontinued the original model (mine), based on the iPhone 5/5s and then re-introduced it a while later, out of nowhere, in its new iPhone 8-based design/size, where it has remained ever since.

Off to check MacTracker to get my facts/dates/timelines straight.
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2023-03-16, 09:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by dglow View Post
Nice! Color me all shades of jealous! Please report back with your impressions. Are you planning to add one of the subs?

FYI I recall hearing reports of sound dropout for folks in wifi congested situations (apartments, duplexes, etc.), though apparently firmware updates have addressed some of this issue. fwiw, ymmv
I did some quick reading on Sony's site, and the online documentation is a little vague in areas. It doesn't appear that a wifi network is strictly needed to make it work, though you can pair it to your network: my guess is the control box establishes its own wireless control of the speakers. They indicate that you may need an unobstructed line of sight from the control box to the satellites, which is weird but not the first time I've seen those kinds of warnings on a wifi device. I suppose an AV cabinet could interfere, or maybe would interfere if the wireless radios are weak and not meant to work at more than ~30ft ??

I think I would get a sub, but not quite sure which one. I generally don't go for a heavy ".1" effects setting, rather just enough to fill in the bottom end that's missing from most sats. Home Theatre is different in that the .1 is actually supposed to be an "LFE" that lets you feel the thump, but how much of that really fits in a home setting? The moment furniture or household tchotchke start to rattle, it ruins the effect if it hasn't already PO'd someone else in the home (likely me)...

However, reports conflict a bit on why people like/dislike/prefer SA-SW3 or SA-SW5 here...

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camilasaunder89
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
 
2023-03-20, 08:22

Yes, it is a powerful speaker. It's pricey but a great choice for Apple fans. Also, it provides a better soundstage performance.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2023-03-20, 08:57

Will no one rid me of this meddlesome bot?

...
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2023-03-20, 09:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
Will no one rid me of this meddlesome bot?
...
The bots love you though. Our AI overlords have spoken.
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dglow
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2023-03-20, 11:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I think I would get a sub, but not quite sure which one. I generally don't go for a heavy ".1" effects setting, rather just enough to fill in the bottom end that's missing from most sats. Home Theatre is different in that the .1 is actually supposed to be an "LFE" that lets you feel the thump, but how much of that really fits in a home setting? The moment furniture or household tchotchke start to rattle, it ruins the effect if it hasn't already PO'd someone else in the home (likely me)...

However, reports conflict a bit on why people like/dislike/prefer SA-SW3 or SA-SW5 here...
Would guess you’ll be fine with the SW3, but hard to say. Order and audition both in your space, choose one and return the other.
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