Pro-grade acoustic tests find HomePod delivers on its promises


Siri display
HomePod lives up to its sound quality promises.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Professional grade acoustic tests appear to confirm that the HomePod is indeed the real deal as far as speakers go.

Apple has been talking up its smart adaptive speaker and high-end audio processing algorithms since the HomePod was first shown off at last year’s WWDC event. According to Apple, the HomePod can adapt its sound to fill any room it’s put in. It seems it wasn’t kidding!

Carried out by Fast Company with the aid of acoustics testing company NTi Audio AG, the test involved placing the HomePod on a 30-inch high table next to a wall, and setting it to play a white noise test sound which produces an equal amount of decibels throughout the frequency spectrum.

The resulting sound was then recorded from four different locations in the room across the full frequency spectrum (6.3Hz through 20,000Hz) to see how the sound profile changed according to location. The conclusion? It doesn’t change very much at all, with an average variance for all audible frequency bands being less than a decibel. For those keeping track at home, this variance is virtually inaudible to the human ear.

As Fast Company notes:

“The developers have done an excellent job of having the HomePod adjust to the room; (it has) Impressive consistency in overall level and frequency response,” said NTi’s MacMillan. “The HomePod automates spatial compensation that previously required a real audiophile’s expertise, tools and time,” he said.

The HomePod’s impressive sound quality

So far, just about every reviewer (including our own one) has mentioned the high quality sound produced by Apple’s $350 HomePod smart speaker. The only exception has been Consumer Reports, although they focused more on the sound of songs, rather than the HomePod’s impressive patented technology for filling the space.

We’re a bit more concerned about the device’s less-than-smart Siri AI assistant, although that’s a different story!!

What do you make of HomePod’s room-filling adaptive tech? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Fast Company


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.