This is the only HomePod review Phil Schiller retweeted

Bring on the audiophiles.

From Apple HomePod: The Audiophile Perspective + Measurements posted Sunday by WinterCharm on r/audiophile, retweeted two hours later by Apple’s senior vice president for worldwide marketing:

Introduction: So, it’s time to put the HomePod to the test. Every reviewer thus far has said some amazing things about this diminutive speaker. However, almost no one has done measurements…

Executive summary: I am speechless. The HomePod actually sounds better than the KEF X300A. If you’re new to the Audiophile world, KEF is a very well respected and much loved speaker company. I actually deleted my very first measurements and re-checked everything because they were so good, I thought I’d made an error. Apple has managed to extract peak performance from a pint sized speaker, a feat that deserves a standing ovation. The HomePod is 100% an Audiophile grade Speaker.

Author’s note: If you plan to use this data for anything outside of /r/Audiophile, Please credit myself, /u/Arve, and /u/Ilkless.

My take: A labor of love. tl;dr

See also: HomePod reviews: No unconditional love 


  1. Gregg Thurman said:

    I can appreciate that some find it necessary to obsess over the tiniest detail, and are willing to pay for an “improvement” that most (nearly all) can’t discern, but there’s the key. Not being able to discern such refinements most (nearly all) won’t pay for them, and certainly won’t judge based on specialized audio test equipment results.

    I was showing off my HomePod last night. I turned the volume up very high using SIRI command, then in a voice barely audible to others told SIRI to stop playing. Instantly the HomePod shut off. This test did not “improve” the audio output, but it did reveal the potential for HomePod to be a very useful tool with great sound reproduction.

    And I didn’t have to buy a specialized USB cable.

    February 12, 2018
  2. John Blackburn said:

    Quality beyond your ken can nevertheless affect other things you *can* appreciate, even if you’re unable to articulate why.

    February 12, 2018
  3. Gregg Thurman said:

    Forgive me David and John, I was reacting to the professorial detail of a review, that the HomePod’s intended market will never take into consideration. This wasn’t personal. I apologize if it was interpreted that way.

    February 12, 2018
  4. Tommo_UK said:

    Having an audiophile rave about a HomePod is about as unexpected (just by nature) as hearing an horologist declare the Apple Watch a masterpiece on par with a Rolex… quite the praise and likely to raise a lot of interest. If this is the start of Apple’s push to expand its hardware portfolio, the Watch and the HomePod are two incredible successes and in my mind make Bajarin’s declaration that Apple’s future as a hardware manufacturer are over highly questionable.

    February 12, 2018
  5. Ken Cheng said:

    I’ve written it elsewhere, but the HomePod would have made Steve both happy and proud. It’s the easiest 2 minute setup for a high-end speaker ever.

    You literally can plop it down wherever and let it optimize the sound for your space. Do you realize how much effort and money people spend to optimize their sound systems? Bringing this quality of sound to the masses is exactly what Apple did with imaging and the iPhone.

    People used to take crappy VGA sized photos. Now, it’s not a DSLR, but the iPhone more than any other phone has raised the overall quality of basic imaging. The same applies to the HomePod. It’s not a reference system, the Reddit analysis compared the HomePod to a KEF bookshelf system. Instead it raises the general standard of listening systems. They’ll all start to have to have chips to easily optimize for the listening environment in sub-$1000 systems.

    February 12, 2018

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