AirPlay 2 is here

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by uofmtiger, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,099
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    David Pogue gets to compare smart speakers.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/david-pogues-sneak-preview-apple-homepod-190227102.html

    The HomePod sounded the best. Its bass, in particular, was amazing: full and deep, but also distinct and never muddy — you could hear the actual pitch of the bass notes, not just the thud. That, unsurprisingly, is where other small speakers have trouble.

    The Amazon Echo is a much smaller, slimmer device, one-third the price, so it’s forgiven for sounding thin compared with the HomePod. The Sonos One came awfully close to the HomePod’s rich sound; you’d really have to hear the A/B test to declare a difference. . The real shock was the Google Home Max, a massive, 12-pound machine that’s supposed to be all about the sound; it sounded like cardboard compared with the HomePod and Sonos.


    Two Sonos Ones, stereo paired, sound a whole lot better than one, at exactly the same price as one HomePod. It can optionally be bonded with their Sub, which gets fantastic reviews. I’ll stick with Sonos.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Memphis
    It is interesting. I wouldn’t recommend the HomePod to anyone that plans to use it for a main system. It doesn’t have any inputs, which limits its current and future use.

    It’s small footprint, decent sound, it’s Siri control of Apple Music make it an easy buy for my needs. If it missed any of those three features, I wouldn’t have any interest in it. However, I am also very curious to see how AirPlay 2 Control gets implemented. It will be in a position between my kitchen and living room and if I can just tell it what to play on my AppleTV in the living room system that feeds my main system, it will double its usage.

    Sonos, Google Play, Echo, are all great devices for some people. I think they all have unique features that make it easy to pick one or the other or in some cases mix and match the different systems. I still love my Dots and Spot, but for music, I bet the HomePod will be the most used device in the house thanks to the convenience factor and it’s support of Siri Apple Music. I have a feeling a lot of Sonos One owners in the Apple Ecosystem will add a HomePod down the road to get Siri control over Apple Music. Unfortunately, that feature is missing out of the gate...unbelievable...but it should generate a whole new media cycle when the feature comes to fruition. I am just hoping they don’t hold it back to release the feature next fall.

    As a side note, I got Plex setup on the Appletv last night (using my Nvidia Shield as the server). I was able to send audio commands to it via the Echo Dot and have it play back automatically on any AirPlay device. When I get the HomePod, I am pretty sure I can set it as the AirPlay receiver to have a backdoor into playing my home library. I doubt I will use it very often, but nice to know it is possible.
     
  3. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,099
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    Interesting. Plex has a Sonos integration, may give it a whirl on the AppleTV.
     
  4. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Memphis
    It is definitely a cool service. I have had a Plex server on my computers for ever. I don't watch a whole lot of my own content these days, but it used to be a great way to get movies./music/photos from a computer or server to a player like the Roku or iPad. It was something that earlier AppleTV owners complained about all the time because it wasn't available on that platform while being everywhere else. Luckily, the current AppleTVs have a lot more apps than those old AppleTVs.

    I tired to get Plex to work last night with the Echo and it said my Shield was offline, so I need to figure out how to put it in standby sometime this week.
     
  5. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,099
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    Hands on reviews are starting to show up. Looks like this won’t be another iPod Hi-Fi disaster for Apple. The fact that they can get a very realistic stereo image from the thing is a testament to just how advanced DSP technology is now. If you don’t mind the Apple lock-in, it looks like a winner.
     
  6. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Memphis
    Yep! I watched a bunch of the hands on reviews last night and it sounds very promising. I look forward to the Apple lock-in...I don't want any riff raff touching MY PRECIOUS!

    [​IMG]

    I will keep my Echo Dot nearby because I don't mind it being soiled with the likes of Pandora, SiriusXM, Fart apps, etc. :D
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. Tdogzthmn

    Tdogzthmn Active Member

    Messages:
    215
    Is there any audio improvements to airplay 2 or does it just add some new features? I'm using an Apple TV4 streaming as my digital music source with the optical out from my TV into an external DAC. I dont have any problems with the sound quality but always looking to ways to improve it where possible.
     
  8. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Memphis
    That remains to be seen. It hasn't officially been announced. Some writers have said that it increases buffer time, so that can't be bad for streaming music.
     
  9. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,099
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
  10. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Memphis
    Over the weekend, I dug into this a little deeper. Using the AppleTV as the Airplay source is too much of a pain to be very useful. Right now, you can setup the AppleTV's Airplay to HomePod and use Plex with Echo and it works great. However, if you use the HomePod directly, the AppleTV releases the HomePod and goes back to its main source. Not ideal because you end up needing to turn on the TV to use it.

    I also tried Plex directly from the web server and it would only play back on the Dot.

    I have also tested J River with Airfoil on a PC. It has a similar issue. When you play something else on the HomePod it releases Airfoil from the HomePod. I still prefer this option since I can pull up Airfoil on the iPhone using their satellite app without having to turn on a TV or directly access my computer. However, I am hoping Apple addresses this in a future update.

    I saw that today. I am going to skip this update so I can keep the Airplay 2 features on the AppleTV. I do wonder if they will hold it out for iOS 12,though.
     

Share This Page