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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Are you gonna get an Apple HomePod? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Are you gonna get an Apple HomePod?
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12255
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-23-2018 07:14 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I read a little about Apple's new "smart speaker" today. Among other things, it has software for “real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, echo cancellation” and has spatial awareness to sense where it is in a room so that it can self-adjust its settings. It has a nice woofer for bass and seven “beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with directional control.”

Oh and it has a $349 price tag. I guess it needs all the above gobbledegook to justify that.

So, hmm, not sure what to think about this. It will work with Apple Music of course, but its relationships with other music services like Spotify are more questionable.

Hard to believe that in the '70s and '80s everybody was saving their money to buy 300-watt amplifiers with huge speakers with "thundering" bass that would give you rock-concert type sound in your living room if you wanted it, and now people are satisfied with their tunes coming from little wimpy speakers called Echo and Homepod. I mean, they sound good for their size, but come on.

Here's a link to the article I read:

Linkety-link-link

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7921
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-23-2018 07:43 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The usual recommendation for people who want this sort of thing is to look at Sonos. I haven't used it, but everyone who has seems to like their products, which aren't tied to any one music service (and thus will likely have a longer useful life). They make a box that can be used with an existing home stereo, as well as units with built-in speakers.

Realistically, anyone who cares about sound quality probably already has a nice stereo system and probably isn't very interested in streaming, aside from maybe something like Tidal, which Sonos apparently supports.

Personally, I am not really interested in subscribing to a music service, but I can see why people would see the value in doing so versus spending the same amount of money on physical copies of recordings.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12255
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-23-2018 10:43 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the interest of full disclosure, we do have an Amazon Echo at home (I got it for Christmas in 2016) but I use it mostly to play Jeopardy, as a kitchen timer, and to listen to news.

I hardly ever listen to music with it because almost without fail, what I want to listen to isn't available on Amazon "Unlimited" Music, or I can't get it to play what I want to hear.

Even the news channels often get interrupted by 10 continuous minutes of commercials (they play the same commercials ad nauseum) or random music, which usually leads me to go turn on the TV like I did before we got the Echo.

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 670
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-23-2018 11:14 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've had a couple Amazon Echoes for a few years. We use it mostly to listen to radio stations. For stations that are not available through it, we get them on a phone, then use Blue Tooth to connect to the echo. I also listen to Pandora on it. I also use it as an alarm clock and kitchen timer. Works well for us!

Harold

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Martin Brooks
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 775
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 01-24-2018 12:35 AM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
Hard to believe that in the '70s and '80s everybody was saving their money to buy 300-watt amplifiers with huge speakers with "thundering" bass that would give you rock-concert type sound in your living room if you wanted it, and now people are satisfied with their tunes coming from little wimpy speakers called Echo and Homepod. I mean, they sound good for their size, but come on.
Plus the fact that unless you buy two for a room, it's mono. We've gone back 60 years. But I am willing to wait until I hear one to judge, not that I think I would ever buy one. I have a very nice A/V receiver based sound system in my living room for video as well as a 2-channel preamp and power amp for 2-channel music listening.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1340
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 01-24-2018 02:36 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a couple of lightning dock stations that I just plug my phone into, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. I use them to listen to football and hockey games on via SiriusXM and occasionally music or radio (via TuneIn) in the bedroom to fall asleep to. Both are stereo and combined cost way less than a Home Pod. The bedroom one, a Philips, sounds like ass, but the Sony in the living is actually pretty impressive.

Not sure why I'd need a separate device when the existing setup charges my phone at the same time.

I have a friend who has a bunch of the small Echos around her house which she uses for all of the above plus as an intercom system to check in on her kids. She loves them.

I'm not a real serious music listener at home, though on rare occasions where I get the bug, I do have the real receiver, real CD player, BD-A audio capability, and Boston VR-series speakers capable of handling that.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

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From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
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 - posted 01-24-2018 05:58 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the BOSE Wave Radio would sound better, even though one could make their own folded horn speaker setup and save some pennies.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1808
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 01-25-2018 11:23 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Martin Brooks
unless you buy two for a room, it's mono.
Even if you buy 2, you will just have 2 mono speakers.

The Echo Dot (and possibly other versions), while only mono itself, has a 3.5mm stereo jack so you can connect it to your stereo sound system for true stereo.

I have the original Echo along with an audiophile grade stereo system in my living room. While no comparison to the stereo, the sound is actually pretty good on the Echo. I use it to play Pandora Radio while doing tasks around the house.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 01-25-2018 12:09 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
“Even if you buy 2, you will just have 2 mono speakers”

Well any speakers, even if sold in pairs, are individually mono. HomePod is supposed to detect when there are 2 of them present and switch to proper stereo mode with one being L and one being R.

Or maybe I misunderstand your point.

I’m interested in HomePod but need to be convinced.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1808
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
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 - posted 01-25-2018 12:16 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was referring to the Amazon Echo, which does not have that capability.

I have not had any dealings with the HomePod, but the Amazon Echo so far is the only smart device that answered the question "What is the meaning of life?" with the correct answer, "42".

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Tony Magallanes
Film Handler

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From: LOS ANGELES, CA - USA
Registered: Sep 2017


 - posted 01-25-2018 02:48 PM      Profile for Tony Magallanes   Email Tony Magallanes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Then there are the reports that these home devices are monitoring everything we say and do so as to target us with advertisements because we evidently need more! LoL...!!!
(I feel another Matrix sequel coming on...) LoL!

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1841
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 01-25-2018 04:14 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
By the nature of the way that they work they have to monitor everything, otherwise how would they know when you issue a command?

Stuff that you say other than issuing commands isn't supposed to be sent anywhere, though. How much you trust that assurance is up to you.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12255
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-25-2018 06:47 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They're not supposed to be listening unless you yell out the wake-up word, which in the case of the Echo, it's Alexa. Once the light goes off, the microphone is turned off.

Or so they say. Conspiracy theorists probably have another idea.

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1841
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
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 - posted 01-25-2018 07:44 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The microphone isn't off when the light is off or the device wouldn't work. No conspiracy required; if it can hear you say the magic work it's listening.

The device may or may not be transmitting the data to another location. That's a completely different question and since the device is a closed black box, there's no way to get a reliable answer other than "trust us". So if you do (trust them) then you're all set.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12255
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-25-2018 10:30 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah I realize that...I mis-spoke. I guess I meant that the "system isn't supposed to be activated" unless you say the magic word.

Oh well. If Amazon really wants to listen to me cook supper, I guess I don't give a hoot. When I do say words, it's mostly to cuss out Alexa for playing crap I don't want to hear before I shut it off and go turn the TV back on.

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