“I was pretty ambivalent about the HomePod in my review. I found the sound to be mediocre for a lot of music, and it simply wasn’t worth the price. I don’t particularly care about using Siri with that device, and don’t consider that worth paying $350 for the speaker. I’m interested in its musicality,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “Apple (finally) released AirPlay 2 this week, which notably offers the ability to create a stereo pair from two HomePods. I decided I’d try this out. I’m quite impressed by the sound.”

“While the single HomePod is flat, and the frequency response is way too bassy, creating a stereo pair allows the electronic wizardry in the devices’ processors to create something that is frankly surprising,” McElhearn writes. “Music has a very good soundstage, with a much more balanced frequency response (though I still put the Bass Reducer EQ setting on my iPhone when streaming music to them)… Kudos to Apple. Whatever they’ve done to make two HomePods work so well together is impressive.”

McElhearn writes, “Apple should never have released the HomePod without AirPlay 2, because reviewers heard the speaker in sub-optimal conditions.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup. A late launch, missing Christmas (and already 2-3 years late, no less), and a suboptimal launch to boot shipping sans stereo and multi-room audio; it was obviously a clusterfsck all around.

Only Apple can trumpet the importance of quality audio while shipping a speaker that’s incapable of being set up as a stereo pair out of the box.MacDailyNews, January 31, 2018

Again, you simply cannot miss the Christmas shopping season and not pay a steep price. For Apple, the price is a lost year and millions of potential customers lost to other ecosystems – perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently; regardless they will be much harder to land had Apple had product on the shelves for Christmas.MacDailyNews, April 13, 2018

Anyway, it’s all now in the past!

A finally finished HomePod (with flawless multi-room audio and stereo pairing out of the box) and, potentially others in the HomePod family, are products for Christmas 2018 and beyond.MacDailyNews, April 13, 2018

SEE ALSO:
HomePod stereo pairing took a frustratingly long time to arrive, but it was worth the wait – May 30, 2018
Strategy Analytics: Apple shipped 600,000 HomePods in Q1 for 6% share of smart speaker market – May 17, 2018
The Inquirer reviews Apple’s HomePod: ‘Looks great, sounds fantastic; Siri needs work’ – April 6, 2018
I want another Apple HomePod for sure, maybe two more – March 20, 2018
Sound quality shootout: Apple HomePod vs. two Sonos Ones – March 16, 2018
Apple HomePod: The audiophile perspective plus 8 1/2 hours of measurements; HomePod is 100% an audiophile-grade speaker – February 12, 2018
Apple’s HomePod is actually a steal at $349 – January 26, 2018
Digital Trends previews Apple’s HomePod: Impressive sound coupled with strong privacy – January 26, 2018
Hands on with Apple’s HomePod: Attractive, ultra-high-quality speaker, an excellent Siri ambassador – January 26, 2018
Apple’s HomePod, the iPod for your home – January 25, 2018
One hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker – January 25, 2018