“The HomePod offers great audio quality, and as a pair, fantastic stereo music playback,” Max Yuryev writes for AppleInsider. “But are two HomePods enough to replace a soundbar in a home theater system that is half the price of a single speaker?”

“In a recent comparison of stereo HomePods to my own $2,500 home theater system, the HomePods got floored. While this wasn’t surprising at all, we didn’t expect them to perform as badly as they did,” Yuryev writes. “An investigation into why this happened revealed a bug that causes the Apple TV 4K to output lower audio volumes to stereo HomePods by default. To fix it, we had to manually convert the format to stereo, and saw an instant change that pushed the peak volume of the HomePods from 75 decibels to 83 decibels.”

“With this change, we decided to compare our $700 Stereo HomePods to my $180 soundbar [LG SK5Y 2.1 Channel 360W High Resolution Audio Sound Bar],” Yuryev writes. “The best thing about Airplay 2 is that you can connect different sources of audio at the same time, so we can use the soundbar and our HomePods together as a complete system… We have also discovered that the stereo HomePods are much louder when they’re playing a song than when they’re playing the same track in a movie on the Apple TV. We can only hope that Apple will fix this issue and allow the HomePods to perform at their maximum potential.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s audio level issue is a nasty bug that Apple should swat away ASAP!