Sound quality shootout: Apple HomePod vs. two Sonos Ones

“The smart speaker competition is getting fierce. Voice-powered digital assistants — Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri — appear in more standalone audio products every day, from tiny Dots and Minis to more expensive Echos, Homes and Maxes,” Ty Pendlebury and Steve Guttenberg write for CNET. “For people willing to pay extra for better sound quality, though, only a handful are worth considering. Two of the most important are made by Apple and Sonos.”

“Since the prices were in the same ballpark, we decided to compare how the stereo Sonos sounded compared to the single HomePod,” Pendlebury and Guttenberg write. “‘But wait!’ you say. ‘I heard HomePod can do stereo pairing too!’ Not quite yet, but it’s coming: Apple has pledged that stereo pairing and multi-room audio will be added to the HomePod via a future firmware update. However, an Apple spokesperson told me that the company still doesn’t have a specific timeframe on when these features will be added.”

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook’s Apple. A paragon of focus and timeliness.

“In our tests, Apple wins for microphone sensitivity, but Siri as a smart assistant is currently way behind the Alexa-powered Sonos One in pretty much every other area, including smart home device support and music service integration. The rest of this comparison is about sound quality,” Pendlebury and Guttenberg write. “At the current time, it’s pretty simple: buying two Sonos One speakers will give you even better sound than a single HomePod. Stereo brings the best music listening experience overall… As good as it sounds for a single speaker, a month after its debut it looks like Apple is still working out the HomePod’s kinks.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Shit or get off the pot, Apple.

How many hundreds of billions do Apple customers need to bestow in order for Apple to be able to make speakers capable of stereo paring?

Barclays: Apple’s AirPods sales continue to grow, HomePod sales have been ‘underwhelming’ – March 9, 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


  1. It’s strategic. If they launched it with pairing all the reviews would be of paired units. They would laid the sound quality and then say those deadly words, “Although the sound is incredible the cost of $700 to get in the game is probably too steep for most people.”

    This you sell the device as a single unit and say things like “stereo” does not require two speakers. Our HomePod does stereo sound from one speaker. And then you release pairing in a later update to get the one-off purchasers to re-up several months later.

    1. *laud
      (Why is autocorrect so stupid? Doesn’t Apple have 10 years of my typing habits? They said the keyboard would learn the words I use. Well I use laid (lol, changed it again) and I use this. (Yep changed it again. 😡 I literally typed it exactly correct and iOS changed the word. 🤯)

  2. Nowaday, stereo music is a niche.

    In order to have the full stereo imaging, one need to stand at a precise distance to appreciate it. Homepod is not your Home movie setup.

    Homepod is casual music with the best sound all around. What do you expect from a 350$ gadget?

    Apple will get there but it is a niche…

    I love Cnet for their bias review and the shiat coming out of there aura.

        1. No I gave my opinion that you are wrong (you are).
          Calling someone a troll for this seems very trollish of you.

          Stereo music is not a niche, it is built in to almost every A/V receiver sold and most have Airplay.

          Ever wonder why all iTunes music is in stereo?
          Because people like stereo.

          Do you have one big speaker in your car? Of course not.

          The only use for a closed in stereo (two channel, no separation) system is CONNIVENCE. It may sound good, even great by some standards, but a pair of these


          with a simple amp like this


          will most likely beat the snot out of an overpriced Apple speaker and cost $200 less.

          Don’t get me wrong, I may one day get a HomePod (not sure why) because I love MOST things Apple (although the list is getting shorter every year), but since I use Roon for streaming and Audirvana for critical listening rather than iTunes, don’t know that I’d have much use other than a toy, as I already have a decent Altec-Lansing bluetooth speaker that is both moisture and sand resistant for outside and a Denon A/V receiver in the Living room with Wharedale columns, Pioneer A/V receiver in the game room, and an Outlaw/Peachtree Audio/Pro-Ject system in the office with K.E.F. LS50s and custom subs all hooked via AirTunes.

          Note also none of them require me to stand or sit in a precise location, although all do have a sweet spot that improves the imaging, great speakers have good off-axis separation.


  3. and then MDN and the rest of the complainers will find something else about which to gripe. Same old story, different year.

  4. I bought a HomePod, and yes, at this juncture Siri is only so-so. One of the things I did not understand is that all of the Siri capabilities I’m accustomed to are not present. That will get better.

    What I did find is that the audio quality is very good. Freaky good. Fantastically freaky good. Clean, no distortion. Crystal clear high frequencies and base so pure it’s like warm chocolate syrup converted to music. It gets me playing air base in no time at all.

    The audio quality is so good it’s hard to ignore while working. It’s so good I had to get a second one. The HomePod is without a doubt the best room speaker I’ve ever heard. Definitely the best wireless speaker I’ve ever heard. It sounds like the audio is being processed by tubes.
    Over time I may put these things all over the place.

    Currently, iOS cannot take advantage of multiple HomePods, but interestingly the Mac can!

    It’s hard to beat the logic of the cost of one incredible speaker being as much as to very good speakers with Alexa built in, but I’m in this damn ecosphere and I suspect my experience with these speakers on the Siri side will improve as rapidly as Apple Maps did.

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