How do a pair of HomePods compare to a $180 LG sound bar?

“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!


  1. I have this LG soundbar, LG SJ3 300-Watt 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, and it has very good sound. Also has bluetooth allowing me to stream audio from my phone if i wish. Setup was a breeze and pairing with my phone was effortless. Also way cheaper than even one Homepod. I am an Apple fan, but I am not stupid about it.

  2. FFS, when is Pipeline going to focus on quality? Seriously, how is it possible that Apple released Homepods with this bug? Wasnt this product under development for 5+ years?

    Pipeline has simply no interest, ZERO interest in quality.

  3. This company has so much money on hand. Think what they could achieve if they had a leadership group that was less interested in politics and coffee table books and more interested in delivering high quality products and services that met their customers’ needs.

  4. It’s a common issue brought up on the A/V forums relating to the lower audio output from a ATV 4K to home theater systems. I notice it on mine.

    The beta for Dolby Atmos seems to correct that a little, but the majority of content will not be Atmos.

  5. Damn, the whining on this forum has gotten out of control! You would think that Apple software used to be perfect. Apple will fix this in nothing flat. Then you will all rush to the next griping point. Bunch of whiners.

  6. “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.”

    I’m not sure that’s a bug.

    From the introduction, it seemed like HomePods would make a very poor choice for TV speakers. There’s a huge difference between immersive sound (what HomePods were designed for) and either surround sound or directional sound stage that a soundbar provides.

    Instead of making a movie/TV show sound like it’s just randomly coming from all over the place, they’re likely using some intelligence to determine that it should be directional, and thus muting some of the speakers that would otherwise be used to provide the immersion, which also then lowers the maximum volume.

    It would be interesting to see a more detailed analysis of what’s actually going on.

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