Apple patent filing hints at a HomePod theater system

“I’ve said before that Apple should introduce both lower-priced HomePods and more expensive ones, the latter for home theater systems (the HomePod Theater?)” Dennis Sellers writes for Apple World Today.

“The company may be considering the latter, as it’s filed for a patent (number 20190180688) for ‘automatic rendering of 3D sound,'” Sellers writes. “If it ever sees the light of day, such a system would require more than higher-end HomePods.”

“3D audio effects are a group of sound effects that manipulate the sound produced by stereo speakers, surround-sound speakers, speaker-arrays, or headphones,” Sellers writes. “This frequently involves the virtual placement of sound sources anywhere in three-dimensional space, including behind, above or below the listener.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Very cool. Bring it on!


    1. in short, i have zero expectations for this. it might be super for the pantry in Schiller’s 3rd mansion but not anywhere in my house. i tried, and there are so many things wrong with the homepod, adding more of the mesh cans is not the answer.

      when first released, the selling feature of the homepod was that it magically filled a room with perfect sound using an array of small low power drivers constantly adjusting itself. Physics was defeated.

      then after the fanboy wave of unanimous praise subsided, we learned that Apple’s can is no better than a cheap TV soundbar. how could it be? it uses the same materials and techniques in an attempt to recreate proper sound. homepod doesn’t achieve decent sound levels in large rooms, its imaging is poor, Siri is still a dumb box of rocks, it’s completely incompatible with any legacy non-apple products. a user has no control over sound. it was useless in odd shaped rooms, like any other speaker. at $350 the Apple Music appliance didn’t attract many customers. also airplay 2 wasn’t ready at launch, typical Cookie. why didn’t uncritical listeners jump at the chance to replace their bluetooth speakers that cost half as much????

      so then the message changed. apple got airplay 2 figured out and you could now pair the mesh cans. the fanboys put out another wave of hype. ooooh, two homepods was now perfect. at only $700 to replace the bookshelf speakers or soundbar that you already own, won’t the modestly critical listeners who actually invested in a nice desktop audio system buy the new Apple fad? well no. the fanboys forgot about sound quality. they failed to realize that two cans doesn’t fix the fact that homepods have weak bass (excuse me, “impressive for the size” in fanboy speak), and no high end. whoever tunes these speakers from Siri Headquarters must only listen to books on tape. (the tape being a subscription requiring constant internet connection of course). what 2 cans did was increase the volume level of average sound. It takes serious power and highly tailored drivers to achieve a full frequency range. Apple doesn’t have that. it pumps out middle range, that’s it.

      so Apple had to drop the price to empty it’s Apple Store warehouses.

      well now Apple must be working on a me-too surround sound mode in an attempt to get people to buy 5 packs of pods. $1250 to replace the 5+ speakers a true cinephile already owns. it is cheaper than truly great surround systems, right? a 100 watt total array of cans must be equivalent to a 500 watt multichannel amp plus a dedicated 300 watt subwoofer. won’t you believe the Apple reality distortion again? well no, not even ifbthe speakers were accurate. Apple products are completely incompatible with the system you have. then you have to ask yourself about setup. will Jony sell you 5 ultrathin alyominym speaker stands for the homepods? or do you nail them to a wall with a nice long extension cord? toss them on the floor behind the sofa where the outlet is? no with a homepod array they are only going to work sonically if they have line of sight between the speakers (it’s an acoustic necessity). so you have install power outlets all over your media room to plug in all your “wireless” speakers. let me repeat: unlike what Apple fanboys originally claimed, you actually do have to place speakers in correct locations away from walls because sound reverberation is very poor at creating crisp imaging.

      a true surround audio system can instantly change your room into Freiburg Cathedral or the Roxy Club with a press of a button. a homepod will sound like an old low resolution mp3 was designed to sound, a little better than Apple beats headphones. you would have to be hard of hearing or an Apple fanboy to downgrade to what Apple is attempting to sell. If you think homepods are great sound, then let me give you a tip: you can do better with a $150 set of over-the-ear headphones. Save your $1250.

      1. That wall of words above by “whatever”, is actually quite amusing and informative. HomePods are one of only two Apple products I have zero interest in owning (for many of the reasons he/she mentioned).

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