Get ready to laugh. This will undoubtedly cause you to chuckle.
So... bought the HomePod right? Had it for a few days. Liked it. Not sure it was better-sounding than my Harman Kardon speakers but figured I'd keep it anyway.
A couple nights later, had a few beers, and did a bunch of comparison testing between the two speaker systems.
That night, I initiated a return of the HomePod. The next day I took it to FedEx and shipped it back.
Then I came to some realizations (which I will detail below). Last weekend I happened to be near the Apple Store in Bridgeport Village. So I went and picked up another HomePod before the return on my first one had even processed.
So here are the realizations...
- It's probably better not to test out speaker systems while under the influence. Because anything with booming bass sounds good.
- It's probably better not to test with Metallica when my normal listening material is classical music.
- Loud sound doesn't equal good sound.
- Bass-heavy sound doesn't equal good sound either.
One of the reasons for some of these conclusions, was some research I was doing into "studio monitor" type speakers. I have a set of well-rated studio monitors that make good PC speakers. Come to find out my Harman Kardon 2.1 system is also well-rated. So I was trying to decide which to use (since I had returned my HomePod).
Studio monitor speakers attempt to reproduce recordings the way they were recorded without adding "color" to the sound. This can honestly result in some boring listening. Because there isn't much bass and the sound is relatively flat. But it's a more "honest" reproduction of the recording.
Then there are the 2.1 style systems. Which can produce some pretty good bass. But my feeling is... the 2.1 system definitely does color the sound. And while it sounds way better when cranking up Metallica after a few beers, it's probably not "quality" sound.
That's when I concluded that the Apple HomePod is probably a great speaker for me and the type of music I typically listen to. Will the Harman Kardons outcrank it while playing bass-heavy rock? Sure. But the HomePod probably produces better quality and more accurate sound.
BTW, what you see in the picture is my HomePod elevated on a "yoga block". I have no idea what yoga blocks are used for. But an audio guy said the HomePod sounds better when elevated a bit and recommended them.