The audiophile community now has their hands on the HomePod, and one Reddit user has thoroughly examined the device from an acoustical standpoint, calling it ‘witchcraft” plus “100 percent an Audiophile grade Speaker.”
Reddit user WinterCharm broke down his testing process on Sunday night. The HomePod was compared to the KEF X300A speaker set, with AirPlay used to connect to both devices.
Summarizing a very technical breakdown of the HomePod, well beyond the capabilities of most users, WinterCharm described the graph of the unit’s reproduction of sound “near-perfectly flat” at all frequencies. The more flat the linearity deviation, the more perfect the sound reproduction overall.
Additionally, as volume increases, the speaker’s characteristics aren’t fluctuating much at all, meaning that the sound is reproduced with the same fidelity at low volumes, as well as high.
The user did not limit himself to quantitative examination of the sound from the HomePod. WinterCharm called the highs “exceptionally crisp” with very low distortion from the tweeters, and “Very true-to-life” vocals where Apple’s tweeters doing an excellent job of reproducing the sound.
According to the examination, Bass reproduction is “incredibly impressive” with “such tight control on bass from within a speaker is unheard of in the audio industry” much less from a small package in the HomePod.
The review also praises the room correction feature. In a self-described “terrible environment” for listening, WinterCharm notes that the feature is “beyond impressive”
“What Apple has managed to do here is so crazy, that If you told me they had chalk, candles, and a pentagram on the floor of their Anechoic chambers, I would believe you,” wrote the reviewer. “This is witchcraft. I have no other word for it.”
All in all, the tester took 8.5 hours of measurement using a MiniDSP UMIK-1 USB calibrated microphone, specifically designed for measuring speakers. Apple hardware used to evaluate was a 2011 MacBook Pro, with software Room EQ Wizard.
“Unless you’re steeped in the apple ecosystem, it’s really hard to recommend this thing,” wrote WinterCharm. “If you are, it’s a no brainer, whether you’re an audiophile or not.”