What is better than one HomePod?

You might have guessed correctly - two HomePods. I usually refrain from posting short reviews of tech, but I am making an exception here, because having tried to find information and recommendations about HomePods in a stereo setup is not that easy and having used them for two weeks now I can say for sure they are under- and overrated at the same time.

stereo HomePods (and a screen I still didn’t wall mount...)

First of all let us define for whom this review is meant. If you believe you can hear if a twenty centimeter long cable between your pre-amp and amp got some gold coating - then HomePods (and this review) are not for you. If you are a hardcore gamer who could not stand a moment without an RGB mousepad synced with your mouse then this also not for you. For the rest of us: let‘s talk.

If you know how one HomePod sounds, you still have no idea how two of them sound. It just gets „better“. By a large margin. Especially the bass. If you like the general sound of one, there is a good chance you will enjoy a stereo pair. And let us be honest for a moment: watching a movie with mono sound is just unenjoyable.

But this does not mean there are no alternatives. A pair of Klipsch R-41M paired with a Yamaha R-S202 will likely be a bit cheaper, except when you find one of the really good deals on HomePods, then they might come out around the same total. With HomePods you will have an easier setup and a good integration with the Apple ecosystem. With an amp and speakers you are far more flexible and can easily add a few dollars here and there and just get a lot more sound or upgrade at a later point in time.

HomePods play nicely with Apple devices, except your Mac where you cannot set the stereo pair as standard output and keep it that way. Which surely makes sense for someone at Apple, just not anyone I talked to who owns a Mac and two HomePods.

To answer the big question: Should you get two? If you are only or mostly on Apple hardware, want really good sound, the least amount of cables, not have a lot space to spare and two HomePods are within the budget you want to spend: Yes, definitely. If you want to optimize for „the perfect sound“, stay flexible or prefer to spend a little bit less for a setup that still sounds good? Likely not.

>> posted on March 7, 2020, midnight in apple, hardware