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Old 12-05-2018, 01:05 PM   #16
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I wouldn't be surprised if this is an indication that Apple's version of the echo has been a bit of a bust.
Considering I had no idea they (Apple) had such a beast (and had to look it up to find out what it was called), I'd say that's a fairly solid assumption.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:16 PM   #17
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Everyone, I should have said Echo Dot (2nd and 3rd Gen). Probably that car Echo Auto is at least 3rd. And then my Google Home Mini whatever that is.

My ears have heard (suffered) too many blasts, gunshots, loud speakers, and even fireworks to appreciate good audio speakers. What I like is loud voice clarity.

I prefer the Dots generallly, but the Google Mini has better volume (5% increments, and louder).

I can be in the Den in my chair and I won't be able to hear an echo Dot weather announcement from my office very well, but I can say:
"Ok Google set volume level to 10." Ok Google, weather." The weather comes in loud and clear from my office. "Ok Google set volume level to 4."

To quote and paraphrase a song of one of my favorite singers Tom T Hall.

The Cowboy and the Poet
"I knew I had to ask him about the mysteries of life
He spit between his boots and he replied
It's faster horses, younger women,
Older whiskey, and more money"

I would only add "more volume."

Last edited by frahse; 12-05-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:10 PM   #18
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Apple's HomePod is doing just fine for the market Apple targeted...which is not the $50 "lady in a can". Love my Homepod and like my 3 Echo's.

Neither is Apple scaling back on hardware.

Apple music is like iTunes before it. There's just no business reason to keep either one only to Apple's platform.

As an subscriber to Apple Music and an owner of Alexa base products, this is good news to me. Just like Amazon Prime eventually landing on the Apple Tv.

What signs CAN we read?

Well, Apple probably has no intention of a $50 "Siri in a can". As such, it takes no sales away from Homepod and yet makes Apple Music that much more attractive. Winners here are Apple and Amazon....loser is Spotify as it's one less reason to choose Spotify.

We can see that Apple is serious about growing it's service revenue. You can only raise the price of the iPhone so high (so much higher than most of us would have imagined). Services is where Apple will see growth.

Relationship between Apple and Amazon appears to be thawing. Amazon is now selling more Apple hardware. Winner Apple and Amazon - loser Google who still is in a pissing contest with Amazon.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Apple's HomePod is doing just fine for the market Apple targeted...which is not the $50 "lady in a can".
Quote:
Well, Apple probably has no intention of a $50 "Siri in a can"...
So what makes the HomePod more than that? As the initial reviews that I read seem to say that that is exactly what HomePod is. A lady in a can and one that is just not as good as an Echo or Google Home.

c|net: Great sound, but it's trapped in Apple's world

wirecutter: Apple HomePod Review: It Only Sounds Great

Engadget: Apple HomePod review: A great speaker that’s not so smart
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:22 AM   #20
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there is a limit to how much sound quality to get squeeze out of a given sized small tube, can, puck, dot...
and these things are probably pretty well optimised already.

if you want to hear actual bass notes, then simple science tells us that a bigger box is needed
Sonos, Google play max, JBL link view all have v good audio ratings but all are bigger than what we are discussing here. I am not well versed in the Apple rage or quality

Amazon don't seem to get hifi- & Google are not much better. [ google youtube music quality] Neither matches the streaming quality from Spotify or from the lossless services like Tidal, Qoboz...
Amazon cant even be bothered to to bit rate 320 on purchased/streamed mp3

But I guess if all you want is weather forecasts, sports news & audiobooks, then any tiny device will do
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:08 PM   #21
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there is a limit to how much sound quality to get squeeze out of a given sized small tube, can, puck, dot...
and these things are probably pretty well optimised already.

if you want to hear actual bass notes, then simple science tells us that a bigger box is needed
Sonos, Google play max, JBL link view all have v good audio ratings but all are bigger than what we are discussing here. I am not well versed in the Apple rage or quality

Amazon don't seem to get hifi- & Google are not much better. [ google youtube music quality] Neither matches the streaming quality from Spotify or from the lossless services like Tidal, Qoboz...
Amazon cant even be bothered to to bit rate 320 on purchased/streamed mp3

But I guess if all you want is weather forecasts, sports news & audiobooks, then any tiny device will do
I have a homepod, the base is Amazing for the size. Additionally, with all the computing horsepower that HomePod has inside, Apple is able to optimize the bass (and not just the bass) at ever sound level. Most every speaker is optimized to sound great at or near their loudest.

I can really tell a difference in the bass at low volumes. It's also amazing to speak fairly softly and have the HomePod respond from across the room, even when it's playing loud music.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:21 PM   #22
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So what makes the HomePod more than that? As the initial reviews that I read seem to say that that is exactly what HomePod is. A lady in a can and one that is just not as good as an Echo or Google Home.

c|net: Great sound, but it's trapped in Apple's world

wirecutter: Apple HomePod Review: It Only Sounds Great

Engadget: Apple HomePod review: A great speaker that’s not so smart
Apple is generally polarizing. There are audiophile reviewers who gave the HomePod high marks from an audiophile's perspective.

https://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/...e_perspective/

I am not an Audiophile but I like good sounding Music. As a music speaker with voice control, it's great. I have zero home automation and very little interest in it. I do have some Echo Dot's and there is, of course, no comparison to the sound.

But to the date, my biggest use of my echo dot's are as voice timer's in the kitchen and "your package has shipped, arrived". I got an Amazon Fire Tv Cube that has Alexa and I have it connected to my soundbar/sub woofer. Yeah....it can sound nicer as it's outputting to much larger speakers.

My HomePod, I can put it in any room, anywhere in a room, at it optimizes it's output (has 7 tweeters pointing around a cylinder).

The fact that it has Siri built in is a "nice extra" for my use case. If you are wanting a lady in a can....you can get that experience for a LOT less than a HomePod
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:09 PM   #23
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Apple is generally polarizing.
Apple isn't generally so polarizing with professional reviewers. I'd say if you go to any of those same sites and check their reviews for the iPhone, iPad and other Apple products, they won't score so poorly.

Quote:
There are audiophile reviewers who gave the HomePod high marks from an audiophile's perspective.

I am not an Audiophile but I like good sounding Music. As a music speaker with voice control, it's great. I have zero home automation and very little interest in it. I do have some Echo Dot's and there is, of course, no comparison to the sound.
That may all well be true. But that doesn't mean it is the best speaker available at that cost. It only means that it sounds better than the other 'lady in a can' speakers it is compared to.

Quote:
The fact that it has Siri built in is a "nice extra" for my use case. If you are wanting a lady in a can....you can get that experience for a LOT less than a HomePod
I'm glad you're enjoying your HomePod, but I still see no proof that Apple was going for anything different than Amazon, Google and Microsoft were with their speakers.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:43 PM   #24
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That may all well be true. But that doesn't mean it is the best speaker available at that cost. It only means that it sounds better than the other 'lady in a can' speakers it is compared to.



I'm glad you're enjoying your HomePod, but I still see no proof that Apple was going for anything different than Amazon, Google and Microsoft were with their speakers.
Well, sounding better than speakers much more expensive is exactly what the reviewers who were focusing on the sound were saying....particularly at that price AND size.

The evidence of what Apple was aiming for is right before your eyes. At $350 it could not possibly be aime at the “lady in a can” market that was around $150 for the Echo...and already down to $49 for the Dot.
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Old 12-11-2018, 02:16 AM   #25
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one aspect that fascinates me is that after years of hi fi magazines rabbiting on about the importance of depth of stereo field, correct speaker placement, how to sit in the middle.... it turns out that all we really needed was a single can on a shelf !

will "stereo" become something your grand-kids giggle about - like CDs, tapes, walkman..

( to be fair: Alexa does support setting up a pair of speakers and designating a L R sterso pairing, but I doubt many people bother ).
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:13 AM   #26
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Well, sounding better than speakers much more expensive is exactly what the reviewers who were focusing on the sound were saying....particularly at that price AND size.

The evidence of what Apple was aiming for is right before your eyes. At $350 it could not possibly be aime at the “lady in a can” market that was around $150 for the Echo...and already down to $49 for the Dot.
Apple has a history of playing the long game. How long ago did Apple TV come out and it's really only now starting to become popular. I can see where it might become more popular as more and more people go with streaming only both for music and TV content.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:00 AM   #27
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I have two Sonos Play Ones set up in my store. They are paired for stereo and I can tell the difference between one speaker and the stereo playing from two. I have had a partial hearing loss since I was 19. The depth of the sound and the definite difference between mono and stereo make a huge difference.
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:39 PM   #28
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I have two Sonos Play Ones set up in my store. They are paired for stereo and I can tell the difference between one speaker and the stereo playing from two. I have had a partial hearing loss since I was 19. The depth of the sound and the definite difference between mono and stereo make a huge difference.
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The Echo line now supports dual speakers and even a subwoofer add-on.

http://www.aftvnews.com/amazon-annou...and-echo-plus/

A 2.1 bundle can be had for $249.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:31 PM   #29
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Apple has a history of playing the long game. How long ago did Apple TV come out and it's really only now starting to become popular. I can see where it might become more popular as more and more people go with streaming only both for music and TV content.
Before Roku, before Amazon FireTv, before Google Tv. I think Apple's inability to get cable and Hollywood to support Apple's vision took away a lot of Apple's interest in Apple TV....and thus Apple has really been very slow to make anything of it more than they have.

As for home automation, Apple was first there too. However, Apple's security requirements made the products too expensive, opening the door to Amazon....as long as you really don’t care that much about security.

As for Lady In A Can...there is no business model for Apple. Siri makes the iPhone better, the HomePod better, the Apple TV better, the Apple Watch better. But by herself? There's no money to be made for Apple selling no-margin devices.

Apple has the iPhone and Google has both Android phones and a competing Google in a can. Amazon's place as retailer of choice is the only thing I can think of that keeps Google from blowing Alexa out of the water.

I still have little idea if Alexa makes any money for Amazon.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:57 AM   #30
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Before Roku, before Amazon FireTv, before Google Tv. I think Apple's inability to get cable and Hollywood to support Apple's vision took away a lot of Apple's interest in Apple TV....and thus Apple has really been very slow to make anything of it more than they have.

As for home automation, Apple was first there too. However, Apple's security requirements made the products too expensive, opening the door to Amazon....as long as you really don’t care that much about security.

As for Lady In A Can...there is no business model for Apple. Siri makes the iPhone better, the HomePod better, the Apple TV better, the Apple Watch better. But by herself? There's no money to be made for Apple selling no-margin devices.

Apple has the iPhone and Google has both Android phones and a competing Google in a can. Amazon's place as retailer of choice is the only thing I can think of that keeps Google from blowing Alexa out of the water.

I still have little idea if Alexa makes any money for Amazon.

Apple and Amazon have somewhat different business models. Both are somewhat based on keeping you in the walled garden, but Apple has been focused on devices and now more and more services. Amazon is focused on selling you stuff. So it's actually not particularly germane if Siri or Alexi actually make money on their own, both are there to enhance the product and keep you in the walled garden.


I agree with you on Apple TV. Jobs originally wanted it to be a one stop shop for anything you wanted to watch. Basically Tivo on steroids. The cable providers and Hollywood blocked that. The current iteration of Apple TV is much closer to that vision. It's not perfect by any stretch, but it's a pretty interesting expansion.

I actually think that between Apple, Google and Amazon, Google is in the most jeopardy of losing their place which is basically being the ad king. That's where most of their profit is.
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