Thursday, July 7, 2022
Home Gadgets Feature request: HomePod should have a true surround mode

Feature request: HomePod should have a true surround mode

HomePod, Apple’s smart speaker, has some great features when it comes to pairing multiple speakers together. Thanks to AirPlay 2, users can play the same audio on different HomePods around the house or even use a stereo pair as standard Apple TV speakers. However, there’s one thing that I still miss about the HomePod, and that’s a true surround mode.

HomePod as TV speakers

Even before the HomePod mini, users had the option to set up two HomePods as a stereo pair so that sound comes out in left and right channels for a more immersive experience. And now with the sixth-generation Apple TV, you can set a pair of HomePods as your television’s default speaker via the eARC connection.

I currently have two TVs at home, and each of them has an Apple TV connected. Since the built-in TV speakers are not exactly great, I bought two pairs of HomePod minis so that I can use them not only for a better music experience, but also to watch movies and shows with better audio quality.

And in fact, I really enjoy using HomePods as TV speakers. They are louder and have more bass than what I get using just the TV sound. But even though they support Dolby Atmos, HomePod still doesn’t really support true surround.

Right now, you can only set up a single pair of HomePods as the default speaker for an Apple TV. With AirPlay 2, there’s the option to select other HomePods to play the same audio simultaneously on all of them – but it will just replicate the sound in both pairs instead of making it surround.

Not to mention that selecting multiple HomePods in the AirPlay menu is always a mess. There should be an easier way to do this.

True surround mode for HomePod

Since the HomePod supports Dolby Atmos, which is a technology that enables three-dimensional sound, a true surround mode would take the experience of using HomePods as TV speakers to the next level.

Imagine if you could place four HomePods in your living room, each serving as an independent audio channel. Or even if there was an option to set up a 5.1 surround system using a larger HomePod as a subwoofer (with rumors of a new HomePod in the works, that would be killer).

Of course, there are many surround system options available on the market, but personally I like using HomePods because of the integration with AirPlay, HomeKit, and all my Apple devices. If there’s one feature I wish for tvOS 16 and HomePod Software 16, that’s a true surround mode for the HomePod.

What do you think about using HomePods as your TV speakers? Are there any features that you currently miss? Let me know in the comments below.

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