I have setup one of the HomePods in my Living Room along with the “real” stereo. This is a TOTALY UNFAIR comparision. We are looking at a ~15K$ system vs $350. I do my testing with Roon controling all of the equipment. I have a simple level meter app I can use to set the levels pretty well.
I have been listening to a wide range of music from Bach to Led Zepplin. Ochestral to single guitar. While my time has been shorter than I would like I am very happy with what I hear. The HomePod really does hold its own. It does not have the soundstage presented by the main system but it is really impressive. It lacks a lot of the really detailed information that the main system provides and the audio response appears to be tailored to what I would call a bit “throaty” sound. I am sure that this is an Apple design choice and I would call the sound “pleasant and comfortable”. Voices are very clear and there is a stage laid out by the speaker that is amazing.
Around the corner from the Living Room is the kitchen and eating area. This is a pretty open floor plan so the sound travels. I sit at the table and switch betwen the HomePod and the main system using my iPad. The sound from the HomePod is really amazing sitting there. You do not expect the stereo sound stage; just music and you are well rewarded.
I will discuss this a bit further in another blog post covering more of the voice control and other functionality.
Note: I am all in the Apple hardware. I use the Apple tri-fecta every day. Mac/iPad/iPhone….. This should be a no-brainer REALLY