Feature request: HomePod should have true surround mode


HomePod, Apple’s smart speaker, has great features when it comes to pairing multiple speakers together. With 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 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 of setting up two HomePods as a stereo pair so that sound came out in the 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 TV’s default speaker via the eARC connection.

I currently have two televisions at home, and each of them is hooked up to an Apple TV. Since the built-in TV speakers aren’t exactly great, I bought two pairs of HomePod minis so I could use them not only for a better music experience, but also to watch movies and shows with better sound quality.

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

Currently, you can only set one pair of HomePods as the default speaker for an Apple TV. With AirPlay 2, it’s possible to select other HomePods to play the same sound simultaneously on each of them, but it will only mirror the sound in both pairs instead of making it surround.

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

True surround mode for HomePod

Since 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 a killer).

Sure, there are many surround system options available in the market, but personally, I love 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, it’s a true surround mode for the HomePod.

What are your thoughts on using HomePods as your TV speakers? Are there any features you are currently missing? Let me know in the comments below.

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