HomePod: Apple Music vs. Spotify

This article HomePod will serve as an intermediary between the two largest services for listening to music.

HomePod - handson5

Earlier we wrote about the reasons not to buy HomePod. Firstly, the feature set of the smart speaker from Apple is not that wide, and secondly, Spotify users don't have enough good reason to switch to Apple Music. The service Apple is pretty good, but it still lacks some of the features that Spotify has.

Plus, many people have years of listening history on Spotify. Because of this Apple Music just seems like a stranger.

Apple prevents owners of HomePod from connecting to the column via Bluetooth, which can be done with all other smart columns like Google Home. Alternatively there is AirPlay. We decided to check how Spotify works with the column from Apple and if there is any difference between it and Apple Music.

The results surprised us and the surprise was not pleasant.

HomePod: Apple Music vs. Spotify

First, it's worth noting that this is not a column overview HomePod. This article is about comparing Spotify and Apple Music.

Secondly, we need to talk about how we used the column. When we tested the Google Home speaker, we simply asked Google Assistant to play music. In most cases, interacting with the column was very easy. For example, you could ask to pause the song, turn off the music, skip forward one track, or play the song again. But for some, this is a matter of habit, and it is still more convenient for them to control music with buttons.

In this regard, we broadcast audio from MacBook (2016) to the speaker using AirPlay. Few people use the technology AirPlay, so you are unlikely to be aware of the slight latency in playing and controlling music. It is exactly 2 seconds. You press 'play' and the song will start playing only after 2 seconds. And you will need to wait 2 seconds every time you want to switch the track.

This is a very unpleasant nuance, and it concerns not only Spotify, but also Apple Music.

HomePod: Apple Music vs. Spotify

If you use Bluetooth to broadcast music to the speaker Google Home, there is no delay. Fortunately, if you use AirPlay on iPhone X, there is no delay either. If it's about technology, then okay. In any case, it was worth writing about it, because for many, the delay will be a huge disadvantage.

Now let's talk about the sound quality. Many have talked about the 'autotune' feature built into HomePod that changes the EQ settings based on what you are listening to. Therefore, users do not have to adjust the equalizer for each new genre of music.

In short, the function works very, very well. But only when you use Apple Music. It is unlikely that this feature can work with third-party services at all. Comparing Spotify to Apple Music, the second service sounds much better. Music from Spotify is louder, but it feels less saturated.

Listening to songs from Apple Music is very enjoyable. They have more bass, more distinct sound, etc. There is a huge difference when listening to music in both services. So huge that one would think the company did it specifically to lure users into Apple Music.

However, music from Spotify still sounds great on HomePod. The service definitely sounds better than Google Home or Amazon Echo. We can't say anything about the Sonos speakers and Google Home Max, but the others HomePod are ahead.

HomePod: Apple Music vs. Spotify

There is no doubt that Apple Music on HomePod sounds better than Spotify. If the merit is only in the 'autotune' function, then the result is very decent. But it would be better if it worked with third-party services as well. If the function also works with Spotify, then the situation is not clear. However, the difference is very impressive.

This is not to say that the difference in sound quality will force everyone to switch from Spotify to Apple Music. HomePod is a great column for its price.

We can draw the following conclusion: if you have a subscription Apple Music, then you will get the best possible sound from the speaker. If you use Spotify and still want to buy HomePod, the purchase will be well worth it.

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