By Dan Moren
December 18, 2018 1:08 PM PT
Wish List: Stereo HomePod support for macOS
Note: This story has not been updated for several years.
I have a confession to make: I bought a second HomePod.
In my defense, it was just sitting on Target’s website, tempting me with that $100-off discount that’s popped up a few times over the past month. In the end I couldn’t resist the lure of a stereo pair, especially having heard one while in the Apple Store a few weeks back.
But, having set up the second HomePod and configured the stereo pair–and generally being delighted with the sound–I’ve come across one of the surprising shortcomings of having two HomePods: they’re not yet a full replacement for the old-school computer speakers on my desk. Because although you can send audio from iTunes to a stereo pair of HomePods, the combined pair is not recognized by the OS overall. Instead, the Sound output just shows me two separate AirPlay speakers called “Office.”
It’s kind of a head scratcher, too, since both iOS and tvOS seem to handle the HomePod stereo pair just fine, and iTunes doesn’t balk at it either. (Rogue Amoeba’s excellent Airfoil doesn’t currently support HomePods configured in a stereo pair either, but says that it’s exploring it “for the future.”)
Given AirPlay 2’s delayed rollout, I’m not too surprised that there are still gaps in the implementation, but it remains most disappointing. Having invested a not insignificant amount of money in this audio solution, it would certainly be nice if it were at least as capable as a decade-old set of wired speakers, but at the moment, it looks like I’m going to have two sets of stereo speakers on my desk.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at @firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him by email at email@example.com. His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]
If you appreciate articles like this one, support us by becoming a Six Colors subscriber. Subscribers get access to an exclusive podcast, members-only stories, and a special community.