Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between HomePod and Soundbar

The HomePod is Apple’s very own Wi-Fi connected smart speaker and the HomePod mini was reportedly the world’s best selling smart speaker Q1 2022. HomePod is basically Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Nest smart speakers. The HomePod combines powerful sound with eye-catching aesthetics to deliver a room-filling audio experience. But the question is; can HomePod replace the good old soundbar? Let’s take a look.

HomePod

HomePod is the Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo, the Google Home, and every other smart speaker out there that comes with a voice assistant. Covered in a spongy fabric with a touch display on top, the HomePod is a beautiful smart speaker with Siri. The only music service you could control was Apple Music at the time of its release. There are seven tweeters that fire down and out from the bottom and a single 4-inch woofer pointing out of the top for low frequencies. So, overall the HomePod is a good kill if you love all things Apple.

Soundbar

Soundbars are all the rage these days and but what are these? A soundbar, as the name suggests, is a bar-shaped speaker system containing multiple speakers that are typically placed underneath a TV. Unlike those traditional home theater kits which are often bulky and involving a bunch of messy wires, most soundbars are more or less self-contained devices that are capable enough to reproduce sound more faithfully than the tiny ones that come built-in with your TV.

Difference between HomePod and Soundbar

Sound 

– There’s no denying that the HomePod is truly a powerful smart speaker with an array of seven horn-loaded tweeters and a high quality bass woofer, delivering sound in all 360 degrees and a booming bass that matches the room’s space. But with the HomePod, you only get access to a single channel audio. However with a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system, you get excellent fidelity for music and movies. A good soundbar isn’t just for music and movies, but for everything.

Setup 

– The HomePod’s functionality is fairly limited as a soundbar if you do not pair it with an Apple TV. For the same reason, the HomePod is only a good option if you already have an Apple TV. However, not all Apple TVs support HomePod as soundbars. The best way to connect a soundbar to your smart TV is with an HDMI cable; one end of the HDMI cable goes into the HDMI IN port of your TV and the other end to the TV OUT port on the soundbar. But there are other ways to connect a soundbar to your TV such as Bluetooth, 3.5 mm AUX cable, or even an auxiliary device.

Design

 – The most notable difference between a HomePod and a soundbar is of course the design. The HomePod is mostly circular in design which gives the impression of a tiny, woven plant pot, which shows yet again how Apple is the master of industrial design. It needs to remain connected to a power source, so the wired design isn’t very appealing. Well, soundbars are basically sleek horizontally shaped rectangles with surprisingly good bass.

Cost 

– The HomePod mini is the cheapest entry into the Apple smart speaker ecosystem. At just $99, the HomePod mini is the Apple’s cheapest and the smallest smart speaker featuring a wonderful round design, the S5 processor, 360-degrees audio, and the U1 chip. The HomePod mini is a good value for money product considering the size. Coming to soundbars, you can spend as little as $150 on a new soundbar with a subwoofer and can go as higher as $1000 or more.

HomePod vs. Soundbar: Comparison Chart

Summary

Soundbars, even the lower priced ones, deliver a more immersive experience than that of a stereo HomePod, but connect two of them together, the HomePod make a great pair and makes for a decent soundbar replacement. You can pair the HomePod with the new Apple TV 4K to create a theater like experience with Dolby Atmos or surround sound right in your home. The HomePod mini has amazing sound quality, but it’s not as loud as a decent sounding soundbar. You can setup you home theater with the HomePod to enjoy the Dolby Atmos surround sound experience though.

Similarities between HomePod and soundbar

Both the HomePod and a soundbar deliver great sound quality and every sound effect is clear and accurate. But there are more differences than there are similarities.

Can a HomePod replace a soundbar?

The HomePod mini is great as a soundbar option but minus the Dolby Atmos effect. The HomePod is Apple’s answer to the increasing demand for smart speakers. Sometimes you expect a better audio experience than what your TV can muster and the HomePod mini provides exactly that.

Is HomePod the best sounding speaker?

The audio quality of the HomePod is premium and it can fill a room easily with its high quality sound that clearly separates all the elements of a music track. Apple HomePod is definitely a good sounding speaker, but whether it’s the best is purely subjective.

Can I use HomePod as TV speaker?

You can use HomePod as your primary speaker for your Apple TV. Thanks to HDMI ARC in the new Apple TV 4K, HomePod can now be the default speaker for any devices you connect to your TV.

Can you use HomePod and a soundbar with Apple TV?

You can use a HomePod to pair it with your Apple TV 4K to create a theater experience with Dolby Atmos surround sound right in your home. You can use the HomePod as a soundbar, but only with the Apple TV 4K.

Does Apple make a sound bar?

Apple makes smart speakers but not soundbars. But you can use the HomePod mini as a soundbar.

Can I use HomePod mini as surround sound?

You can use the HomePod as a soundbar to create a theater like experience with Dolby Atmos or surround sound right from your home. Since the HDMI ARC support in the new Apple TV 4K, the HomePod can be a default speaker for any device that you connect to your TV.

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References :


[0]Yuryev, Max. “How do a pair of HomePods compare to a $180 soundbar?” Apple Insider, 29 June 2018, appleinsider.com/articles/18/06/29/how-do-a-pair-of-homepods-compare-to-a-180-soundbar. Accessed 30 Aug. 2022.

[1]Kane, Frank. “HomePod Mini vs Soundbar: (Key differences, which is better)?” Audio Ambition, 13 Dec. 2021, audioambition.com/homepod-mini-vs-soundbar/. Accessed 30 Aug. 2022.

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