Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.


Question: AirPlay Reduces Sound Quality

Has anyone else noticing the marked difference in sound quality between:

A) Asking Siri to play a song from Apple Music


B) Streaming a song from your iPhone Via AirPlay?

AirPlay seems to make a marked negative impact on the depth of sound quality HomePod is capable of

Posted on


Page content loaded

Mar 16, 2018 4:45 PM in response to Morton89 In response to Morton89

See this footnote to the section on Audio Formats at HomePod - Technical Specifications - Apple:

AirPlay is used to stream content on iPhone to HomePod. Transcoding to a lossy format for streaming may occur.

It is possible that whether transcoding is required, and what quality is used for the stream, might depend of the quality of service of your Wi-Fi. If there is a fixed algorithm haven't seen it shared it publicly. I'm not certain I could tell the difference in my very brief attempt to test. Unfortunately I live on a main road and not everyone in my house likes my music. 😟 In my case I have the same Apple Music tracks on my phone as I would be calling up on the HomePod. Perversely the difference might be more significant if you high quality originals synced to the phone, since they would definitely need transcoding, and the transcoder is going to have to be better than real time.


Mar 16, 2018 4:45 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 17, 2018 1:56 PM in response to Morton89 In response to Morton89

Possibly. There is also the potential with streamed content for the audio stream to go direct to the HomePod rather than to the device for transcoding, then off to the HomePod by way of the router, similar to Google's casting protocol. I guess we will only know for certain when Apple show their hand.


Mar 17, 2018 1:56 PM

Reply Helpful
User profile for user: Morton89

Question: AirPlay Reduces Sound Quality