❌ My final attempt at using stereo paired HomePods for audio from Apple TV

Summary - Apple TV using HomePods isn’t worth the effort, until key issues are fixed approach with caution, you milage might vary

My Bose 3-2-1 surround sound system is on it’s last legs (keeps turning off), so I was thinking I might try to use a stereo pair of HomePods as a temporary solution until I can put in the research and in store time to choose a new solution (currently thinking Bose 700 or Samsun Q90R).

Sadly this little experiment has failed, for the same reasons as everyone else, however I wanted to capture the key details to help others from trying to go down this path (at least as of today with HomePod v 13.4).

The good
:white_check_mark: Stereo pairing works quite well, volume levels with music great
:white_check_mark: Control from Home to setup wasn’t too bad at all, a little fussy, but ok
:white_check_mark: Single Siri Remote and iOS remote app for everything, including volume
:white_check_mark: I didn’t notice any delays in lip sync or major performance issues (Channels, Plex, Apple TV, Netflix, Stan)

The bad (and these are deal breakers IMHO)
:x: Plex and YouTube don’t reliably continue to play audio after Apple TV wakes up and you try to play something (reported elsewhere also).
:x: The Apple TV when returning from extended sleep or re-boot often requires you to reselect the HomePods as the sound output, it seems to really want to default to HDMI (obviously really need HDMI for Video to TV)
:x: At low volumes sound is unbalanced between left and right HomePod, each volume increment up you can head the sound different change from left, then right, then left (very odd)

Apple TV 4K static IP address connected via 5.0 GHz AC (dedicated to Apple TV and HomePods)
2 x Space Grey Apple HomePods, configured as stereo pair, static IP addresses & connected to the above mentioned dedicated network. (I also tried a single HomePod and had the same issue as above)

I have been debating this very setup and have held off because of hearing similar odd issues that make staying with my current setup more appealing.

I haven’t had these problems with my setup (Apple TV 4K, Sony TV, stereo-paired HomePods).

It seems natural that the audio would stop when the Apple TV goes to sleep.

My default is usually the TV, so haven’t noticed if the default changes after powering off / sleeping.

Haven’t had this issue.


@JohnAtl by the Plex and youtube I meant that when the Apple TV wakes up from sleep, audio often doesn’t work from YouTube and Plex. All other inbuilt and streaming apps work fine, I’ve seen a few reports of this elsewhere.

Glad things are working ok for you!

PS are you passing audio to both tv and homepods?

Ah, I see.

Usually one or the other.

Things like this are very frustrating. I hope you find a solution soon.

I’ve gone back to my Bose 3-2-1 for the moment, with one Homepod in the kids lounge and now one in my study (fits right under my monitor). So I’m actually quite happy, for Au$298 for the second one, this is quite a good price I think.

Now to find myself a replacement for my Bose system, happy to take some advice around soundbars (Bose 700 / Samsung Q90R ish) or stand alone units with speakers.

I have issues with AppleTV sound upon wakeup. Think however this has to to with the HDMI connection as I have the same with another TV box connected to a Samsung TV. This is both on TV soundbar and subwoofer as well as on stereo pair HomePods.

A reboot of the AppleTV brings back sound and after that no problem. Use Plex and Youtube exclusively via AppleTV and not via Smart TV apps.