Consumer Reports: Apple’s HomePod Falls Short of Google Home Max, Sonos One


Apple released its HomePod to the public last week and reviewers said that the biggest positive for the device was its sound quality.

However, the folks over at Consumer Reports think that the device’s audio quality doesn’t quite stack up. The publications said that the even though the audio quality strong, it fell short on sound performance when compared to the Sonos One and the Google Home Max.

Consumer Reports’ early tests claimed that the bass was “a bit boomy and overemphasized,” the mid-range tones were “hazy,” and the treble sounds were “underemphasized.” For these reasons, Apple’s HomePod scored worse in sound quality when compared to the Google Home Max and Sonos One.

Another negative was Apple’s “walled garden” approach, which was flagged by other reviewers as well. The HomePod only allows users to play Apple Music via Siri commands, and it requires an iPhone to set up.

Apple’s HomePod costs $349, while Sonos is selling two Sonos Ones for that same price. The Google Home Max retails for $399.



  • Flash

    This goes against almost every review I’ve read? The HomePod doesn’t even surpass the Sonos one? It’s been compared against the play 5, reviewers said it was way better in terms of base against google max (saying google max was too basey)?

  • 3Stacks

    Consumer Reports have been wrong before (See MacBook Pro battery life testing) so I take their reviews with a grain of salt these days

  • sully54

    Yeah, Consumer Reports has struggled to find relevance in a world where people go to websites like the verge, etc; youtube; or amazon for reviews. This is CR’s way of getting publicity, because otherwise, they just become a relic of the mid-90’s.

  • Got Game? Get Game! ???

    Apple may not always have the best specs, where they can’t be beat is the complete package. I look at everything and always come back to Apple when its time to buy something.

  • Darrin

    I agree. I bought 5 last Friday while in Oregon for an extended Family Day weekend. They’re great. Consumer Reports is old school

  • Clarence Snickers

    One of the HomePod greatest feature is the ability to automatically and dynamically detect it’s environment and autotune itself way better than anything else out there. The way it does that is by sending sound waves around itself and detecting the echo. The room CR used for their testing is covered with sound absorbing material, effectively sabotaging the HomePod greatest and most important feature. In other words this review is garbage.

  • Smanny

    Look at the end of the day the HomePod is a mono speaker. Right now it doesn’t have stereo sound. Stereo is coming later and you will need two of these HomePods in order to get stereo sound. Dumb, just dumb.

  • And the Sonos is not truly Stereo either unless there are two speakers.

  • Flash

    Actually, the HomePod is a stereo device unlike Sonos, obviously it doesn’t have great special separation with only one speaker but it is intact a stereo device.

  • Matric

    Google home max has the same feature.