I can't believe I should ask Apple to add stereo paired HomePods as a Mac audio output device! This is the most ridiculous feature request to date, as it is absolutely crazy that it is not only integrated into macOS – in particular that it is not integrated into Catalina.
Apple's own audio applications will gladly allow you to select HomePods paired in stereo as a single output device. You can see in the photo above that the Music app sees my HomePods Office and Winter Garden as one device.
But not the Mac itself …
I can output Mac sound to Office Left or Office Right, but not to the stereo pair.
So I have the completely ridiculous situation of having a pair of HomePods on my desktop but not being able to use them with my Mac unless it is via an application that recognizes stereo pairs.
The iTunes, Music, Podcasts and Apple TV apps are all good. These each have their own audio output controls and will recognize any AirPlay device, including HomePods paired in stereo.
Spotify is a little more complicated: unless the wireless speakers explicitly support Spotify, the Mac app will not see them. However, the iPhone app does that (under More Devices), and if I start reading there, I can then use the Mac app as a remote control for the iPhone app.
But YouTube, Netflix or any other website? No: all I can do is select one of the two speakers.
We first noticed this limitation shortly after the launch of AirPlay 2, in June of last year. Some 18 months and a major version of macOS later, the position is unchanged.
The reason is, incredibly, because the macOS system does not natively support AirPlay 2, only AirPlay 1. Yes, the latest version of Apple's flagship operating system does not support the latest version of Apple's own audio protocol. Apple has integrated the protocols into its audio applications, but not into macOS itself.
It is frankly embarrassing. Apple, please.
By the way, yes, HomePods paired in stereo are exaggerated as Mac speakers. The reason I have them is that my office is a rather multifunctional room. Office during the day, guest bedroom at night (thanks to the folding bed) and sometimes dance hall. When we have friends to train, I want to play the same music in the living room and the office. There are of course other AirPlay 2 speakers, but the HomePods paired in stereo impressed me enough to get a pair of office refurbishments.
Do you agree with me that this is a ridiculous omission? Or do I make an edge case? Please complete our survey and share your thoughts in the comments.
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(integrated) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOrRTZDujAA (/ integrated)
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