Why the HomePod helps me drown out distractions and stay focused when I work from home

iPhone and HomePod
iPhone and HomePod (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

I've worked from home for most of a decade now, and one thing that's become essential to keeping me centered during that time is music. I've also learned that, for whatever reason, I'm not a fan of having earbuds in my ears while I write and edit. I think they make music feel almost too present. To that end, Apple's HomePod has proven to be an invaluable companion for keeping my concentration or even just reducing stress.

I've always been impressed with the HomePod. It's always sounded great, and if you're an Apple Music subscriber, I think it's the speaker to get in its price range. The way that Apple was able to pack as much sound as it has into such a tiny speaker (and it really is fairly small for what it puts out) is fascinating.

My initial HomePod experience was so good that the first time HomePod went on sale at my local Best Buy, I picked a second one up. I put it near my first and set them up as a stereo pair. The effect this has is really interesting.

Setting up HomePods (or other speakers with the same capability, in fact) as a stereo pair doesn't double your sound output. Instead, it splits the audio work between the two speakers, meaning you get more detail from across the dynamic range of whatever's playing. A single HomePod is a speaker that favors bass a bit more than treble, but with a stereo pair setup, everything comes through nice and clear.

Since getting the second HomePod, I've also used the pair of them as the audio output on the Apple TV in my office. It's a nice dichotomy: music for working, and TV for breaks. With great sound all the way around. This also lets me use my Apple TV as the primary way to play music through the HomePods. I just open the Music app, make a selection, and it plays, crisp and clear, through the speakers.

The HomePods have proven adept at playing my preferred forms of working music. I favor things like classical and instrumental electronic music while I work because I have a hard time concentrating when the music has lyrics. Everything is well-articulated and clear, and there's no mushiness to the sound that you might find in other, similarly-sized speakers. This also applies to audio from movies and TV.

Newer features, especially audio handoff, have made the HomePod even better. My HomePods sit in my basement office, so when I come downstairs in the morning, often listening to music on my iPhone, I can just tap my phone to my HomePod and have the speakers pick up where I left off listening on my phone.

I find that it's easier to concentrate on work when I have some music playing. It's like it helps fill my brain to capacity, keeping my mind from wandering off down unproductive avenues without itself becoming distracting. Thanks to HomePods, the music comes through loud and clear.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.