I can’t believe I actually have to ask Apple to add stereo-paired HomePods as a Mac sound output device! It’s the most ridiculous Feature Request yet, because it’s absolutely nuts that this isn’t already built into macOS — especially that it isn’t baked into Catalina.
Apple’s own audio apps will happily allow you to select stereo-paired HomePods as a single output device. You can see in the photo above that the Music app sees both my Office and Winter Garden HomePods as a single device.
Not so the Mac itself, however…
I can output Mac sound to Office Left or Office Right, but not to the stereo pair.
So I have the utterly ridiculous situation of having a pair of HomePods on my desk but not being able to use them with my Mac unless it’s through an app that recognizes stereo pairs.
A agree, sort of. On an absolute level, it is very odd, but, do people really want to do that, to have all their audio come out from a pair of HomePods? To be honest, the HomePod isn’t designed to be on a desk so close to the listener; its tweeters are at the bottom, so ideally they should be on stands. (The tweeters should ideally be close to ear level.) Given the way the HomePods work, I’m not sure that putting them on tilted stands, so they are leaning back, would work very well in all situations. I mentioned this in this article, where I also pointed out the inability to use them as general Mac speakers, but here’s how it would look; the HomePods are already bassy, you wouldn’t hear much treble in this position.
You can stream from the Music and TV apps, for example, so if you want to listen to music or watch a movie and hear its audio on a pair of HomePods, that’s easy to do.