The HomePod Can Leave White Rings on Some Wood Furniture [Updated]

BY Evan Selleck

Published 14 Feb 2018

The Apple HomePod went on sale on Friday, February 9. As a result, the device is going out to more homes, and some issues are being discovered.

Update: Apple has expanded upon its original statement, launching a dedicated support document for the HomePod entitled “Cleaning and taking care of HomePod”, in which it says:

“It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface.”

The support document details where HomePod owners should put the smart speaker in their home, and which substances the HomePod should avoid: Liquids and “heat sources”.

You can read the full support document through this link.

The original article continues below.

And not with sound quality, either. As noted recently by The Wirecutter and by folks on Twitter, the HomePod’s construction can mean it leaves a bit of a lasting effect on some surfaces where the smart speaker is placed. Specifically, based on those who have run into the issue, some pieces of furniture with wooden tops are running into the HomePod leaving white rings behind when the device is moved.

According to the original report, the HomePod left the white rings (as pictured above) on both an oiled butcher block countertop, and a wooden side table.

Apple, for its part, has confirmed that the issue exists, and that the HomePod can indeed leave rings behind on some surfaces:

“Apple says “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface,” and if they don’t fade on their own, you can basically just go refinish the furniture—the exact advice Apple gave in an email to Wirecutter was to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

Our Take

This is a really weird problem to run into. It’s hard to imagine that Apple didn’t test the HomePod on a wooden surface. And while the device itself is designed not to be moved around all the time, it’s still going to happen. And if the smart speaker is capable of permanently damaging a person’s furniture, that’s not good at all.

[via @guyinsf415; The Wirecutter]