It appears that the HomePod is leaving white rings on stained wooden furniture. To put it bluntly, “why”? Apple has been testing the HomePod in employee’s homes for a couple of years, how could this not have been noticed before? This seems like an oversight on Apple’s part.
This was initially pointed out by The Wirecutter.
Be careful where you put it. The HomePod’s base left rings on wood finishes. The rings faded over time, but we wouldn’t risk it on good furniture.”
From Apple’s own HomePod support article:
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. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.
If this was a product from another company, it would be one thing, but this is Apple. Apple is typically known for their quality hardware, but this seems like they should have tested this. Per the WireCutter review, Apple recommend “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method” — in other words, go refinish your furniture.” This is just unacceptable for most users, it would be for me.
I am not likely to experience this issue, as my HomePod is either sitting on a glass shelf or on carpet. However, if I ever put it on my computer desk or in my living room, which has hardwood, then I will need to place it on something. I am hoping that Apple will be fixing this in future versions. It may be simply fixed by putting a felt bottom on the HomePod, or even just providing a felt cloth. If I move my HomePod, I will put a felt cloth under the HomePod to avoid this issue. Regardless of a simple fix, Apple does need to address this issue.
Photo source: thewirecutter.com, Photo by Jon Chase.