Apple Admits HomePods are Leaving White Stains on Wooden Tables

Apple's HomePod is marking up furniture, and the internet isn't happy

Apple's HomePod speakers may have impressed the audiophiles across the world but the owners of wood furniture are left distressed because leaving the speaker on top of wooden surfaces cause a odd white ring to form.

Apple says that these rings are a result of the oils diffused between the speaker's vibration-dampening silicone base and the wood. Hopefully the marks fade even more, but I'm not looking forward to having to refinish a centerpiece of my living room.

In the meantime, the official advice?

Update February 14, 12:15pm: Added additional information about placing the HomePod on soft surfaces.

However, after launching in January, several complaints from consumers, including photos, started appearing in support groups and blogs, showing the damage the Homepod has done to their wooden surfaces. If you've splurged £320 on an Apple HomePod with the intention of displaying it on your equally-expensive shelf or table, you probably shouldn't.

The white stain faded after few days, although it hasn't completely disappeared, noted Pocket-lint's Stuart Miles in his review.

After Apple officially launched the HomePod this month, the official YouTube account of its support group already released a total of three video tutorials on how to operate Apple's newest gadget.

It is not yet clear if the problem affects all HomePod speakers or just a sample of the initial production run.

For those affected, Apple says "the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface".

The speaker leaves noticeable white rings on wooden furniture because it sends out sound downwards, rather than in parallel or upwards like other smart speakers, according to multiple reports. The Wirecutter also tested it on glass, granite, polyurethane-sealed wood, IKEA bookshelves, etc, and lo and behold, it saw no visible damage to those surfaces.

Pocket-Lint's Stuart Miles reported that HomePod caused "a white discolored ring" on the surface of his oiled oak kitchen countertop after just 20 minutes. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturers recommended cleaning process. However, long-time Apple commentator David Pogue chose to do a blind listening test with a panel of listeners with the HomePod evenly matched against the Google Home Max, the Sonos One and the Amazon Echo Plus.

The BBC has asked Apple for more details about the issue.

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