Apple confirms HomePod leaves white rings on wood surfaces
If tepid reviews for Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker weren’t bad enough, the company has a new issue to deal with: furniture damage. Two publications have found that the HomePod can leave persistent white rings on wooden furniture, a problem apparently traceable to chemical interactions between the speaker’s silicone base and treated wood. An Apple spokesperson has confirmed the issue and offered a partial remedy.
According to Pocket-Lint, twenty minutes of HomePod use on a “solid oak kitchen worktop treated with Danish oil” was enough to cause a white ring-shaped discoloration that has faded somewhat over time but not disappeared. The New York Times‘ Wirecutter similarly reported a “defined white ring in the surface” of an oiled butcher-block countertop and a wooden side table and pointed to a Twitter post suggesting similar problems.
Apple confirmed the issue to Wirecutter, saying that “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.” If they don’t disappear, Apple suggests to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.” It’s unclear at this point whether the issue is limited to oiled wood surfaces or whether the interaction between the speaker and surface will lead to short- or long-term damage to the HomePod’s rubber base.
It seems the HomePod includes an upward-firing woofer that may be pushing the base into greater contact with the surface below as it plays low-frequency music. It’s noteworthy that the white ring appears even on the bottom of a space gray-colored HomePod.
We’ll update this article with additional details shortly.