Warning: if you buy an Apple HomePod, do not put it on a wood table.
According to Wirecutter and Twitter reports, the device’s ringed bottom is leaving ring stains – yes, actual rings – ranging from very faint to very obvious on wooden tables. The complaints have largely pertained to the white version of the device and not the black one.
“Apple’s HomePod sounds excellent, but its <sic> can feel limited next to other smart speakers — Oh, and also it leaves white rings on wood surfaces,” Wirecutter tweeted Wednesday morning, along with a picture of a wooden table with a distinct, HomePod-sized ring that resembled a large ring water stain you get from leaving a damp water glass on a table.
Apple apparently acknowledged the problem and told Wirecutter that “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.” If the rings don’t go away, Wirecutter noted that Apple suggested that you refinish the furniture or “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”
“Ring Gate” is just the latest issue regarding the HomePod, which was released with much anticipation on February 9, but has been the subject of complaints after users have been upset about its lack of Bluetooth connectivity, lack of multi-room audio, and inability to stream from platforms such as Spotify. The device also locks out anyone who uses an Android phone or an older iPhone, as the HomePod isn’t compatible with either. Digital Trends review writer Caleb Denison touted the smart speaker’s impressive sound quality but complained about it’s lack of smarts and ability to play nice with other devices.
Refinishing or oiling furniture seems like a lot of work to undertake for a device that shouldn’t be leaving any marks on anything. No word on whether Apple plans to reimburse any customers who might have had expensive furniture ruined by the device.
The HomePod is a cylinder-shaped speaker with mesh fabric wiring and a rubbery bottom. We should note that we have had the HomePod sitting on a plastic table in our DT testing lab and have not seen any evidence of residue. We’ve moved the speaker to a wooden table, and have not seen any damage to the furniture after two days.
We also have not seen any similar damage from the Sonos One speaker or any Amazon Echo devices, as some outlets have reported seeing.
Updated February 16 to note that Digital Trends has not seen any evidence of damaged furniture from any smart speakers.
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