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If you own an Apple HomePod you need to be careful where you place it. Because it turns out that Apple’s smart speaker can stain wooden furniture. This can happen quickly, and be permanent, so we may have to add this to our list of reasons not to buy an Apple HomePod.
The HomePod, Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos speakers, has had mixed reviews. By all accounts it sounds incredible, but other limitations mean it’s only really suitable for Apple loyalists. And now we have staingate to consider…
Be Careful Where You Put Your HomePod
As first noticed by The Wirecutter, and then confirmed by other users, the Apple HomePod can mark wooden furniture. The marks show up as white rings similar to what you’d get by placing a hot mug on the same surface. And they don’t just disappear again.
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) February 14, 2018
Since reviewers and owners have started noticing the marks, Apple has updated its HomePod support page to address the issue. The company claims, “It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-damping silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces.”
Apple then explains what’s causing the stains, stating:
“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.”
As a final piece of advice, Apple suggests, “If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.” Which is fine for people who have eclectic tastes, but not so good for people who have filled their house with wooden furniture.
— ??? Jony Ive (@JonyIveParody) February 14, 2018
The obvious answer would be to place your HomePod on something soft, such as a cloth. Unfortunately, as well as potentially ruining the aesthetic, this will adversely affect the sound quality. Which is clearly the main selling point of the Apple HomePod.
This Isn’t Limited to the Apple HomePod
It should be noted that this issue isn’t limited to the HomePod, with reports that the Sonos One can also stain wooden furniture. However, the HomePod seems adept at marking furniture quickly. Which is particularly galling for a product priced at $349.
Have you bought an Apple HomePod yet? If so, have you checked to see if it has stained your furniture? Should Apple have warned customers about this before they bought a HomePod? Or is it your fault for not realizing? Please let us know in the comments below!