IT

Apple HomePod leaves nasty 'white ring of death' stain on owners' tables

Apple HomePod leaves nasty 'white ring of death' stain on owners' tables

Early adopters of Apple's new £319 HomePod smart speaker have started complaining that the "new sound of home" is leaving white ring marks on wooden surfaces that are hard to remove. 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.

Apple have responded by adding to their support page a section on "Cleaning and taking care of HomePod" where they confirm and explain reasons for this. Instead, it is asking users to keep the HomePod on a different surface.

In other related news, it has emerged (somewhat incredulously), that an Apple support document now advises users against placing the HomePod on wooden furniture.

When you ask the HomePod a question, the Siri light illuminates in response, just like on an iPhone.

Wirecutter notes that the smart speaker is fine to place on other surfaces, including glass, granite, particle board (what Ikea furniture is made from), and wood that's been sealed with polyurethane.

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Ironically, When Apple announced the HomePod, it showed it off on a wooden table.

The company suggests the marks can be remedied by wiping the wood down with a soft damp or dry cloth, but failing that, the surface will need to be cleaned or resurfaced. Wirecutter noted, "An unhappy discovery after we placed a HomePod on an oiled butcher-block countertop and later on a wooden side table was that it left a defined white ring in the surface".

The HomePod isn't the only smart speaker that can damage your furniture. Speakers and audio equipment most commonly use rubber bumpers to isolate vibration, and those can happily sit on any wooden surface for years without leeching oil into the finish.

While Apple's HomePod still doesn't have a Canadian release date, the high-end smart speaker is already becoming controversial. It's safe to say that multi-billion dollar company should have addressed the issue before the product hit the market, instead of hiding its clear flaws from the public.

If you still insist that the flawless place for your HomePod is on a wooden surface, you might consider some kind of barrier between the base of the HomePod and the wooden surface.


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