The issue only affects wood surfaces that have not been treated with a protective coating, but needing to worry about that is inconvenient to say the least whether you're using a smart speaker from Apple, Sonos, or anyone else. Other surfaces like glass aren't affected.
One user tweeted Apple that the new speaker left "etched circles" on their wooden furniture within 20 minutes of use, while others found the speaker left deeper and more obvious marks in several places and on several different types of wooden surface. The severity of the marks seems to vary, judging from a tweet by MacStories' Federico Viticci.
Apple says the speakers have a silicon base to minimize vibration - and it's the silicon that can leave marks.
This is not a good look for Apple.
Despite what Apple might want you to believe, the vast majority of speakers on the market won't mess up your wooden tables. 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".More news: Day one of the men's Olympic hockey tournament was chaos
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Review site Pocket-lint also reported the same issue. If they don't, it suggests refinishing the furniture or "try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer's suggested oiling method". Both publications noticed that HomePod doesn't leave rings on every type of wooden surface.
That's what Yahoo's David Pogue wanted to find out and he conducted a blind listening test of the HomePod, the Google Home Max, the Amazon Echo Plus, and the Sonos One, and it seems that the Sonos One managed to walk away the victor. The reviewer said he would avoid putting the device on nice furniture.
Apple notably delayed shipping the HomePod until this year, as the firm said it "needed more time" to flawless the device.
When I learned yesterday that Apple's HomePod speaker-which I had been testing-can damage oil-stained wood, I was more than a little concerned, as it had been sitting on my cabinet for quite some time.
The HomePod really drops the ball here.