This type of problem is not specific to the HomePod, in fact, all kinds of speakers (or anything with a silicone base like an Amazon Echo Dot) can cause these kinds of marks on wood. Wirecutter said in its review that the HomePod left a white ring on an oiled butcher-block countertop, while Pocket-Lint's review model left a similar mark on an oak kitchen worktop treated with Danish oil.
Apple confirmed the issue in a statement to Wirecutter and all but admitted to knowing about it before reports started surfacing, "the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface", a spokesperson said. The $499 gadget's silicon base can damage wooden surfaces, leaving behind an ugly stain. I had the Sonos Ones sitting on top of a pair of speakers with a clear coat, and no white marks were apparent. "This seems like an issue that should have been caught during the period where HomePod was being widely tested at home by many Apple employees". When you compare that to the Apple Watch and iPhone, that's a massive difference.
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Nicole Nguyen from BuzzFeed went to an Apple store to see whether their wooden tables were stained by HomePods (they were not) and received advice from Apple employees on what to do to prevent the stains.
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Apple responded by saying that it's not unusual for "vibration-dampening silicone" to react that way and recommended customers use HomePod on different surfaces.
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I would advise anyone purchasing these speakers to place something between them and whatever surface you're planning to place it on. If you are really going to put the HomePod on wood, then make sure that there is a piece of cloth placed between both surfaces to prevent the irreparable harm.
'If the marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer's recommended cleaning process, ' the firm continues, seemingly suggesting that the user might need to refinish their furniture in order for the ring to go away.
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