HomePod damages wooden furniture; Apple suggests choosing a different surface


HomePod damages wooden furniture; Apple suggests choosing a different surface

If tepid reviews weren't bad enough for the new smart speaker HomePod, Apple now has a new concern to deal with: Furniture damage.

It is now not clear if the problem affects all HomePods or just the initial batch given away to reviewers.

Some joked that Apple should instruct users to put a coaster under their HomePod, with one quipping that "ten 'HomePod Coaster" start ups were formed in the past two hours'.

That would be much less than the reported profit Google and Amazon make from their own smart speakers, Home and Echo, which respectively generate an estimated 66% and 56%.

If they don't, it recommends wiping wood tarnished by the HomePod with a soft or damp cloth, or cleaning the surface "with the furniture manufacturer's recommended cleaning process".

While it produces fantastic audio, Apple's new HomePod smart speaker has also annoyed early users with obtuse software limitations, a lack of real Bluetooth connectivity, and missing multi-room playback support that won't come until later this year.

A white ring is still visible a week after I moved the Apple HomePod. In terms of price, Sonos One is priced at only $199 compared to the Home Max at $399, and HomePod at $349.

The HomePod's design is no small part of its appeal. In a test room with a HomePod, an iPhone, and an Apple Watch, spoken queries intended for the HomePod would trigger the screen of the other devices to light up, but then the HomePod would usually handle the response as intended.

Still, the fact that both Apple and Sonos speakers can damage wood furniture is very distressing.

Don't fear, though! It's completely normal, according to Apple, who has updated its HomePod support page to explain that "mild marks" are common to "any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base".

John Birchman tweeted, "Wait, so Apple's Home Pod is leaving marks on wood surfaces treated with oil or wax?"

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.



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