Plus, how to fix it.
The Wirecutter is one of the most trusted tech review sites around, so when they critiqued the new Apple HomePod recently and noted one serious flaw, people took notice. According to the in-depth review, the HomePod speaker left a noticeable white ring on some unprotected wood surfaces, including a butcher block countertop and a wood table. The site even posted the photo evidence on Twitter to warn HomePod buyers. Those who would never let so much as a glass of water touch their wooden furniture are concerned.
In a later editor's note added to the review, Apple acknowledged that the speaker causes a mild white ring, and then provided placement tips and advice for fixing the marks. In its statement, Apple reassures its customers: "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." Essentially, the oil in the silicone base is seeping into the unpainted wood. Although the company says that the stains are temporary, it may be best to play it safe and find another surface to set this speaker on besides your grandmother's priceless heirloom table.
If you do get white rings on your furniture and they don't seem to disappear on their own, don't worry, there's a fix for that too. Apple suggests wiping the surface with a soft damp or dry cloth. And if that doesn't do the trick? Follow the furniture manufacturer's instructions to oil the surface of the wood.
If you don't want to take the time to clean and re-oil your wooden furniture every time you use your speaker, it may be best to simply find another surface to set it on. A metal shelf or stone counter should do the trick. Just avoid heat sources (like the radiator) and liquids (steer clear of your bar cart).