Apple HomePod reportedly burning out after installing beta software

Apple HomePod beta software overheating
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The curious story of the Apple HomePod continues. While technically discontinued, it’s still getting software updates alongside the HomePod mini, but the latest beta version of the HomePod OS is allegedly causing fatal overheating problems.

That’s according to a Reddit thread where numerous HomePod owners have complained of, at best, their speakers getting very hot to the touch. At worst, some have reported their HomePod's logic board burning out, rendering it inoperable.

Most HomePod owners don’t have to worry just yet, as unlike the current public iOS 15 beta and macOS 12 Monterey beta, the accused HomePod OS 15 beta is technically invite-only. However, it is possible to download a device profile that grants access to beta software through less official means, so many more HomePods have likely been put at risk.

A common issue seems to be the top of the HomePod, where the touch control panel is positioned, becoming uncomfortably hot. In some cases, users report that this can force the HomePod to power down automatically, while in extreme cases the logic board (essentially what Apple calls the motherboard) will suffer irreparable damage.

In addition to suspected overheating, users who installed the beta have reported a number of bugs, such as losing connection to the Apple Home app and Siri becoming unresponsive. Of course, the very purpose of a beta is to iron out any bugs that earlier testing may have missed, but it’s unlikely Apple was expecting logic boards to fry after installation.

In any event, you should definitely avoid installing the HomePod OS 15 beta on your own speaker, including the Homepod mini. If you do want to try out beta software, these issues also serve as a reminder that you’re best off installing it on a backup or secondary device, rather than the tech you primarily use every day. Especially for closed betas, where there are likely to be even more potential bugs than open betas.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.