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Guess What? Sonos One Speakers Also Damage Wood

The HomePod isn't the only smart speaker that can damage your furniture.

White rings caused by the Apple HomePod (left) and the Sonos One (right)

White rings caused by the Apple HomePod (left) and the Sonos One (right)

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.

When I got home, I saw a large white ring, a telltale indication that the HomePod's silicone base had messed up the finish. But, as I was inspecting the damage, I noticed a series of smaller white marks near where the HomePod was sitting.

A closer inspection revealed that the Sonos One speaker, which also has small silicone feet, had made these marks on my cabinet. Looking around the top of the cabinet, I noticed a bunch of little white marks, all left from the Sonos Ones as I moved them around. So, they will damage your wood furniture, too.

“This is the first time we're hearing about this," said a Sonos representative. "We're investigating.”

MORE: HomePod Review Roundup: What Critics Love (and Hate)

For what it's worth, this appears to only affect wood that doesn't have a finish coat, such as polyurethane. I had the Sonos Ones sitting on top of a pair of speakers with a clear coat, and no white marks were apparent. 

A white ring is still visible a week after I moved the Apple HomePod.

A white ring is still visible a week after I moved the Apple HomePod.

The good news is that the marks appear to fade somewhat with time; when I reviewed the HomePod last week, it was sitting in a different location on my cabinet, and while there's a white ring there too, it's much less prominent. According to Apple, the marks can fade over the course of several days after the HomePod is removed, and if that doesn't work, you should clean the surface with the manufacturer's suggested oiling method.

Still, the fact that both Apple and Sonos speakers can damage wood furniture is very distressing. Hopefully the marks fade even more, but I'm not looking forward to having to refinish a centerpiece of my living room.

I would advise anyone purchasing these speakers to place something between them and whatever surface you're planning to place it on.

Editor's Note (2/15): This story was updated at 4:12 pm with a quote from Sonos.

  • ufarmah3001
    just use a damn coaster then
    Reply
  • mprospero
    20710279 said:
    just use a damn coaster then

    You shouldn't have to use a coaster, period. And, there was no warning from either company that this could be a problem.
    Reply
  • nate4694
    Weird how sometimes devices have to be used over a period of time for problems to surface. Companies like this should hire more psychics to see into the future.
    Reply
  • macable
    "very distressing"... Definitely a first world problem...

    I can see it now; "I had a terrible day!". "Oh, really?! WHat happened?" "My smart speaker left little white marks on my furniture! It's not like I spent enough money on it to feed an entire village for a week.... oh, wait... maybe I did".
    Reply
  • patrick_153
    there should have been warnings? really? what are you going to do sue? How about you just employ a little common sense. This entitlement/litigation mentality that is so rampant in the US has seen corporations/governments dumbing everything down to cater for the lowest common denominator in order to be as litigation proof as possible. Could this be why the world now calls the USA the united states of ?
    Reply
  • nate4694
    20710946 said:
    there should have been warnings? really? what are you going to do sue? How about you just employ a little common sense. This entitlement/litigation mentality that is so rampant in the US has seen corporations/governments dumbing everything down to cater for the lowest common denominator in order to be as litigation proof as possible. Could this be why the world now calls the USA the united states of ?

    Exactly! This is why we have to literally list things to not put into a microwave on the microwave instructions. It's ridiculous. Like someone has to be told not put a baby in one..
    Reply
  • mdklaren
    Oil finished furniture is super high maintenance and any number of things can cause the finish to displace like this. The furniture most likely came with a list of things to do to maintain it and prevent damage to the finish. This is in no way the fault of the manufacturers of the speakers or any other device/item. This is the fault of the furniture owner for not knowing how to properly take care of something they purchased. Also "refinishing a centerpiece of your living room" involves recoating it with whatever oil finish the manufacturer recommends. Its not a big deal at all.
    Reply
  • brandoinsf
    It appears that many people have not owned enough real wood furniture with various finishes. The HomePod is NOT, I repeat, NOT the only product that will or has left marks on wood surfaces. Decades long problem suddenly magnified because the product in question has an Apple logo. Guess what? My Swingline stapler, Airport Time Capsule, Beoplay A1 speaker, and Bose Soundlink Mini, will also leave marks on certain wood surfaces. They are not permanent. Live and learn people and stop looking to place blame.
    Reply