The Wirecutter’s Apple HomePod review: “It only sounds great”

In its current state, the HomePod is not the device that Apple originally announced in 2017. In particular it’s missing a few marquee features, such as the ability to connect multiple speakers in multiple rooms. Overall, the HomePod is neither as versatile nor as affordable as most of its competitors, and it’s not compatible with as many non-Apple devices. The HomePod is likely to be updated with more features and perhaps more compatibility, but Apple isn’t offering a timeline or roadmap for updates, so anyone buying a HomePod now is taking a gamble

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An unhappy discovery after we placed a HomePod on an oiled butcher-block countertop and later on a wooden side table was that it left a defined white ring in the surface. Other reviewers and owners (such as Pocket-lint, and folks on Twitter) have reported the same issue, which an Apple representative has confirmed. Apple says “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface,” and if they don’t fade on their own, you can basically just go refinish the furniture—the exact advice Apple gave in an email to Wirecutter was to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

I’m holding out some hope for the HomePod, since Apple products tend to be great, but I don’t think I’ll be getting this first iteration of it.

I’ll stick to my Google Home in the meantime.