We’ve just barely recovered from the ordeal of the spontaneously combusting Galaxy Note 7s from Samsung, but now, we may have yet another fiery electronic on our hands. According to local news reports, a man from Tampa, Florida realized that his Apple AirPods — those wireless earbuds from the iEmpire — began smoking in his ear. And yes, he was wearing them when it happened.
“It’s the craziest thing I ever went through,” Jason Colon told his local NBC news station. The AirPods owners says he was listening to a dance mix while at a gym in St. Petersburg when he realized that there was “white smoke … billowing out” of his headphones. He immediately removed them from his ears (thank goodness) and left to get help. By the time he’d returned to his equipment, he claims that the right earbud was already damaged beyond repair.
“It was already like this. It was already popped. I didn’t see it happen, but I mean, it was already fried! You can see flame damage,” Colon said.
The likely culprit at fault is the lithium ion batteries contained in many of today’s electronics. They were, after all, to blame in the now infamous Galaxy Note 7 debacle, and were also the reason that so many hoverboards were catching on fire a few years back. And now, it looks like AirPods might have issues too.
To be fair, reports of malfunctioning AirPods aren’t nearly widespread enough to warrant any sort of panic. But of course, Colon will likely be thinking twice before he puts another headset in his ears. “I don’t know what would’ve happened to my ear,” Colon added. “But I’m sure since it hangs down, it could’ve been [my] ear lobe. Ear lobe could’ve been burnt.”
He seems to believe that the battery was at fault, and noted to local news affiliates that others ought to be warned. “Just because it happens to me doesn’t mean it won’t happen again,” he said.
According to an Apple spokesperson, the company is already investigating what may have gone wrong, and will be reaching out to Colon for further information.