Calling it “the craziest thing I ever went through,” a Tampa, Florida man claims that one of his two AirPods mysteriously “blew apart” and was burnt to charred crisp — though not before quickly removing them from his ears during a routine workout, local NBC News affiliate, Channel 8, reports.
Identified only by his first name, Colton, the Tampa, Fla. resident was allegedly working out at an LA Fitness franchise in nearby St. Petersburg. When listening to a song through his AirPods, he noticed what appeared to be smoke emanating from one of them.
“And then I saw white smoke start billowing out,” he said, noting that he instantly pulled the AirPods from his ears, rested them on a piece of gym equipment and proceeded to get help from a gym employee.
But when he returned, the report continues, Colton was shocked to learn that his left AirPod had completely burnt to a crisp — though the right AirPod remained in-tact.
“It was already like this,” he said. “It was already popped. I didn’t see it happen, but I mean, it was already fried! You can see flame damage.”
Though rattled from the whole experience, Colton insisted he’s glad to have trusted his intuition and acted so quickly to remove the AirPods from his ears, admitting that “I don’t know what would’ve happened to my ear, but I’m sure since it hangs down, it could’ve been [my] ear lobe. Ear lobe could’ve been burnt.”
An Apple spokesperson, in response to question for comment from Channel 8 News, said the company has launched an investigation into the incident and will reach out to Colton, accordingly.
Worth pointing out is that while the inherent incident is likely to raise serious questions about AirPod safety, it’s only the first of such incidents to affect AirPods — and we currently have no reason to believe there’s a broader, software, hardware or technical-related issue afoot.
Still, Colton’s otherwise harrowing experience is merely the latest in a seemingly endless string of product-related fires, and follows multiple previous reports of iPhone battery explosions in various parts of the world, including Valencia, Spain, Zurich Switzerland, Hong Kong, and even another, iPhone 7-related burning incident in nearby Orlando, Florida.
Though troubling, to be sure, it’s also worth pointing out that Apple’s apparent onslaught of battery fire woes pale in comparison to its chief rival, Samsung’s.
To read more on this story, be sure to check out the full NBC News report here.