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Boom Box? JBL Denies Exploding Speaker is Theirs

Sherri L. Smith Editor


UPDATE: We recently spoke to a public relations representative for JBL, who stated that the Cliffside Fire Department didn't find any markings from the company. However, it should be noted that the identifying features could have been burned off in the blaze. We've reached out to the Cliffside Fire Prevention Bureau for confirmation, but have yet to hear back. We will update this article if and when we make contact.

We didn't start the fire, but JBL might have. Gizmodo is reporting that a Bluetooth speaker caught fire in a home in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.

Nichole Tatem called 911 to report that a 7-inch Bluetooth speaker had started smoking while in her daughter's bed, eventually bursting into flames.


Tatem said that her child was listening to the speaker in bed, when white smoke began coming out of the device. After confirming that the speaker was in fact smoking, Tatem placed the device into a paper bag and removed it from her home. In the process, the speaker once again started smoking, before popping and bursting into flames. From there, Tatem and her daughter managed to put out the fire by dumping a couple of buckets of water on it while waiting for the fire department to arrive.

In a video Tatem took of the aftermath, you can clearly see a singe mark on the bed in the shape of a cylindrical object. She also shows off the charred culprit, which looks an awful lot like the original JBL Pulse that launched back in 2014. If you're unfamiliar, the Pulse is a 7.2 x 3.2-inch device that's wrapped in LED lights that can glow in variety of patterns while you're listening to music.

Credit: Nichole Tatem

Credit: Nichole Tatem

Since the speaker went up in smoke, Tatem has tweeted at JBL, Best Buy and Target, where she says she originally brought the product, asking them to pull it from store shelves. According to Gizmodo, JBL is "currently looking into the matter." If this is in fact a JBL product and not a piece of counterfeit tech--as some are alleging--it's possible the problem resulted from a bad Lithium-ion battery, faulty LEDs, a bad charging port or some combination of the three.

See also : 14 Cheap Bluetooth Speakers (Under $40) Ranked From Best to Worst