Lead singer of BTS has lost 33 pairs of AirPods, totaling $6000

Woman using AirPods Pro
Woman using AirPods Pro (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Kim Namjoon, the main rapper and leader of BTS, has lost 33 pairs of AirPods.
  • The total cost of the missing headphones eclipses $6000.
  • It brings to light the unintended disposibility of Apple's wireless headphones.

Kim Namjoon, K-pop rapper and leader of BTS, was talking to fans in a live Q&A this weekend when one fan mentioned their frustration with losing their AirPods. Reported by 9to5Mac, the star mentioned that he believes he has lost 33 pairs of Apple's wireless headphones.

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In total, Kim admitted to losing roughly $6000 worth of AirPods. A hefty bunch of money aside, the admission does call into question two things about AirPods that Apple has yet to fix: findability and sustainability.

Apple does allow you to add your AirPods to the Find My app and will track your AirPods to their last known location. For Kim, this was most likely a useless feature as he most likely learned he was missing his headphones when he was already across the world performing in another country. This location feature is currently dependent on your AirPods being connected to another one of your Apple devices that can actually send its location the Find My app. It's still handy, but it really is an estimate of their location, not continuous tracking.

Apple is hoping to solve this with the U1 chip it is currently shipping in the iPhone 11. The company teased a mesh network of Apple devices working together anonymously to help users with lost iPhones, iPads, and more to pinpoint exactly where their device currently is. The feature is not live yet, but it is coming.

The second thing that the pop star's problem brings to the forefront again is the sustainability of AirPods. The headphones are currently almost impossible to repair because of their size and engineering. If you need an AirPod repaired, the Apple Store will just give you or make you purchase a new one. Apple does thankfully recycle AirPods as it does with the rest of their products, but the fact that even a needed battery replacement warrants an entirely new unit is concerning for a company that touts its commitment to the environment.

Granted, AirPods are still a very new category for the company, and I imagine figuring out these problems are part of the product and design team's consideration when creating new generations of AirPods. We'll just have to wait and see.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

  • I think this says way more about Kim Namjoon than it does about AirPods...
  • Indeed. Sad really when people have this much money that they don't appreciate the things they buy. Many people will be asking for these for Christmas but won't get them because of the price
  • Actually it does. As this is one of the most important stories of the day, I came across another article about it. Seems he also has a penchant for loosing his passport. Guess he is a serial loser.
  • You make this seem like it is unique to Airpods. 'Truly wireless' earphones are made by Sony, Bose, Anker, and a host of other manufacturers, quality, economy or copy-cat. They are devices you need to take care of. I'd bet Kim's issue is laying them down somewhere and forgetting, rather than one falling out of his ear, and not noticing soon enough to look for it. For him, it's likely not a big deal. For normal people that have to think about spending a quarter grand on headphones, make an effort, or buy something that has a cord. Would be nice if Apple incorporated more of the AirPod Pro features into something BeatsX so one could get a corded pair with noise cancellation and such. Would also be nice if people didn't demand the 'truly wireless' genre and then complain they are losable.
  • And I just spent several minutes trying to find and reinstall the lens from my cheap dollar store readers. #rich peoples problems
  • RM living up to his "God of destruction" title. And he's always the first to admit it. Couple things wrong with this article you might want to correct...his name is Namjoon (family names come first in Korean - i.e Kim) and he's the leader of the group, not the lead singer - he's one of its rappers
  • Thanks for this information. We updated the article to reflect that Namjoon is the main rapper and leader of the group. We correctly address him by his last name throughout the article, as this is standard AP Style (where a person's name is written in full on the first mention, but only their last name or family name is mentioned thereafter). Thanks for your comment!
  • May I just say that RM is the Main Rapper and Leader not the Lead singer that would be Jimin,and its Kim Namjoon which Kim is his last name not first. Other than that ok info
  • Thanks for your info. We updated the article to reflect that Namjoon is the main rapper and leader of the group. See above for why we use his last name when referencing him throughout the article. Appreciate your comment!
  • I've had 3 pairs. The original, the updated with wireless case, and the Pro. Still have them. I have a feeling this guy has also lost a number of iPhones.