This wireless earbuds case could be a fire hazard — here’s how to return it

Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW recall
(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

If you own a pair of the Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW wireless earbuds, beware of the charging case: according to the CSPC it’s a fire hazard, and Audio-Technica has issued a full product recall.

The earbuds themselves are safe, but the charging case is apparently prone to overheating. While that hasn’t resulted in any known injuries, the CSPC’s recalls page mentions four instances of the overheating cases damaging themselves and/or the surfaces on which they were sitting.

While it doesn’t sound like the ATH-CK3TW case is self-immolating to the same extent as the infamous Samsung Galaxy Note 7, electrical overheating like this is genuinely a fire risk. So, if you do own this particular set of wireless buds you should stop using the charging case immediately. We also notice the earbuds’ Amazon listing was deleted.

The recall covers all four color variants, and lets you replace your potentially faulty case with a new one for free. To arrange the return you can either email Audio-Technica at or call 800-518-2520 between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Affected customers will receive a prepaid shipping label for the return of their original case, and will be sent a new, hopefully fire-free case upon receipt of the original.

Recalls are thankfully rare in tech, though even the biggest players have had to request product returns to address faults. Besides the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, Apple issued recalls of both the iPhone 8 and older versions of the 15-inch MacBook Pro; the iPhone 8 “only” had an iffy motherboard that could cause performance issues, but the MacBook Pro was found to be another potential source of battery fires.

It’s good that the ATH-CK3TW wireless earbuds haven’t actually hurt anyone, with the effects limited to some minor property damage, but like all these recalls it shows the importance of reporting potential problems quickly. Anyone can report unsafe products through the CSPC.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.