[Update: Amazon has reached out to TechRadar with the following statement: “The safety of our customers is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we have released a software update addressing this potential issue and have contacted affected customers.” The original story follows below.]
If you have a pair of Echo Buds, you should update the firmware now, says Amazon, after the company warned of a potential safety hazard in an email sent out to customers.
The email, which was first reported on by Android Central, revealed that the true wireless earbuds are in danger of overheating when placed in the wireless charging case – although the company has said that the risk of this happening is low.
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Owners of Amazon's answer to the Apple AirPods were told the following: "We recently determined that in very rare cases it is possible for Echo Buds to overheat while in the charging case. Out of an abundance of caution, we have released a software update that addresses this potential safety risk and improves the long-term performance of Echo Buds' batteries."
How to update your Amazon Echo Buds
Amazon Echo Buds are usually updated automatically, so you shouldn't have to do anything to fix the issue. The software update is currently being rolled out – however, if you want to make sure that your buds are safe, you can check via the Alexa app on your smartphone.
To do this, open the app, and go to Devices > Echo & Alexa > Echo Buds > About. From there, look for the software version number – if it's 318119151 or higher, then your earbuds have been updated successfully.
If the software version number is lower than that, you can initiate the upgrade yourself. Simply pop your earbuds into the charging case and ensure they're connected to your device via Bluetooth and the Alexa app, and that they're at least 30% charged.
Then, close the charging case and leave your Echo Buds alone – the software upgrade should take place within 30 minutes.
Amazon hasn't revealed what was causing its wireless earbuds to overheat or whether this has the potential to cause a fire, but as many of us charge our devices overnight, the idea of a pair of true wireless earbuds overheating and potentially catching fire is pretty worrying.
In any case, it's definitely worth making sure that your Echo Buds have updated successfully to avoid any potential safety risks.