How The Hell Did This K-Pop Star Manage to Lose 33 Pairs of AirPods?

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Photo: Anthony Kwan (Getty)

Thirty-three pairs of AirPods.

I’ll say it again: Thirty-three. Pairs. Of AirPods.

That’s 66 of the little white buggers, more than $5,000 worth of earbuds just sprinkled around the globe. No doubt already sprouting Apple trees by now.

This weekend, K-pop rapper and BTS star Kim Namjoon revealed in a live-streamed Q&A with fans that he’s somehow on his 34th pair of AirPods after managing to lose the rest. While Apple’s truly wireless earbuds do have a reputation for being notoriously easy to lose track of—my colleague Jennings Brown called orphaned AirPods “a plague upon New York City”—a K-pop stan I consulted with for this article told me this is all extremely in-character for Namjoon. Case in point: the pop star’s lost his passport so many times in the past it’s inspired fans to give it a Twitter account.

But let’s pull back a bit and put that number in perspective: At $159 a pop for Apple’s earbuds, complete with charging case, of course, since they’re not sold alone, that means he’s lost the equivalent worth of a Mac Pro in AirPods. Two words: Holy shit.


And RM (his stage name) didn’t specify whether any of those pairs were Apple’s new $250 high-end model, the AirPods Pro, so that $5,000 number is a conservative estimate. But I guess when you’re the lead singer for the most popular boyband in the world, you’ve got money to burn.

After hearing this, the A.R.M.Y., a moniker for the band’s millions of fans, immediately began clowning the hell out of Namjoon on Twitter, calling him an AirPod fairy and suggesting that, if he’s going to lose so many, he should sign all of his earbuds in case fans stumble upon them.


My favorite is a conspiracy theory fans have already cooked up: Obviously, this is all an elaborate and covert effort on RM’s part to redistribute wealth to the proles. That’s right: Namjoon is secretly K-pop’s own Robin Hood.