These portable speakers can explode. More than 40,000 have been recalled

ION Audio recalls some portable speakers due to an explosion hazard on May 21, 2019.
ION Audio recalls some portable speakers due to an explosion hazard on May 21, 2019. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Images of speakers blowing up, or blowing up things, are hallmarks of MTV-era music videos — Macauley Culkin blowing up his father, George Wendt, with a speaker is the whole punchline of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” clip, after all.

But it’s not so amusing in real life.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall alert for ION Audio brand portable speakers because they can explode.

The models include the Sport Express, Cornerstone, Cornerstone Glow and Keystone ION Audio portable speakers.

Don’t blame this on Michael Jackson, Twisted Sister or Ratt.

Instead, the commission recalled the items because hydrogen gas can leak from the portable speakers’ batteries when they are charged and this can cause the speaker to burst, “posing an explosion hazard.”

The UPC numbers are in the illustration below.

Speaker recall models.jpg
UPC numbers of the ION portable speakers that were recalled on May 21, 2019. The models include Cornerstone and Cornerstone Glow, Keystone and Sport Express. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

About 41,000 units of the China-manufactured speakers are involved. The Sports Express model was sold exclusively at Best Buy from June 2018 to May 2019 for about $70. The $100 Cornerstones and $200 Keystone speakers were sold at numerous electronics stores nationwide and online.

ION Audio received five reports of speakers exploding, including four incidents that resulted in property damage to the surrounding area, the commission said. There have been no reported injuries.

If you bought one of these portable speaker systems, stop using them and contact ION Audio for a refund in the form of an ION Audio gift card, the commission said.

You can reach ION toll-free at 833-682-0371 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Eastern standard time Monday through Friday, or online at Click on recalls for information on how to return the product for the gift card.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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