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Beats explode in woman's face, Apple blames third-party AAA batteries

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Beats
Photo released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau

Apple has denied an Australian woman compensation after her Beats headphones exploded.... while she was wearing them... while she was asleep... while she was on a flight.

The woman, who wishes to remain unnamed, was taking 40 winks on the flight from Beijing to Melbourne when the three-year-old headphones combusted, leaving her with burns to the face and neck (via news.AU).

However, Apple’s legal team has blamed the incident on the third-party AAA batteries that were used in the headphones purchased back in 2014.

"Our investigation indicated the issue was caused by a third-party battery," the firm said in a statement on Friday.

It’s not clear which model the victim was using, but some of the older over-ear Beats models required additional battery power to power the noise cancelling tech.

Of course, this is all before Apple purchased Beats for over $3 billion back in May 2014.

Regardless, the woman involved said she was disappointed with Apple’s verdict.

In a statement she said: “The headphones don’t work without batteries, yet nowhere on the headphones – or their packaging – did it specify which brand of batteries should be used.”

Related: Apple AirPods review

Seeing as Apple (and Beats before it) don’t manufacture their own AAA batteries, it’s difficult to see the circumstances under which Apple would have accepted responsibility for this incident.

The incident occurred back in February and Apple has been investigating since.

Regardless of the verdict, no-one wants to wake up to the sound of an explosion and the sensation of their face burning at any time, never mind while on a plane.

Have you endured any tech nightmares while in the air? Share your horror stories in the comments below.

toboev

May 19, 2017, 7:48 pm

It was the batteries that combusted, not the headphones. Nevertheless, this is a known risk which should have been recognised in Apple's design. The batteries should have been placed where their failure would not risk injury to the wearer. She should ask Apple to show what recognition they afforded the risk in their design process, and how they believe the risk was mitigated.

Kyle Jackson

May 20, 2017, 1:34 pm

Dem beats r da bomb bruv!

Lyndon Gray

May 20, 2017, 2:32 pm

Currently in the process of sending Motorola mobility a pre action letter to sue regarding breach of contract under the sale of goods Act 1979 for the cracked back of my Moto 360 first edition which they are trying to ignore. Like most large tech organisations they try and ignore your statutory rights after the warranty expires. See you in court Motorola.

Lyndon Gray

May 20, 2017, 2:39 pm

Currently in the process of sending Motorola mobility a pre action letter to sue regarding breach of contract under the sale of goods Act 1979 for the cracked back of my Moto 360 first edition which they are trying to ignore. Like most large tech organisations they try and ignore your statutory rights after the warranty expires. See you in court Motorola.

MikeX

May 20, 2017, 3:49 pm

This is typical click bait. What the real headline should have said:

Unidentified AAA battery purchased from unknown retailer in China explodes inside headphones while onboard a flight.

A customer reported their headphones exploded while on a flight. They returned the headphones to the manufacturer who confirmed the issue was caused by the 3rd party AAA battery and not a result of any fault in the headphones. So far the brand of AAA battery or the retailer who sold it has not been identified.

The truth is not so interesting now!

MikeX

May 20, 2017, 3:58 pm

Firstly this was a Beats design not Apple as the headphones were from 2014. Secondly what do you expect manufacturers to do? If every battery compartment for all devices that used disposable batteries were explosive proof they would weight and cost too much so be unsaleable! Providing disposable batteries are not in an airtight compartment then exploding should not be a risk. In this case I am sure the battery was a cheap knock off (as purchased in China) and not actually of safe construction.

In 1995 there was a lot of cases of torches exploding due to mixing of batteries in a sealed torch. Although the torch had a pressure relief valve fitted it was overcome by the rapid build up of bass from the batteries. But as I said I am sure the Beats headphones were not sealed and the fault was purely down to bad battery design and manufacturer.

toboev

May 20, 2017, 4:08 pm

Nobody is suggesting an "explosion proof compartment". But you have a design choice over where the batteries are located.

As to the device predating Apple's acquisition of Beats, so what? They own the brand, they own the liability. It's too easy to say, "oh, they were designed by the previous guys, so we get a free pass on product safety."

MikeX

May 20, 2017, 4:13 pm

Ah, so you want the batteries for headphones to be in a box on the lead (where it will still be next to your body)? How about a torch you hold or a radio you carry. You are asking for the impossible; if not get to the patient office quickly as you have a money maker on your hands!

toboev

May 20, 2017, 4:25 pm

Hey, I like it! Now you're starting to brainstorm a little, think outside the box, address the issue of how can we avoid potentially blinding someone if they unwittingly use defective batteries in our product.

I think your idea maybe could use a little work. But it's a start at least to acknowledge that pressing a known risk of fire against people's skulls would be a poor design decision. Keep up the good work.

As for the patient office, yeah, they'll be visiting you soon. They will be wearing white coats, they will look after you.

Eno

May 21, 2017, 7:13 am

This is very frightening and sad!

jimmy

May 22, 2017, 9:01 am

this site is nothing but click bait nonsense now, haven't you realised that?
all about the Ad revenue, quality articles are a thing of the past.

Dimensional Robo Daikaiser

May 23, 2017, 7:29 am

At least the headband of the beats is not destroyed.
Still, m50x Master Race

Dimensional Robo Daikaiser

May 23, 2017, 7:40 am

literal bombs

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