Apple faces AirPods lawsuit after an Amber Alert allegedly caused hearing damage

The suit claims the volume spike led to a boy needing a hearing aid for the rest of his life.

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Kris Holt
May 18, 2022 1:43 PM
AirPods Pro
Billy Steele/Engadget

A lawsuit has been filed against Apple alleging that a boy suffered hearing damage when using his AirPods Pro. A couple from Texas filed the suit, NBC News reports. According to the suit, their then 12-year-old son (referred to as "B.G.") was using AirPods to watch something on his iPhone at a low volume when he received an Amber Alert.

The alert "went off suddenly, and without warning, at a volume that tore apart B.G.’s ear drum, damaged his cochlea and caused significant injuries," the suit said. The boy's parents say he suffered from dizziness, vertigo, nausea and tinnitus following the incident in 2020 and that he'll need to wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life.

They claim AirPods don't "automatically reduce, control, limit or increment notification or alert volumes to a safe level that causes them to emit" and that Apple doesn't provide instructions to limit the volume of alerts to prevent hearing damage. The couple argues that Apple hasn't fixed the problem and if it wasn't aware of the issue, it should have known.

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Other Apple users have complained about AirPod volume spikes on the company's support website. Engadget has contacted Apple for comment.

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