Apple insists that a Beats headphone explosion wasn’t its fault

Beats explosion

An Australian woman whose Beats headphones exploded on her head as she dozed on a long-haul flight in February has been refused compensation by Apple.

The tech giant, which acquired Beats in 2014, blamed a faulty AAA battery for the incident, which left the woman with some nasty-looking burns to her face and hands.

“Our investigation indicated the issue was caused by a third-party battery,” an Apple representative said in a statement issued by lawyers for the unnamed woman, according to Adelaide Now. The name of the battery maker hasn’t been disclosed.

Some older versions of Beats headphones — such as the set used by the woman — require a pair of AAA batteries that fit into one of the cans.

The incident occurred about two hours into a flight from Beijing to Melbourne as the woman napped with her headphones on.

She described what happened in a statement to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB): “As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face. I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck.

“I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire.”

A flight attendant alerted by the commotion used water to put out the fire, thereby preventing what could have become an even more serious incident.

The ATSB said at the time that both the battery and its cover melted and stuck to the floor of the aircraft, adding that for the rest of the flight the passengers “endured the smell of melted plastic, burned electronics, and burned hair,” while the owner of the wrecked Beats headphones said people were “coughing and choking the entire way home.”

In response to Apple’s claim that the fire was caused by a faulty AAA battery, the woman said via her lawyers: “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.”

It’s not clear if the woman is intending to continue her action against Apple, but the tech company, for one, is adamant that the Beats device itself was not the cause of this highly unfortunate incident.