These parents are suing Apple, alleging their son suffered permanent hearing loss after "ear shattering" Amber Alert blasted from his AirPods
· · May 26, 2022 ·

We've all heard the excruciating noise of an Amber Alert when it comes out of the small speaker on our phones. It's like a tornado siren for your living room.

But have you ever received an Amber Alert while wearing a pair of Apple AirPods?

This 14-year-old Texas boy has, and now his parents are suing Apple, alleging the "ear shattering noise" caused him permanent hearing loss.

It all started when the boy, identified only as B.G., was watching Netflix on his phone in May 2020. He had his Apple earbuds in and set to a low volume when—BOOM!—in comes the Amber Alert, loud as can be.

Take a moment real quick, I'm sure some of you already have, and just imagine the intensity of this noise. It had to straight up hurt, let alone scare you right out of your shorts.

The sound of the alert, sent without warning, tore the boy's ear drum, damaged his cochlea, located in the inner ear, and caused "significant injuries" to his hearing, the suit says.

"As a result of the damage to his right ear, B.G. has suffered from bouts of dizziness, vertigo and nausea," the suit says. "At 12 years old, B.G. suffered sudden and permanent hearing loss in his right ear, other significant and temporary or permanent injuries, pain, suffering and the loss of the pleasures of life."


His parents say he will have to use a hearing aid for the rest of his life. All because of that obnoxious noise that comes with today's Amber Alert.

So now they are suing Apple, claiming that the AirPods were defective, and that Apple already knew about this problem.

The suit, which seeks at least $75,000 in damages, says the AirPods, which were purchased in November 2019, were defective in their design and manufacturing, and there are no warnings or instructions on how to change the volume of certain sounds. Included in the lawsuit are online complaints regarding the volume on AirPods, alleging Apple knew about them.

"When the AirPods are inserted into the ear according to stated fitting instructions, an unreasonably dangerous environment is created in the ear unbeknownst to the user," the suit says. "Sudden increases in sound volumes associated with notifications or alerts are not properly equalized, limited, controlled, incremented, or reduced, thereby posing [an] unreasonable or serious risk to the wearer's hearing and health."

Wow, I've had a lot of complaints about the way in which we receive Amber Alerts—not only the volume, but the 4 a.m. wakeup calls as well—but never had I imagined how destructive the alert might be if I were wearing earbuds.

I sure hope this kid's hearing can improve and that Apple finds a way to make it right with him.

And I hope I never fall victim to the earbud Amber Alert.

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