Six consumers have filed a proposed class action lawsuit in which they allege Bose Corporation misleadingly represents that its high-end wireless sports headphones are sweat- and water-resistant and able to operate for hours on end on a single charge.
According to the 91-page lawsuit, Bose’s SoundSport, SoundSport Free and SoundSport Pulse wireless, rechargeable headphones are defective in that their battery life can diminish rapidly until the product eventually fails to hold any charge at all. What’s more, the case says this issue accelerates when the supposedly sweat-resistant headphones are exposed to moisture. As the lawsuit tells it, Bose’s sports headphones simply do not function as advertised.
Filed in Massachusetts federal court, the complaint says Bose markets the aforementioned products on its website and product packaging as “sports headphones” that are resistant to sweat, weather and water. Splattered across Bose’s website, the case notes, are images of athletes wearing the headphones while running, playing soccer, rock climbing and snowboarding alongside statements such as, “Sweat. Without sweating it. Water and headphones typically don’t play nice together. But we found a way to make it work.” An added benefit, Bose claims, is that the headphones are rechargeable and offer five to six hours of listening on a single charge.
The lawsuit alleges, however, that tens of thousands of consumers nationwide have paid anywhere from $150 to $250 for headphones equipped with batteries that diminish rapidly before eventually failing to retain any charge.
“Despite Bose’s representations – which are repeated across its website, product packaging, marketing materials, and elsewhere – none of the Headphones have a battery that can be consistently used for anything close to five to six hours without further charging," the lawsuit claims. "Moreover, as a result of the defect(s), the Headphones often take much longer than two hours to fully charge (if the Headphones accept a charge at all)."
Perhaps worse, the case alleges Bose’s headphones “do not withstand exposure to even minimal amounts of sweat or moisture,” a deciding factor for many consumers navigating a crowded wireless headphone market. This inability to withstand even small amounts of sweat or moisture, the lawsuit adds, is a contributing factor to the headphones’ battery woes.
The Headphones contain one or more defects that cause the battery life to degrade and diminish and eventually stop retaining a charge after normal usage, a process that accelerates when the Headphones are exposed to sweat or moisture. As a result of the defect(s), the Headphones regularly fail to hold a reasonable charge.”
Has Bose done anything to address the alleged issue?
The lawsuit says that despite a “virtually unending stream of consumer complaints posted online,” Bose has failed to adequately address the problems with its wireless sports headphones.
Citing countless customers complaints, the lawsuit claims Bose “refuses to acknowledge or attempt to fix” the issues with its sports headphones, and instead offers replacement headphones that, according to the lawsuit, contain the exact same defects. Moreover, once the headphones’ warranty period expires, the case says, consumers are left with no options and only a broken pair of headphones.
Who does this lawsuit hope to cover?
The lawsuit looks to cover a class of consumers across the United States who, during a to-be-determined period of time, bought Bose SoundSport, SoundSport Free or SoundSport Pulse wireless headphones. The suit alternatively asks the court to certify subclasses of consumers in Florida, Nebraska, Georgia, New York and California.