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Amazon warns Alexa Echo Buds earphones pose overheating safety risk

Posted: 15 Jul 20 - 20:13 BST by Kane


Amazon has warned its wireless earphones may be at risk of overheating and is urging customers to update their software, to make them safe.
Customers were sent an email on Wednesday, saying in “very rare cases” Echo Buds could overheat in their charging case. Amazon said it had released a software update to fix the issue "out of an abundance of caution". “The safety of our customers is our top priority,” it said.

Amazon would not say if this meant the earphones could catch fire or explode, but did disclose that its investigation had been prompted by a concerned customer getting in touch. Amazon said owners would automatically receive the update when the Echo Buds were connected via Bluetooth to a mobile phone and the Alexa app. It also said if the Echo Buds were a gift, the customer should alert the recipient immediately. The earbuds are still for sale on the Amazon site but labelled as "out of stock" until late August.

The details of the email were shared by Daniel Bader, managing editor at the Android Central technology blog. “We are writing to inform you about an important software update for your Echo Buds,” the email said. “We recently determined that in very rare cases it is possible for Echo Buds to overheat while in the charging case." The email also said the same software update "improves the long-term performance of Echo Buds' batteries".

Many brands of wireless earbuds have their own battery inside the case, which automatically charges the earbuds when they are placed inside. Battery heat is often given out by devices while charging but usually stays within strict safety limits. Amazon did not say if the heat problem was caused by overcharging or any other specific issue within the battery case.