Apple wins appeal over iPod hearing loss

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Speak up

Apple is breathing a sign of relief after a judge upheld a previous ruling that its iPod earbuds do not cause hearing loss.

He concluded that the plaintiffs couldn't demonstrate that the earbuds were actually dangerous, only that it would have been possible to make them a bit safer.

"The plaintiffs do not allege the iPods failed to do anything they were designed to do nor do they allege that they, or any others, have suffered or are substantially certain to suffer inevitable hearing loss or other injury from iPod use," wrote judge David Thompson.

"At most, the plaintiffs plead a potential risk of hearing loss not to themselves, but to other unidentified iPod users."

The court also agreed with the earlier ruling that Apple was not violating California's unfair competition law.

The suit was first filed in early 2006 by Joseph Birdsong and Bruce Waggoner, and was dismissed last year. They argued that by designing the earbuds to go in the ear canal, Apple was increasing users' prospects of hearing loss.