Story last updated: 4 June 2018
AKG has issued a voluntary recall notice for its AKG N60NCBT Wireless headphones as the supplied carrying case could contain chemicals at levels above EU limits.
In its recall notice, AKG says it has consulted an independent toxicology expert who claims there is no health threat to consumers.
It added that under ‘certain extreme environmental conditions that might occur during shipping’, the carrying case could contaminate the AKG N60NCBT Wireless headphones. AKG has confirmed to us that these conditions are heat and humidity, with its headphones generally shipped by ocean freight.
The chemicals in question are the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) benzo(a)anthracene and chrysene, which AKG says might exceed permitted levels under EU regulations.
AKG is owned by Harman, which is owned by Samsung. It added: ‘Harman has worked closely with an independent toxicology expert who determined the level of chemicals detected in the carrying case are of no threat to human health even though a small number could exceed regulator restrictions in some European countries.’
The voluntary recall, which is for both the headphones and the case, started on 16 February 2018 and will be active until 1 July 2018. AKG states that any requests for returns or replacements after 1 July 2018 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by its support team.
Models currently on sale not affected
AKG has confirmed that all existing product stock on store shelves and being sold through e-commerce was removed from distribution in February 2018. It added that all AKG N60 Wireless headphones currently available for sale are packed with carrying cases made from different materials and said: ‘There is no chance for consumers to purchase a non-compliant model now.’
The brand told us that distributors were notified of the voluntary recall in February and notification was posted on all European e-commerce sites in February as well.
AKG has stressed that the voluntary recall only applies to the AKG N60NCBT Wireless headphones and does not affect any other model, including the AKG N60NC Wired model, as these are packaged with a different case.
It states: ‘AKG’s top priority is the safety and enjoyment of its customers. We kindly ask all customers to return AKG N60NCBT Wireless headphones and carrying cases by completing the recall form.’
According to AKG, most customers have opted to keep their headphones and receive a new carrying pouch.
It told us that the chemicals that contaminate the headphones from the case do dissipate after being left in the open air. However, it is not sure if the chemicals could react again under extreme conditions. AKG added: ‘We suggest discarding the original carrying case and requesting a new one from AKG via the e-commerce sites.’
To participate in the voluntary recall, fill out the recall form on the AKG website.