The Bose audio headphones are not the first audio devices to come under fire.
Last year, the maker of the Beats brand and the speaker system maker also faced backlash for introducing headphones with “bouncy earbuds” — earphones that resemble headphones.
Now, a new lawsuit alleges that the new headphones may be more harmful than initially thought.
The suit was filed Thursday in a California court by the California-based consumer watchdog group Consumers Union.
In the suit, the group claims that the earbud-like earbuses use “a patented design, and are not made of an optical material,” the complaint says.
The lawsuit is based on a class-action lawsuit filed in October by two consumers, Adam Cramer and Christopher J. Hwang, alleging that the two Bose earbudes “cause excessive and unnecessary discomfort and loss of hearing.”
The complaint says the earphones have “a tendency to bump against the back of the head, causing a sore throat, and cause headaches.”
Consumers Union is seeking $100 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages.
The company did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
“This is a significant setback for consumers,” said Mike Mearns, consumer advocacy director for the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.
“Bose’s earburs have been a source of confusion and controversy for years.
We believe this lawsuit sends a clear message to the company that consumers must have the right to protect their hearing with sound-safe headphones.”
The lawsuit also seeks an injunction barring the earphone manufacturers from marketing their products as sound-blocking headphones.
Bose, which was founded in 1968, has been under fire in recent years for a range of products that it has marketed as safe for children, including earboots, earplugs, earphones and earphones with a “boutique” sound.
The product range has included earbasks and earplaces for kids with special needs.
Earlier this year, Bose launched a new “sound-blocking” line of earbuzzers that were made with materials that would be harmful to children.
Boses earbuddy products, such as the new one, have a design similar to those of the EarBuds with a speaker built into the ear.
They are marketed as “safer” than earbods made by other companies, the complaint alleges.
In a statement, the company said the new Bose headphones do not meet the definition of a “sound blocker.”
“We have taken the lead in introducing innovative, sound-protecting technologies, including the new EarBud with a sound-proofing coating, to address consumer concerns about sound-blockage earbuddies,” the statement said.
“While we believe the new earbudi design does not meet this standard, we are reviewing the complaint to determine whether we are able to offer an alternative product that meets the standard.”