A recalled Brookstone Big Blue Party speakers
Photo: CPSC

Brookstone announced the recall of 164,000 wireless speakers because of the risk of fire associated with their lithium-ion batteries.

The affected model is the Big Blue Party, a large indoor-outdoor speaker that was sold by major U.S. retailers and websites from December 2013 through August 2018 for about $200. Consumers should stop using the devices immediately.

Brookstone filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, complicating the process for consumers to obtain a partial refund.

The model in the recall is different from the Big Blue 100 and Big Blue Unplugged, two speakers that Consumer Reports has reviewed and rated.

The Details

Devices recalled: Brookstone’s Big Blue Party indoor-outdoor wireless speaker. The square-shaped speakers have a 6x6-inch footprint and are 16 inches tall. The SKUs for the three affected models—849504 (graphite-colored), 952645 (light gray), and 318417 (the Big Blue Party 360 model, with support for Chromecast, which came in black)—can be found on the bottom of the speaker.

The speakers cost around $200 and were sold at Ace Hardware, Bloomingdale’s, Bon-Ton, Brookstone, Macy’s, Patriot, and other retailers from December 2013 until August 2018. They were also sold through the Home Shopping Network and by online retailers including Amazon, Brookstone, Rue La La, Wayfair, and Zulily.

The problem: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the lithium-ion battery in the speaker can overheat, spark, emit smoke, and possibly catch fire. The company received 12 reports of the overheating speakers catching fire, with five of those reports resulting in property damage totaling $2,000.

The fix: Consumers should stop using the affected speakers immediately, even if they show no sign of overheating, and safely dispose of the lithium-ion battery in the device according to state and local regulations. There’s no alternative power supply available for use with the recalled speakers, according to Brookstone.

Because Brookstone has filed for bankruptcy, the company is not replacing the speakers or issuing full refunds for the devices. In its FAQ about the recall, Brookstone adds that the recalled speakers can’t be returned to retailers for a refund, either.

Consumers can obtain a partial refund by submitting a proof of claim to the bankruptcy court. The proof of claim, according to the company, could be in the form of “a sales receipt, a gift receipt, an email purchase confirmation, relevant correspondence with customer care, or something else showing that you (or someone on your behalf) actually purchased the speaker.”

The amount and timing of the refund will be determined by the bankruptcy proceedings, which could be resolved with nine months.  

How to contact the manufacturer: Call Brookstone toll-free at 866-576-7337 or contact the manufacturer (PDF) online for more information.

CPSC recall number: 19-017.