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Could be the battery has a weak charge! Try running the battery completely flat, recharge fully, then run completely flat, and repeat this cycle about 3 times......This will give the rechargeable battery a revitalised full charge! This is a good procedure for any rechargeable battery as part charging and charging when not completely flat does take its toll on a battery.
Have you made sure to replace the batteries with the right kind? Placing non-rechargeable batteries in a charger may damage both the product or the batteries themselves. It may also be that the batteries are dead. If you are adamant about using alkaline, try replacing with a fresh set.
I have the MDR-RF970R but I bet the battery is the same. If you have had the headphone for seceral years then I bet you are right, the battery is going. You might try using them till the battery dies and then recharge. This is called deep cycle and may time it will extend the life of rechargables.
If the headphones are new, then just check and make sure that they going all the way into the charge slot.
I will say it is not common for me to see the light off, but I use the headphones all the time.
Actually, look at the Philips SBC HB550S battery, the black label on battery isn't going to the end of the battery's "-" side, there's few millimetres of solid metal. Look at other, ordinary rechargeable battery, for ex duracell's. This other battery has label all over battery (from "+" to "-"). So only thing you have to do to make any batteries work with you have to cut and remove this label from battery you want to use from the "-" side of the battery, about 1-2 cm, like philips one has. It's because these headphones have this extra clip in battery sockets, philips wants us, customers, to buy those extra-expensive batteries. That's as simple as it is! Hope it helps you, it definitely helped me.
BATTERY INSTALLATION AND INFORMATION Your wireless headphone unit requires two rechargeable AAA batteries. Rechargeable batteries are uncharged when you purchase them. Before you can use the wireless headphones, the batteries must be charged for 16 hours. Follow these steps to install and charge the batteries. Installing the Rechargeable Batteries Take care to follow these steps to correctly install the batteries. 1. On the right headphone, locate the battery compartment (1). Use the finger depression on the compartment to turn the battery compartment cover counterclockwise to remove the cover. 2. Insert two AAA rechargeable batteries, carefully following the markings inside to ensure the batteries are inserted properly, with the + and - ends in the correct positions. 3. Replace the battery compartment cover. Charging the Rechargeable Batteries To recharge the headset unit, follow the directions below. Note: The cradle/transmitter on the WHP141 is not a recharging cradle, although you may place the headset in the cradle during recharging. Follow these steps to recharge the NiMH rechargeable batteries. 1. Make sure the ON/OFF switch (2), located on the right headphone, is in the OFF position. 2. Connect the AC/DC main power adapter to the DC IN power supply socket (11), located on the back of the cradle/transmitter. 3. Plug the adapter into an electrical outlet. 4. Connect the charging cable (10), located on the back of the cradle/transmitter to the recharging input (3), located on the right headphone. The headphones can either be placed in the cradle/transmitter or placed next to the unit. If the headphones are connected correctly, the charging LED indicator light on the cradle/transmitter (8) illuminate.
I had a similar problem - after owning them for 4+ years, no sound we coming out, and no beeps -- nothing. The lights on the charger stand were on though.
I tried buying new rechargable AAA batteries and they were NIMH (nickel metalhydride?) and still didnt work. I borrowed a friend's pair of NICM (nickel cadmium?) AAA rechargables though and the problem was solved!
So, it would seem the some of the new chargable battery types might not work in older models of this unit (which is also called the RS 130 now in the US and Cdn web sites).