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AirPods are unfixable

by on01 November 2019

Expensive throwaways

iFixit's teardown of Apple's latest AirPods reveals just how difficult it will be to fix them if they break.

The organisation awarded the noise-cancelling buds a zero repairability score, noting that their non-modular, glued-together design and lack of replacement parts makes repair both impractical and uneconomical.

To be fair, that is the same score as both versions of the original AirPods which also all ended up on a rubbish tip somewhere.

For those who don’t give a monkey’s about global warming and hate polar bears anyway, the teardown reveals that they're a whole third heavier than the original AirPods due to new features like active noise-cancellation, and an inward-facing microphone.

The teardown notes that the one user-replaceable part of the earbuds, the silicone ear-tip, uses a custom design that makes them incompatible with third-party models.

Most intriguing is the discovery of a watch-style battery inside each earbud. iFixit notes that it's a similar battery to that found in Samsung's Galaxy Buds which can be replaced. However, the same is not true of the AirPods Pro, whose battery is tethered by a soldered cable.

Basically, this means that if your $249 AirPods Pro die you'll have to send them back to Apple for recycling or take part in Apple's "battery service" program at the cost of $49-per-earbud out of warranty.

Of course, if you are insane enough to sign up for a deal like that you might also be interested in buying this bridge I own.


Last modified on 01 November 2019
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