Friday, September 20, 2019

Apple AirPods Pro Are Just As Disposable As Ever, Says iFixit

Apple just released the AirPods Pro which spawned a lot of memes because of their unusual shape. While the Bellsprout inspired earbuds are different from their predecessor in shape, the AirPods Pro has other new features like active noise-cancellation and an inward-facing microphone. But, the new features are accompanied by a 'no repairability' label by iFixit.

iFixit have done a teardown of the AirPods Pro just like they did for the previous AirPods and have made some predictable and also surprising discoveries. The latest Airpod received a zero repairability score in the teardown owing to its non-modular body that is glued together. The previous versions of the AirPods also received the same score.

While the silicone ear-tip can be replaced by the user easily, their custom design prohibits the use of third-party tips. But as Jon Porter of The Verge said, “The popularity of the AirPods all but guarantees other companies will be making third-party tips soon.”

iFixit found a familiar button cell in their teardown. The battery was similar to the ones found in Samsung’s Galaxy Buds. While the batteries in the Galaxy Buds were replaceable, the batteries in the AirPods Pro are soldered to the connecting cable. So when the batteries of the new AirPods Pro decay and die, they cannot be replaced. The users can register for the ‘battery service’ program by shelling out $49 per earbud to replace batteries within the warranty, which might be better as the alternative is recycling.

Apple has made the $249 AirPods disposable but not repairable. If users wish to keep using their AirPods Pro until the next variant arrives, it might be better if they opt for the ‘battery service’.

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