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After being delayed for over six weeks, Apple’s AirPods finally became available for preorder on Tuesday and are set to hit Apple stores this coming Monday (December 19). Now, the Cupertino company has revealed its repair and replacement costs for the devices.
MacRumors reports that Apple won’t be offering AppleCare+ for its AirPods; instead, there will be the standard one-year warranty found on all Apple products. If you lose or break one of the buds or the charging case, replacements will cost $69; this applies regardless of whether or not they are still under warranty.
While the 12-month warranty covers a defective battery, it doesn’t cover wear from normal use. A battery service for decreased capacity, which may become necessary at some point, is free during the first year after purchase but will cost $49 for each AirPod and charging case after this period.
The AirPod set – both buds and the battery case – sell for $159, so at least Apple is offering single (albeit pricey) replacements instead of making people fork out the full retail cost - which is good, as it's reportedly quite easy to lose or break the buds during strenuous exercise.
It’s worth noting that you need to pair your iPhone with the charging case in order to use the AirPods, so there’s no point trying to trick Apple into selling you two individual units, thereby saving $20. You would need the case as well, bringing the total cost to $207.
Several early reviews of the AirPods have called them average at best. In addition to their high price, one of the biggest criticism is their mediocre audio quality.