iFixit destroys AirPods to reveal minuscule battery

Scorpus

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

iFixit has attempted to tear down Apple's AirPods to get a closer look at the hardware inside these clever wireless earbuds. As it turns out, disassembling the AirPods is remarkably tricky, which caused iFixit to essentially destroy the plastic outer casing of both the earbuds and the charging case in the process.

Inside each AirPod is a tiny 93 milliwatt hour battery that slots into the stick of the earbud, surrounded by an antenna for wireless connectivity. Closer to the speaker is a collection of tiny components, including what appears to be Apple's W1 wireless communications chip, a compact SoC, and an audio codec chip. The speaker assembly also tightly houses a proximity sensor.

Accessing the components inside the accompanying charging case was so difficult that iFixit had to use a Dremel to cut it open. Inside they discovered a 1.52 Wh battery that should provide eight full charges of the AirPods, plus a small STMicroelectronics microcontroller and some charging and power management ICs.

iFixit ended their teardown by giving the AirPods a 0/10 repairability score, indicating that it's not possible to repair the AirPods without destroying them. If one of your AirPods gets damaged, it's probably best to just pay Apple $69 for a replacement.

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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
Platinum
I give props to Apple for finding a way to pull it off, but it still feels impractical to me on a consumer level. I still think Apple tries to challenge themselves to make products that are not repairable as possible. In this case, they completely succeeded.

What I am waiting for now is for someone to wirelessly hack the AirPods to either play annoying noises or to explode.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
I give props to Apple for finding a way to pull it off, but it still feels impractical to me on a consumer level. I still think Apple tries to challenge themselves to make products that are not repairable as possible. In this case, they completely succeeded.

What I am waiting for now is for someone to wirelessly hack the AirPods to either play annoying noises or to explode.
Don't be so over generous with your praise. Any tech company can pull this off without any trouble. Apple were just the 1st ones to release it with their usual BS fanfare. Samsung actually released their Gear IconX with built in activity tracking before these overpriced things.
 
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Trillionsin

TS Evangelist
Not surprising. I bet most wireless headphones are un-repairable given their size. The majority of the population doesn't have the knowledge/patience to repair electronics anyway.
BUT, they do have access to the internet, and can watch videos and visit sites like iFixit to try to attempt to repair their broken electronics before they wind up in a landfill.

Repairing things doesnt take much skill. Soldering might, but replacing a component doesnt really. Just keep track of which screws went where, place screws with the specific parts that it held down, and put them in order as you take them out, reversing the process is usually a breeze to then reassemble.

I taught myself how to repair laptops, and I can totally disassemble and reassemble one in under half an hour (not including any required repairs) for a clean out, for example. I do this in public view at work, and I'm amazed at the number of people who want to stop and gawk at me while doing it.

It's not light working on a car where you need tons of tools, and lifts, and sometimes even some serious man power to lift or remove certain parts. IDK thought, I've been doing it so long that it just seems easy for me nowadays. I attempt to repair most electronics before throwing them out.

EDIT: Yes, it does take A LOT of patience. This... most people will struggle, so... point made. lol
 

Bigtruckseries

TS Evangelist
Welcome to the next generation of made-in-china where components are so tightly packed that it's cheaper to simply "give you a new one" than to even attempt to repair something.
 

Camikazi

TS Evangelist
I give props to Apple for finding a way to pull it off, but it still feels impractical to me on a consumer level. I still think Apple tries to challenge themselves to make products that are not repairable as possible. In this case, they completely succeeded.

What I am waiting for now is for someone to wirelessly hack the AirPods to either play annoying noises or to explode.
Don't be so over generous with your praise. Any tech company can pull this off without any trouble. Apple were just the 1st ones to release it with their usual BS fanfare. Samsung actually released their Gear IconX with built in activity tracking before these overpriced things.
I knew I remembered seeing something similar to the pods a while ago, thank you for giving me the name of it.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
I knew I remembered seeing something similar to the pods a while ago, thank you for giving me the name of it.
You're welcome. I just happened to stumble upon a review of them on YouTube before the release of the Apple equivalent and I was rather impressed with what I saw, apart from the pricing and the ability to lose one or both of them rather quickly.