AirPods Pro Teardown: Heavier Than Original AirPods, Different Battery, Same Zero Repairability Score

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iFixit today shared a teardown of the new $249 AirPods Pro, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the organization awarded Apple's latest wireless earphones the same zero repairability score as both versions of original AirPods.


Apart from the replaceable $4-a-pair proprietary silicone tips that provide noise isolation and enhanced fit on the AirPods Pro, it's the same story as Apple's previous generation AirPods as far as repairs go. But there were a couple of new tidbits of information that the disassembly did reveal.

In terms of weight, each AirPod Pro bud comes in at 0.19 oz (5.4 g), which is fully a third heavier than the prior version AirPod earbuds. The new charging case is also notably chunkier, weighing 1.61 oz (45.6 g), compared to the original case's 1.34 oz (38 g).


iFixit also discovered a 1.98 Wh watch-style button cell battery inside each AirPod, replacing the pin-type battery found in the original AirPods. iFixit notes that this could be the same battery found in Samsung's Galaxy Buds, and those are replaceable, but Apple has tethered the battery to a soldered cable, so AirPods customers will have no such luck.

As noted by iFixit, Apple apparently confirmed on Wednesday that the new AirPods Pro are no more repairable than previous versions of the wireless earbuds because of their size and build process.

An update to Monday's report: Apple has confirmed that the new AirPods Pro are no more repairable than previous versions of the wireless earbuds. The pods are made partly with recyclable materials but due to size and build process (i.e glue) it doesn't repair. Just replace. - Lauren Goode (@LaurenGoode) October 30, 2019


For its part, however, iFixit believes Apple could theoretically replace the in-ear portion of the earbuds and re-use the original stems - which include the System on Package (SiP), antennas, microphones, and Force sensor - but the company has chosen not to do so, for whatever reason. iFixit's teardown concludes:
While theoretically semi-serviceable, the non-modular, glued-together design and lack of replacement parts makes repair both impractical and uneconomical.
From a customer perspective, this means that once the battery dies in the AirPods Pro, it will need to be completely replaced. The left and right AirPod cost $89 each to replace in the United States, totaling $178 for a pair.

However, the fees are lower if a customer has purchased AppleCare+ for Headphones. The plan costs $29 upfront, plus charges a $29 fee to replace a pair of damaged AirPods Pro or their case. This coverage applies for up to two years from the date AppleCare+ is purchased and is limited to two incidents.

Article Link: AirPods Pro Teardown: Heavier Than Original AirPods, Different Battery, Same Zero Repairability Score
 
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meme1255

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2012
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- Replaceable battery
… could be used, if Apple wanted to. They claim they care about environment… Unfortunately nothing more than claims happens to really happen.
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user replaceable?
It should be replaceable. Not necessarily by the user. At least Apple should be able to. If they claim they care about the environment, they should really do something to help to protect it, don't you think?
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
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… could be used, if Apple wanted to. They claim they care about environment… Unfortunately nothing more than claims happens to really happen.
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It should be replaceable. Not by user. At least Apple should be able to. If they claim they care about the environment, they should really do something to help to protect it, don't you think?
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Well you don’t have to buy them so you can help the environment.
 

aroom

macrumors member
Nov 26, 2014
75
153
Why do people think the batteries in something this small should be user replaceable? To design that you’d have a completely different product and one much larger.
So what? And you don't know if it would be much larger.

It's just a matter of design and engineering. From the first draw to the chain of production. People are smart and creative, they can design a repairable product.

Well you don’t have to buy them so you can help the environment.
True. But stating that they are hypocrites could help too.
 

meme1255

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2012
706
524
Czech Republic
Well you don’t have to buy them so you can help the environment.
That's precisely what I do. I won't buy them unless it'll be possible to exchange the battery. I have done that 3 times with my iPhone 5S before switching to iPhone 11 and will do that with my MBP soon (Apple Care <80 % replacement). Why should I throw away something what works and just needs new battery for a fraction of cost of a new device and otherwise the device continues to suffice my needs?
 

kissmo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2011
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Budapest, Hungary
People who have the money to spend on these devices can afford to buy new ones when batteries die.
I don't think repairability is an issue here.

If you cannot afford to replace them, don't buy them.

I for one cannot afford to buy a pair so I stay and drool while others showcase them in public places :))
 

Total Respray

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2011
51
18
Why do people think the batteries in something this small should be user replaceable? To design that you’d have a completely different product and one much larger.
Seriously? With Apples’s engineering talent and resources, why shouldn’t a $250/€280 product be repairable? If they can’t make the battery replaceable (even by themselves) they should not pretend to be so environmentally friendly. It’s both hypocritical and irresponsible.
 

aroom

macrumors member
Nov 26, 2014
75
153
People who have the money to spend on these devices can afford to buy new ones when batteries die.
I don't think repairability is an issue here.

If you cannot afford to replace them, don't buy them.

I for one cannot afford to buy a pair so I stay and drool while others showcase them in public places :))
I think that most of the reactions about non repairability aren't about the cost of new item, but about the waist of ressources, pollution and other CO2 emissions included in such a business plan.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
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This are "single use" items. Frankly speaking I think it should be banned. There was nothing wrong with wired headphones that did not need battery etc and were lasting many years. Now you pay 250USD and have basically couple years of use until battery gives up. I will not support that practice neither from Apple nor any other company
I’m still using a pair of AKG55 cans I bought in 2002. Can’t imagine buying disposable headphones.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
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Sunnyvale, CA
I love how Apple always just HAS to solder everything for no obvious reason yet claims they are so environmental. Hypocrites
The soldered battery provides high reliability. It has zero to do with repairability.

Soldering is relatively simple, but even if the battery was connectorized, the AirPod would still be unrepairable.

Not repairable, but it is recyclable. Apple pays the recycling company for that service.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
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Australia
Why do people think the batteries in something this small should be user replaceable? To design that you’d have a completely different product and one much larger.
Because this is terribly un-environmentally friendly.

Consumable components should NOT be soldered in.
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Not repairable, but it is recyclable. Apple pays the recycling company for that service.
It is good that they are recyclable, but given the environmental impact of recycling and then manufacturing a replacement product, it is not environmentally friendly.
 

tevion5

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2011
1,781
1,115
Ireland
This are "single use" items. Frankly speaking I think it should be banned. There was nothing wrong with wired headphones that did not need battery etc and were lasting many years. Now you pay 250USD and have basically couple years of use until battery gives up. I will not support that practice neither from Apple nor any other company
Counter point: as someone using wired earphones almost every day I've had to get a new pair nearly every year. The point of failure every single time was the cable breaking from normal rubbing against my pocket too many times.

Using AirPods for months now and no complaints yet touch wood