After much delay, Apple's newest AirPods are finally available to the general public. And as usual, the legendary iFixit team has taken the time to disassemble the wireless headphones, and see how the device fares when it comes to reparability.
Their general consensus? 'Disposable and unrecyclable.'
The iFixit team found tightly packed components inside the AirPods. However, it was quick to notice that Apple used adhesives to build the headphones. "As we begin to pull out the boards, cables, and other bits, we're reminded of a certain wearable repair nightmare," subtly pointing out the Apple Watch, which it found to be nearly impossible to repair. "If jamming complex components into a small form factor and sealing it with a copious amount of glue were a game, Apple would be winning."
Moreover, through X-ray imagery, potential quality issues were found in the AirPods case's processor, which is responsible for charging the headphones. The team discovered excessive empty spaces in its solder, with iFixit attributing this as evidence of low quality standards, or a rushed product release, after being delayed from its original availability date.
Overall, it concluded that accessing any case component is impossible without destroying the outer casing. This helped the iFixit team gave the AirPods a 0/10 reparability score, a very rare grade. The team has dealt with numerous products that it concluded to be hard to repair, like the Surface Pro 2 and the Surface Book, both garnering a score of 1, but this is one of the rare cases where a product has received the lowest score of 0.
To see more of iFixit's teardown of the Apple AirPods, you can check out the full post on its website here.