New AirPods H1 chip exposed in teardown, still not able to be repaired

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
A teardown of the second-generation AirPods reveals Apple made relatively few changes to the physical design of the wearable accessory, but like the original, it is still a product that is practically impossible for users to perform repairs on at home without ruining them completely.

Extracting components from the second-generation AirPods (via iFixit)
Extracting components from the second-generation AirPods (via iFixit)


The customary teardown of the just-released AirPods refresh is a demonstration that some Apple products just should not be taken apart. In a similar manner to one from two years ago for the original model, the newest attempt effectively destroys the AirPods in the process of disassembly, due to needing to cut the casing apart and to get around the considerable amount of glue used to keep all of the components in place.

The deconstruction by iFixit attempted to ease the process by warming the accessories to weaken the adhesive, before prying open the ear section to gain access to the components.

Inside the AirPods is the Apple 343S00289 chip, which is believed to be the improved H1 chip used for handling Bluetooth audio communications in headphones, as well as another Apple chip thought to be a low-powered stereo audio codec. Just as last time, Apple uses a 93 milliwatt-hour battery in each earbud.

The second-generation AirPods and the wireless charging case, disassembled (via iFixit)
The second-generation AirPods and the wireless charging case, disassembled (via iFixit)


Along with the AirPods, the team took apart the accompanying case, which offered its own issues requiring the use of a vise to deform the shell enough to cut the adhesive and extract the docking tubes. While some elements are the same as last time, including the exact same 398mAh battery, the hinge is noted for being sturdier than for the previous generation.

The disassembly of the case did find a new wireless charging coil, as well as a thermal pad to help cool the component, and a modified sync button that has additional solder points specifically for the wireless charging coil.

The new AirPods were given an iFixit "repairability" score of 0 out of a possible ten, with the repair firm advising "AirPods are not designed to be serviced. No hardware components can be accessed without damage to the device." Despite the disposable nature and minimal score, one positive from the experience was that the construction "isn't entirely improved," with the kit potentially able to "survive an extra trip through the washing machine."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    donsullivandonsullivan Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    You really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion by a company with a financial interest in getting things there way. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    edited March 29 racerhomie3thtrandominternetpersonmld53astanhopehammeroftruthNotsofaststompyn2itivguymike1
  • Reply 2 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,154member
    We really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    Just to clarify, iFixit doesn’t repair anything. They are not a repair shop and they don't sell parts. iFixit sells tool kits for repairing things. They have a vested financial interest in seeing RtR instituted because they want to be the major supplier of tools to third party shops. Always follow the money.
    randominternetpersonbeowulfschmidtmike1AppleExposedwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 27
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,140member
    iFixit is insane for trying to fix headphones ! 
    Laptops ,phones are understandable, but headphones is where you have lost me iFixit.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 27
    donsullivandonsullivan Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    lkrupp said:
    We really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    Just to clarify, iFixit doesn’t repair anything. They are not a repair shop and they don't sell parts. iFixit sells tool kits for repairing things. They have a vested financial interest in seeing RtR instituted because they want to be the major supplier of tools to third party shops. Always follow the money.
    Clarification acknowledged. The point still stands that iFixIt is manipulating the tech media into giving this free advertising for their financial agenda at the launch of every single new product that comes out with a clearly biased view. If they want to do this and put it on their own website that's fine, but the tech press needs to stop giving them such a voice every time something new comes out and they tear it down. At no point does the article make any mention of the fact that iFixIt is doing this to make money selling repair tools and kits.
    stanhopeStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 27
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,849member
    What you mean to tell me I cannot repair a complicated piece of hardware the size of a fingernail?!
    That's an outrage!
    randominternetpersonbeowulfschmidtItsDeCiabrucemcNotsofastn2itivguymike1StrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 27
    For everyone hating on the iFixit coverage, phooey on you.

    I'm glad that they get continued coverage of the teardowns. They are a lonely voice in the sea of consumerism that puts forth an argument for repairability. Our current disposable lifestyle is not sustainable, and since the market isn't addressing the issue, we should consider cradle to grave legislation for consumer products.
    propodmuthuk_vanalingamchemengin
  • Reply 8 of 27
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 944member
    I'm not really sure anyone expects to be able to repair EarPods, like no one expects to be able to repair a pacemaker. iPhones, Macs and even HomePod yes, but EarPods, nah.

    edited March 29 StrangeDayschemenginwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 27
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    That is precisely what one would want to do. Replace the battery in the each bud. The Galaxy Buds got a 6 out of 10 from ifixit due to the relatively easy procedure to replace the coin cell battery in each bud which is available online. These buds last 2 years as we know now. Great moneymaker for Apple “the environment friendly company” Any disposable plans ?
    leftoverbaconmuthuk_vanalingamchemengin
  • Reply 10 of 27
    lkrupp said:
    We really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    Just to clarify, iFixit doesn’t repair anything. They are not a repair shop and they don't sell parts. iFixit sells tool kits for repairing things. They have a vested financial interest in seeing RtR instituted because they want to be the major supplier of tools to third party shops. Always follow the money.
    They absolutely sell parts, that's where I buy my screen and battery parts, mainly because of their warranty.

    That being said, I disagree with donsullivan.  I don't think they're bashing Apple or Airpods, simply stating the obvious (They're not repairable).  Anyone can buy these products and disassemble them, if you don't like them standing on their soapbox, get your own soapbox and make a difference.
    chemengin
  • Reply 11 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,154member
    rhinotuff said:
    lkrupp said:
    We really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    Just to clarify, iFixit doesn’t repair anything. They are not a repair shop and they don't sell parts. iFixit sells tool kits for repairing things. They have a vested financial interest in seeing RtR instituted because they want to be the major supplier of tools to third party shops. Always follow the money.
    They absolutely sell parts, that's where I buy my screen and battery parts, mainly because of their warranty.

    That being said, I disagree with donsullivan.  I don't think they're bashing Apple or Airpods, simply stating the obvious (They're not repairable).  Anyone can buy these products and disassemble them, if you don't like them standing on their soapbox, get your own soapbox and make a difference.
    Then they’ve changed since the last time I dealt with them. I wanted to buy a replacement fan for my AirPort Extreme and was politely told the didn't sell parts, only tools and user submitted instructions on disassembling and reassembling devices. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,528member
    What you mean to tell me I cannot repair a complicated piece of hardware the size of a fingernail?!
    That's an outrage!
    Everything is an outrage today...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 758member
    lkrupp said:
    We really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    Just to clarify, iFixit doesn’t repair anything. They are not a repair shop and they don't sell parts. iFixit sells tool kits for repairing things. They have a vested financial interest in seeing RtR instituted because they want to be the major supplier of tools to third party shops. Always follow the money.





  • Reply 14 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,097member
    These AirPods are an engineering and manufacturing marvel.

    As far as iFixIt is concerned, who really cares? They are an opportunist little shop that benefits from pointing out the obvious with breathless delight. I guess they could go after just about any Swiss watch maker with similar glee ... so they're saying that people should be able to have their $12K Rolex watches repaired by some dude in shopping mall kiosk or do it themselves in the basement? Sure. send me the tools. To me iFixIt is at the same level as the Blendtec folks (Will It Blend?) - somewhat amusing but nothing to get excited about.   
    StrangeDayschemenginwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 27
    lkrupp said:
    rhinotuff said:
    lkrupp said:
    We really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    Just to clarify, iFixit doesn’t repair anything. They are not a repair shop and they don't sell parts. iFixit sells tool kits for repairing things. They have a vested financial interest in seeing RtR instituted because they want to be the major supplier of tools to third party shops. Always follow the money.
    They absolutely sell parts, that's where I buy my screen and battery parts, mainly because of their warranty.

    That being said, I disagree with donsullivan.  I don't think they're bashing Apple or Airpods, simply stating the obvious (They're not repairable).  Anyone can buy these products and disassemble them, if you don't like them standing on their soapbox, get your own soapbox and make a difference.
    Then they’ve changed since the last time I dealt with them. I wanted to buy a replacement fan for my AirPort Extreme and was politely told the didn't sell parts, only tools and user submitted instructions on disassembling and reassembling devices. 
    How long has it been??

    They have totally changed from a seller of tools and guides to one of the newest big sticks to beat Apple with. 

    They claim a “right to repair” against Apple’s repair policies, but fail to warn the general public about the safety issues when it comes to repairs, especially Lithium ion battery replacement. 

    Just reading the comments on their site about how many people caused potential fatal thermal events changing an iPhone battery makes me shudder.  A $50 savings isn’t worth someone’s life. 

    They also bad mouth Apple’s Genius Bar and the technicians who repair your product. 

    For anyone who thinks replacing their batteries on AirPods is worth the risk, take a look at the woman who had her beats headphone batteries replaced and exploded on her. 

    www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2017/5/19/15666082/apple-headphones-fire-flight-explosion-beats-battery

    ifixit sells batteries, I wonder if they also make you sign a waiver in case they are defective. 

    Apple has more to lose than ifixit if a pair of AirPods catches on fire while you use them. I’d rather pay the $49 or just buy a new pair. It’s cheaper than suing or plastic surgery to repair severe burns. 
    edited March 29 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 758member
    iFixit is insane for trying to fix headphones ! 
    Laptops ,phones are understandable, but headphones is where you have lost me iFixit.
    The new AirPods were given an iFixit "repairability" score of 0 out of a possible ten, with the repair firm advising "AirPods are not designed to be serviced. No hardware components can be accessed without damage to the device."

    Which is also the same score they gave the originals. 

    I would call this less of an attempt to repair and more of a warning to folks that consider themselves handy. These are NOT for repair or they will be destroyed in the process. 

    Maybe this is why the battery replacement is so pricey by Apple?  $49.00 in warranty and $59.00 out of warranty ( Per Bud )  seems really high even for Apple... Just my opinion though as I am sure others will disagree.



    muthuk_vanalingamchemengin
  • Reply 17 of 27
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 386member
    You really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion by a company with a financial interest in getting things there way. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    Amen, even the title is fake news.  These can be repaired, and Apple charges a fee to do so. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 758member
    Notsofast said:
    You really need to stop giving one company who want to make money off repairs so much of a voice in this dialog. It's a totally one-sided discussion by a company with a financial interest in getting things there way. Just because they can't make money off repairing something does not make it a bad product. They've managed to manipulate the tech media into giving them a disproportionate voice on this topic.
    Amen, even the title is fake news.  These can be repaired, and Apple charges a fee to do so. 
    Outside of the battery being replaced what repair service does Apple offer for Airpods?  I don't own them so I am curious..
  • Reply 19 of 27
    I wonder if anyone has attempted to make a cottage industry out of taking old AirPods, cutting open the shell, replacing the battery and then placing the assembly in a brand new shell.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,303member
    How is iFixit manipulating the media? By being the premier 'teardown' and reporting service, supplying fixit instructions and a place to host them, buy selling parts?

    Yes, it's a shame that all the other comprehensive site that perform the exact same functions equally well are ignored. iFixit must be paying kickback for the coverage or somehow tricking media via evil mechanicians, no doubt. Jeeze get a life.

    And would anybody seriously expect the v2 AirPods to have replaceable batteries? I think the replacement cost per AirPod is excessive, but Apple probably doesn't want people trying to save money by buying replacements.

    Unless somebody can equal AirPod features along with the W1/H1 functionality, I'm somewhat regrettably an AirPod user for the foreseeable future. There's still much more good than bad for me.
    chemengin
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