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Not merely T4, not only T3, not just T2, but even a few teeny-tiny T1 Torx screws later, the joint comes apart and shows its springs, miniscule bearings, and precision-machined micro-housings.

The two large springs provide that gentle clamping pressure on your skull, while the two smaller springs perform a neat trick that we'll reveal in a minute.

Why did Apple go to such lengths to over-engineer these parts? Here are a few factors:

The two points in any headphone where the headband meets the ear cup are paramount for comfort. The joint needs to move with multiple degrees of freedom to sit comfortably on the wearer's head, and be sturdy enough to be yanked around a bit during the putting-on and resizing process.

Additionally, headphones are little pockets of pure vibration. Inside both ear cups, the drivers vibrate rapidly for extended periods of time to create sound for your ear holes. So any joint hardware inside the ear cup needs to be pretty robust.

It was rumored that Apple wanted to design the AirPods Max headband to be easily-swappable like its magnetic ear cups. That feature was thought to be missing from the final design, but this joint is so complex it just might have one more thing up its sleeve...

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