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With all their intricate, precision-engineered parts, AirPods Max remind us more of a mechanical watch than of any pair of headphones.

Despite their complexity, and an earcup-opening procedure fraught with strange screws and adhesive, Apple's first over-ear headphones are actually quite serviceable—if you have all the tools and are willing to put in some work.

We're thrilled to see DIY-friendly highlights like the easily-removable ear cushions and headband in an Apple product.

And after tearing down some of the competition, we're more understanding of that $550 price tag. Sony and Bose both charge less, but internally, the AirPods Max’s obsessive craftsmanship makes those other extremely capable devices look like toys by comparison.

All that said, we're excited to award the first-ever non-zero repair score to an AirPods device...

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