Video Overview


Apple EarPods were standard issue with iPhones released before the iPhone 7. So what happens when Apple releases a phone with no headphone jack? They release wireless headphones. Are the new Apple AirPods worth the wait? Only one way to find out. Ladies and gents, hold onto your headphones seats, it's teardown time!

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your AirPods, use our service manual.

  1. Alright, we've got Apple's latest stocking stuffers on our teardown table, and it's time to see what they're made of. Here's the scoop so far:
    • Alright, we've got Apple's latest stocking stuffers on our teardown table, and it's time to see what they're made of. Here's the scoop so far:

      • Each AirPod weighs 0.14 oz (4 g), while the charging case weighs 1.34 oz (38 g)

      • Each AirPod measures in at 0.65" × 0.71" × 1.59" (16.5 mm × 18.0 mm × 40.5 mm) while the charging case measures in at 1.74" × 0.84" × 2.11" (44.3 mm × 21.3 mm × 53.5 mm)

      • Utilizes Bluetooth technology and Apple's new W1 chip for wireless connectivity

      • Uses microphones, optical sensors, and a motion accelerometer for in-ear detection

      • Beamforming microphones are coupled with an additional accelerometer in order to filter out unwanted noise

      • The AirPods alone can hold a charge up to 5 hours, while their charging case holds additional charge for up to 24 hours of listening time

    Has someone checked the battery lifetime in cold (freezing) temperatures?

    Peter Goedtkindt - Reply

    I guess in cold temperature you should have the gear covering your ear or ear is warm enough for airpods. If your airpods are left in cold environment for a while and you pull out to use, that is different story.

    bubble.stock -

    How long does it take to charge the airpods by the case?

    Jim Ngo - Reply

  2. AirPods—featuring the electrifying Apple Egg!
    • AirPods—featuring the electrifying Apple Egg!

    • On one end, this power-packed charging case is equipped with a Lightning connector to charge its battery.

    • At the other end, recessed deep within each AirPod housing, is a pair of contacts for charging the 'Pods respective onboard batteries.

    • Finally, at the top of the charge case, we spy a little status LED for notifying you when the triad of batteries is collectively out of juice.

    • You can see it all end-to-end if you have X-ray vision. Keep your eyes peeled for some deep scans of the AirPods throughout this teardown.

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    • The charge case cover sports a new model number—A1602—and offers up some info on the case's overall power capacity: 398 mAh.

    • Performing our last teardown rites on the charge case, we take a quick peek at the setup button on the back. If Apple's highly-touted instant sync feature fails or isn't available, this button is here to save the day with a more traditional Bluetooth pairing process.

    • Alright, no more wasting time. Let's get to the good stuff.

    Your description of the button on the back of the case is incorrect. The instant sync capabilities are actually automatic and happen right when you open the case, the button on the back is just for manual pairing with other bluetooth devices.

    Brendon - Reply

    "Rites". You have the right to perform last rites.

    dmrifles - Reply

    Does the case itself include a Bluetooth radio?

    Alexis Gallagher - Reply

    • The earbuds are covered in dots: grilles for speaker action, microphone holes for those noise-canceling secondary mics, and black dots for IR proximity sensors.

    • The 'Pods are individually labeled with separate model numbers—A1722 (left) and A1523 (right)—and FCC IDs, BCG-A1722 and BCG-1523.

    • X-rays give us a peek at what's inside, some grilles, and that microphone, the rest is a mystery to unravel.

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    • With no visible fasteners in sight, we resort to more aggressive tactics and apply some heat and knife action.

    • After the application of heat, we try some samurai slicing.

    • In the interest of safety, we pull out an opening pick to finish the job. With a quick twist we separate the speaker portion of the earbud, and spy some internals.

    That GIF tho

    MicroTech - Reply

    • Our journey in pursuit of electronics did not leave us disappointed. We reveal some tightly-packed components.

    • As we begin to pull out the boards, cables, and other bits, we're reminded of a certain wearable repair nightmare (*cough* Apple Watch *cough*).

    • 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.

    • That game now includes the world's cutest (and smallest?) coaxial connector.

    • Dangling off to the side is one of the two IR proximity sensors that the AirPod uses to detect when it's in an ear.

    Great line "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."

    Marc Hertogh - Reply

    A question --- is there waterproof coating applied onto the PCBA inside AirPods?

    JP Curious - Reply

    Well, you can’t really expect one to be able to fit everything inside, without having them look like tangled…spiderwebs.


    but the other ones (IR senseor and stuff) are not as friendly, now.

    Xavier Jiang - Reply

    • At this point we're momentarily stymied—what remains in the earbud is a hot mess of cables and adhesive, and none of it seems particularly keen on coming out. So we turn to the stem, hoping for another entry point.

    • Instead, we encounter a waterfall of glue.

      • That shiny metal cap provides contact points for charging the AirPod, and surrounds the primary microphone. Hidden behind and within the torrent of glue, we spy the end of the battery cable.

      • Ripping out the glue plug reveals the end of a teensy weensy battery, with teensy weensy spot welds. Looks like we won't be replacing these any time soon (or recycling them, ever).

    If it's hot melt glue Isopropyl alcohol will remove it cleanly. If it's a silicone type adhesive then your mostly screwed.

    Martin King - Reply

    no it is probably not hot glue.

    But hmmm isopropyl alcohol…thanks for that tip @mfx

    on the other hand, yes, having the ability to having the entire thing be glue-free smells really good.

    Maybe you can just prepare a beaker full of that and dump the entire thing (case, left pod, right pod) in and put it on a … the shaking plate?


    Xavier Jiang - Reply

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    • Having exhausted the obvious entry points, we opt for the full surgical approach. Nurse, hand me the scalpel.

    • Lifting the membrane with surgical precision reveals what's likely an antenna laid over the heart battery.

    • Okay, so we might not have the patience of a surgeon. The pliers come out, and we rip the rest of the casing off to get to the goodies.

    I think the way they did it is shoved the battery through the bottom and glued it to the cap. They then microsoldered the contacts to the board. It’s crazy how intricate this is!

    Liam Powell - Reply

    • With the plastic casing off, we're able to peel that long antenna from the battery.

    • Finding the antenna here explains a bit about the AirPods' design. That hanging boom is for more than just balance—it's also to improve reception.

    • Digging deeper under more glued-on cables and tape, we find some markings etched into the battery. Looks like this is a 93 milliwatt hour battery—equivalent to a little over 1% of the charge capacity in an iPhone 7.

    I assume this is a 1.5V battery?

    mdg1111 - Reply

    What is the charging voltage for the headphones?

    Bogdan Mirkac - Reply

    Probably the same as a normal Li-ion

    Oliver Watson - Reply

    Who manufactures these tiny batteries?

    Chaim b. Abraham - Reply

    AirPods charge very quickly. What is the full charge voltage? I assume to maximize lifespan/cycle life and charging speed they don’t actually charge to 4.2 volts or whatever the 100% SOC voltage is for that chemistry. Also any idea what the chemistry is (LCO, LMO, NMC, etc?)

    Kyle Sweeney - Reply

    Without any evidence (from multimeter or “experiment results”) I reason it is a 1.2V cell, type AAAAA.

    From the flange on the battery to the left and the suspecious look of the supposed contact points for it.

    *Very quickly* was a bad unit for charge time. 1 hour full? 30 min full? (FULL, not able to use again)

    if 1 hour full then charge current is 93MA. 30 minute charge is 186MA, so on and so forth.

    I guess Apple had this thing on 1C charge (93MAH—>1 hour @ 93MA). 2C charge will just wreck this battery.

    Xavier Jiang - Reply

    • Pulling up the complex flexible circuit reveals a golden array! They look like test points, but the cluster isn't labeled.

    • The cable weaves into an intricate speaker assembly that houses a proximity sensor and some antenna lines.

    What about the drivers? Same as earpods?

    Eric R - Reply

    Did you see the MID traces on the housing here? I think they're there to improve the GND counterpart to the antenna by capacitivly coupling to the ear! Great idea, isn't it?

    Simon - Reply

    Why didn't you open the drivers? I want to know they still use paper drivers or not.

    Masa - Reply

    I don’t think they’re the same.

    Liam Powell -

    • We bust out our microscope to get a look at these tiny chip markings:

      • Apple 343500130 is suspected to be the W1 wireless communication chip

      • Cypress CY8C4146FN programmable system on a chip

      • Maxim 98730EWJ low power stereo audio codec

      • Texas Instruments TPS743

    Check out edgewater wireless. They specialize in wifi technology , multichannel wireless , reducing interference, etc. they hold 24 patents. A lot of their tech applies to any wireless protocol. In 2015, apple bought a patent off them for front end power effiency ( us patent 7016654).The deal had “strong commercial terms attached “. I beleive it is Edgewater’s tech that apple used to enhance the airpods when they were designing them with the patents acquired during the passif semiconductor acquisition. Confident that we will see technology from edgewaters patents inside the w1 chip. It would be what gives the airpods the incredible battery life, amazing connectivity, and the ability to sync a seperate signal to each pod with no interference. How do you get to the bottom of the inner workings of a chip in order to discover these patents?

    JD8510 - Reply

    Why is the audio codec stereo? A single 'Pod only puts out one channel of audio, obviously...

    ncb - Reply

    Because if it was mono, the output wouldn’t be stereo, it would be twin-track mono, which isn’t the same thing! Twin track mono is the SAME sounds coming out of both ‘plugs, stereo is DIFFERENT sounds coming out of EACH plug! Chris.

    Christopher Burke -

    @JD8510: "How do you get to the bottom of the inner workings of a chip in order to discover these patents?"

    Well, there are optical techniques to do so after you've striped away the housing with nitric acid. I even heard about tecniques, where layer by layer has been removed from such a chip to get to the inner workings. And if you've the money and therefore the material to do so, you're even able to read out single bits of memory cells. OTPs by optical ways, others by using a scanning electron microscope...

    @ncb: IMHO there are no such small mono codecs on the market, as the additionally used space is much smaller than the advantace you're getting by adding a second channel. Most of the chip area is used by the core functionalities of the codec anyway.

    Simon - Reply

    TPS743 IMHO doesn't exist. Think it's a simple TPS7430 or TPS74301 LDO from TI.

    Is there someone who understood the working of the antenna? Well, it's attached DIRECTLY on the battery. Normally this won't work, as the antenna would be shortened in a RF-way. But maybe the whole battery compartement is decoupled in a RF way from the rest of the PCB? Means the battery itself would then act as an antenna as well? Clever, if this is working like this. Any comments?

    Simon - Reply

    any one know the sound is generated from W1 or chip of maxim?

    lucas wu - Reply

    Can someone x-ray that part and see whats inside it?

    Subash Patel -

    @ncb: I think that by only using one single AirPod, the incoming bluetooth stereo signal is actually downmixed to mono. In fact you're able to hear both channels on this sole AirPod.

    taue2512 - Reply

    It's interesting that Apple filed the FCC with request for confidentiality on the antenna..

    side note: while I was in love with the AirPods they are really hurting my ears. We are now divorcing.. and I am not the only one. Discussion for another day ;)

    No el - Reply

    What’s DMIC used on the AirPods, plz ?

    Wally - Reply

    The Texas Instruments TPS743 seems to not exist, bet there was an alternative on Texas Instruments TPS743. This small chip is according to the Texas Instruments website a programable Start-Up Sequencing chip to control things such as temprature and voltage while starting up. Apple may have a special version of this chip inside of the AirPods. For more information on this chip

    Zachary McCullough - Reply

    I wonder how dead reckoning for the wireless works in this case, considering the antenna is all over the battery?

    Also, I am unable to get Maxim-Integrated MAX98730EWJ T datasheet in Mouser website which you provided.

    Subash Patel - Reply

    • AirPods pretty well destroyed, we turn to their seamless-looking case...

    • Jimmy proves to be too nice a guy to open our stubborn charging case.

    • So we grab something with a little more tooth. Don't worry, you'll only feel a sliiight pressure ...

      • Fair warning: this is not the safest way to do this. But the dentist told us we only bled because we haven't been flossing.

      • We're finally able to pull the cabley 'pod holder out of the main case, revealing some internals—namely a hefty battery.

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    • With the cable pod removed, but still connected by a tangle of ribbon cables, we pull off that status LED.

    • With some more dental fortitude, we're able to separate AirPod tubes from the charging bracket, freeing them from the cable spaghetti.

    • And while we're at it, we wrestle the head off the capsule, pulling the hinge mechanism out of its gooey green slot.

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    • The heavily-armored charging case proves to be a formidable foe, inflicting some damage on our weary teardowners. Desperate times call for desperate Dremel usage.

    • What lies beneath the impenetrable sheath? A battery does! It is tucked into a cozy slot within the iron polycarbonate fortress.

      • And in case you noticed, yes, half of the status LED flex cable did fall behind.

    • Upon removal, we spot the secret ooze adhesive that was fighting us—and we spot a single cable connecting the battery to the logic board of the charging case.

      • Oh look, a ZIF connector! At least recyclers won't have to break out a soldering iron after shedding blood, sweat, and tears to tear through the outer casing.

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    • Safely shucking the casing finally gives us a good look at the biggest battery of the day.

      • Spoiler alert: it's still tiny.

    • This 3.81 V, 1.52 Wh lithium-ion cell has roughly 16 times the power capacity of the ones we dug out of the AirPods' stems—meaning you should be able to top them up at least a few times between case charges.

      • For the sake of scorekeeping, the battery in the Apple Pencil weighs in at 0.329 Wh, and the Series 2 Apple Watch sports a 1.03 Wh cell—so this is technically the biggest tiny battery we've recently encountered.

    This is not a lipo battery, it says right on the battery it is a lithium ion battery

    traxxasbandit1 - Reply

    Well, Li-Ion could also be used as a hyperonym of LiPo and Li-Ion. Means, a LiPo INDEED is one sort of Li-Ion based batteries...

    Simon - Reply

    • The sync button is a self-contained li'l clicky dude, with contacts that match up to some spring contacts on the main board.

    • Electrical switches can be complicated. This one, however, probably isn't. It is likely a pushbutton switch. A press of the button closes the circuit and lets current flow. This current will flow into the circuit and be interpreted as input. We told you it was simple.

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    • We loosen a pair of Phillips screws to access the Lightning connector, pop its press connector off the back of the logic board, and seconds later it's free to leave this plastic mess behind.

    • Luckily, the Lightning port is modular—so if you wear your port out, all you have to do is utterly destroy the case to replace that component.

      • The logic board is secured with a lot of sticky tape.

    "Luckily, the Lightning port is modular—so if you wear your port out, all you have to do is utterly destroy the case to replace that component."


    Ryan Vennell - Reply

    Wow - *PHILLIPS* screws?? Not Torx, or Tri-Head, or some other strange kind they've invented? Well, probably because (short of destroying the thing), it's not possible to *get* to the screw anyway, so there's no reason to make it "non-user-serviceable".

    jimwitte - Reply

    • Let us take a look at what silicon is so heavily guarded by the charging case:

      • STMicroelectonics STM32L072 ARM Cortex-M0+ MCU

        • Our X-ray imagery shows some quality issues in this chip's solder joints. Empty spaces, known as voiding, could be evidence of low quality standards, or a rushed product release. Could issues with the AirPod case be what delayed release?

      • NXP 1610A3 charging IC (as seen in iPhones 6s and SE and both iPad Pro models)

      • Texas Instruments BQ24232 power management IC

    Is the flaw with the chip solder joint fixed?

    ultime_booter - Reply

    the STM32L072 only power control?

    Huang guozheng - Reply

    Is that some kind of debuggin port on the right side of the second photo? And what's the 10-pin "thin-chip-like-thing" labeled 6A98 on the lower-left of the first photo? Some kind of array of capacitors or something?

    jimwitte - Reply

    That is the ZIF port that connects to the battery. The “thin chip-like thing” is the connector that links to the AirPod dock and status light. All of these things are listed in previous steps above.

    Esteban Valle -

    That sort of voiding in a reflowed BGA (ball grid array) solder joint is unavoidable, and is acceptable in IPC workmanship standards up to a percentage limit. I don’t recall the specific numbers, but these voids look normal/OK to me (recently retired process engineer in electronics manufacturing).

    jerry.cupples - Reply

    • Blood, sweat, and lots of glue later, we give you:

      • A pile of 'pod parts...

      • and a collection of case components.

    • Every single one of the amazing X-ray images in this teardown comes to you by way of our ingenious friends at Creative Electron. Hi guys!

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  4. Final Thoughts
    • Accessing any case component is impossible without destroying the outer casing.
    • Glue is the only external fastener used in the case or earbuds.
    Repairability Score
    Repairability 0 out of 10
    (10 is easiest to repair)


do the airpods feature the same driver as the earpods?

Jason Wilson - Reply

Great question, trying to find this out myself.

SJDragonetti -

It looks like it's a bit different. The EarPod teardown has a pretty nice comparison of the generations of earbuds from Apple in step 11. They look like they mostly have open-back designs while the new AirPods have a black plastic (and mesh?) that covers the back of the driver. Apple EarPods Teardown

I would be interested in seeing these compared to the new PowerBeats 3 since that headphone model also uses a membrane-style speaker in the midsection bulge of the stem.

Josiah Knoll -

It wouldn't really matter. The EarPods had a lot of tuning done to them through the ports on the front, back, and stems (cover with tape and see what happens). The AirPods have ports moved as well as less air in the housings (replaced with logic boards, batteries, and other electronics. So even if they do use the same drivers, they'll sound substantially different.

Marcus Nguyen -

I'm curious if you were to design something that small with the same capabilities how would you A) not use glue and B) make it somehow "easy" to repair

johnnyrotten1 - Reply

I don't think you can get away without any glue. It's a question of using it effectively not over doing it. The kind of glue you use is important as well!

I would have liked to seen bayonet style in the caps with a small touch of glue and/or a snap fit. The inner workings could have used less tacky foam glue so the parts don't move but could be removed if needed (given the price it should be repairable).

Dan -

Not for the headphones themselves, but I guess the case could've been made a lot more repairable.

Christoph Parstorfer -

That was my first question as well. Compared to a lot of other consumer electronics, designing fully wireless earbuds that are easily recyclable would seem to be an interesting (and likely difficult) engineering challenge. Both in terms of the physical design as well as surviving even a rudimentary cost-benefit analysis. Going by the AirPods and Apple Pencil, it seems like glue is the cheap, easy go-to solution when the internal components aren't enough to justify a major recycling effort. Though the case itself might be worth recycling. I'd think that the glue also helps with a better seal as well, but it's not like these are water resistant in the first place.

Manual recycling looks like a total no-go for these. They could probably automate some of the breakdown (ugh), but again, the recoverable materials per item are so low it couldn't be justified economically. Unless Apple ate the costs as part of their marketing efforts, it looks like the AirPods themselves go straight to the landfill.

Tom S -

That's a good question, I can think of quite a few ways. Per example the metal connector base coud be used as a screw to hold the case together, and the internals could be kept in place in a sandwich like fashion by a plastic support. Everything would be tightly secured by the base screw, which could be unscrewed to open the case and grant access to the battery for replacement.

But Apple's engineers aren't really that much into clever internal product design, they're more about the finish, aesthetics and low manufacturing costs. Who cares about recycling when you can just use tape and glue. Leave the environment speech to marketing.

asuma -

Massive glue is used because it is needed for acoustic sealing around the housing and the transducer. No other ways like ultrasonic welding can replace glue in earbuds and headphones.

steve -

Check out edgewater wireless. They specialize in wifi technology , multichannel wireless , reducing interference, etc. they hold 24 patents. A lot of their tech applies to any wireless protocol. In 2015, apple bought a patent off them for front end power effiency ( us patent 7016654).The deal had “strong commercial terms attached “. I beleive it is Edgewater’s tech that apple used to enhance the airpods when they were designing them with the patents acquired during the passif semiconductor acquisition. Confident that we will see technology from edgewaters patents inside the w1 chip. It would be what gives the airpods the incredible battery life, amazing connectivity, and the ability to sync a seperate signal to each pod with no interference. How do you get to the bottom of the inner workings of a chip in order to discover these patents?

JD8510 - Reply

Looks like a different speaker diaphragm and basket assembly than the Earpods then?

Waiting on objective measures of the sound quality. Given how much they improved Macbook speakers, even the 12" beating many larger laptops, hopefully these didn't miss that love.

nitesh singh - Reply

The AirPods are a true engineering marvel, an astonishing array of technology jam packed into the smallest of containers. Remarkable!

Satyajeet Vishwakarma - Reply

How much would the components rack up to?

Norbert de Rooy - Reply

This is the fist time ive seen a zero on the repairability scale!

Gigabit87898 - Reply

Can you please explain more what you mean at step 18) with "Empty spaces, known as voiding, could be evidence of low quality standards, or a rushed product release."

Tom Stein - Reply

I think he is referring to what looks a little like tiny bubbles within each of the pads in the array (But I could be mistaken... an arrow would help a LOT!)

everseeker -

The chip utilizes a Ball Grid Array. (BGA) Each dot is a contact. To attach it to the board a special solder/flux ball is placed on each contact. The chip is then placed on the board by a robot and heated with air hot enough to melt the solder. When it works it will result in a nice solid connection. When it fails it won't. The problem is that many times it will work fine during testing and for a period of time after. Once the connection breaks then you will either get intermittent problems or sudden failure. A common do it yourself fix for a circuit board with a failed BGA chip connection is to put it in an oven at around 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes to remelt the solder. This was a common fix on the HP LJ 3005. To properly fix this problem the chip has to be removed from the board, the solder balls are removed and replaced with new ones and then re attached to the board and baked. This obviously will never happen on airpods as it would be more expensive to repair then to just scrap the entire device.

Billy Bob -

Any ideas what the gold ink is doing connecting the speaker grilles to the circuit?

michaelgormack - Reply

"The cable weaves into an intricate speaker assembly that houses a proximity sensor and some antenna lines."

Maybe using the speaker grilles as antennae?

Todd -

Have you done a chip teardown of the W1? If not, are you aware of anyone who has done a chip teardown of the W1?

Jameson Johnny - Reply

Any chance you could 3D print the housing in order to complete a repair?

Rob Link - Reply

Hyperthetically you could, but would be near impossible without a 3D scan of the internals of the housing to do so. You would also need to use a 3D printing technology that has a high resolution such as sla or Sls, which firstly comes with their inherent surface finishes, but secondly are quite pricey as processes (not something you print on a home printer). And then even if you get around those issues, you would then have to remove the existing components without further damaging them and assembling them in the correct order and then apply your own glue. It's all possible, but much better off spending your money on a new pair...

Brad stebbing -

In step 11, there have two holes on the surface of the bottom right corner, is there has a more clear image to see that is any LED in there?

a01030202 - Reply

I would like to propose a teardown of the left Airpod as well. Left and right have different FCC numbers so there might be a difference between the two.

KTMW - Reply

I looks like there is a Bosch BMA-282 or BMA-280 accelerometer in there (The 'LP' chip).

DaveR - Reply

According to IPC-A-610 Rev. E chapter "BGAs" 30% Voiding is okay. In very level. So normal industry standard. There is no solderpaste reflowing without voids. And voids are not automatically a problem. That is the reason why production and customer are allowed to negotiate a own border for that value. Head-In-Pillow-Defects were be a problem. But you have to lower the x-ray angle to see them. So from that Picture: Everything is fine for me.

Dan - Reply

I agree 100% about the acceptability of the voiding seen in the x-ray images of the reflowed BGA solder joints. Perfectly normal.

jerry.cupples -

I'm actually more interesting in how the ear buds plastic housing component is's seamless on the outside, yet houses a complex assembly inside. Injection moulding can't do this in one piece, and there is too much air inside to be over moulded. Maybe two pieces glued together then polished?

Brad stebbing - Reply

I would think the flashing is ground off and then the casings are polished up :)

Matt Foot -


Michael Lin - Reply

Does ifixit do chip teardowns, or does anyone else for that matter ? Would like to understand the inner workings of the w1 chip in terms of sending and receiving signals and power saving methods. Evidence points to edgewater wireless's technology being inside the chip/airpods, who can confirm this somehow?

JD8510 - Reply

Love these teardowns, especially the tough ones. thx!

herojig - Reply

Any traces of Energous/Dialog Semiconductors "wireless charging" chips there?

rantonc - Reply

Someone needs to tell Apple that ALL EARS are ANALOGUE - it doesn't matter how the sound gets up to the transducers, because they just turn it back into analogue sound pressure. What a fools errand all round.

Gives the fanboys something to spend money on and coo about, I suppose...

I am an Apple user, I love most of their products, but this is just utterly STUPID.

I have one perfectly working iPhone 5S, a perfectly working set of EarPods with Remote and Mic (and two more brand new, sealed, for spares) and I have ZERO intention of "upgrading" to anything "better". In fact, I'll shortly be going back to a Nokia 3510i I would think (no, I am not joking) because this obsession with a "central distraction hub" is shortening my attention span, STEALING my time and to be honest, it's all just overrated, non-vital guff that people have become seduced by for no good reason.

Matt Foot - Reply

Absolutely! Who cares about having high quality cameras, GPS, internet and all those other bells and whistles. I'm gonna switch to using carrier pigeon.

asuma -

I'm converting to potato-printing my music. No more apples for me.

mikesilver -

I would like to add a little resin to the earpods to improve the fit in my ears. The problems is they then won't fit in the housing to charge.

If I were to shave off a mm or two from the housing (where the earpod sit), would I cut through anything other than just the casing?

brendan - Reply

Probably not, but I’d be super careful.

Liam Powell -

Pack the destroyed mess up and send it off to Blendtec. Will it Blend?

galane - Reply

I'm interested in the charging contacts for the airpods. It looks like any 1.5v source would get them charging without a negotiation pin. Can you confirm that or is there some kind of 2-wire communication happening?

Also what do the contact points inside the charging case tubes look like? Are they just beryllium-copper springs? Are they spring loaded? Are there magnets to hold the airpods in?

Will - Reply

Why such a small battery? Weight or just space? I think they could have (and may well one day) double the size of the battery and double the battery life. Ten hours on a charge would be awesome.

MrHatken - Reply

From the pics, it looks like the antenna is just a thin flex stuck to the side of the battery. However, on the video it looks more like a flex on a 2mm ? substrate. Is this correct and if so, is the substrate plastic or ceramic ?

andyk11 - Reply

Hi Folks,

I'm pretty interesting how does apple earpods connects to between each earphone? Does it Bluetooth connection?

asimpl3ns - Reply

Yes, I think they use Bluetooth. I think your iPhone establishes a connection with each Airpod for music relay. The AirPods connect with each other to synchronize audio perfectly and do other stuff like that. At least that’s what I’d assume.

Liam Powell -

Like Brendan, I use the rubber ear hooks so that they fit into my ears better. I wanted to use a dremel to shave a bit out of the charging case where the airpods sit, and some also out of the cap of the charging case, so they will fit into the charging case with the rubber ear hooks still on. I was wondering if damage anything by doing this? Or will I just be removing plastic from the case, without any risk of cutting into something important? For instance, is there something in the cap to indicate to the iphone that the cap of the charging case has been opened?

Ron Schriner - Reply

After a bit of messing about with the case, I worked out how it knows if its closed or open. Its the little magnet at the front centre. If you leave the lid open, and your iPhone on, you can trick the case to think its open or closed by holding a magnet to the top middle just in front of the headphones.

So, yes, I think that making the gap for the top of the airpods bigger would be ok as long as you don't damage the LED or cable, plus keep the magnet working.

I'm going to try just leaving the lid open all the time and make a magnet attachment out of sugu that fits will to "close" the case to charge.

Tim - Reply

The AirPods sound OK by themselves but sound much better when pushed into your ear canal. I want to try one of the silicone sleeves but they obviously don’t fit into the case. I’m wondering if there is an easy (relatively speaking) way to remove the lid and replace it with one that would accommodate the larger profile. It would be nice to see some photos with a little more detail of the hinge mechanism. Has anyone built an accurate 3D model of the case? A surface model is probably good enough to work with.

Jeff -

Wondering why this teardown found a silvery diaphragm rather than the hybrid paper cones here?

Did they redesign them?

tipoo - Reply

I was really put off when it was discovered that they were not recyclable. But wouldn't it be possible for me to tear it apart on my own and manually remove the battery and then recycle everything else?

casimir.lewenhaupt - Reply

Crazy question: How would one go about soldering a 3.5mm female headphone jack into the case? Any thoughts at all? I want to add a female headphone jack to the case in order to plug any music source, like a laptop with no bluetooth, into the airpod case via a 3.5mm male to male cable into the airpod case and hear it thru the airpods.

Notwithstanding the case damage to expose the electronics, does it appear that this would be possible at all? Or is all the bluetooth handled in the actual airpods themselves, negating the practicability of this idea?

Thanks for any productive answers, and bite my shiny mettle ass for any nonproductive ones.

chrismcdaniel - Reply

Not possible, audio is streamed over BT from the device directly to the AirPods.

Samuel Kvarnbrink -

Buy a $5 bluetooth-USB adaptor off ebay… Airpods can work with bluetooth.

Weilai -

You can pair AirPods with any Bluetooth audio source, but the sound quality isn’t good. I paired them with my Surface Pro and it was downright atrocious, worse than any other Bluetooth I had tried. I suspected it was intentional to keep them in the Apple ecosystem. It also loses all other functionality, like the prox sensor and tap control.

If you must, get a USB Bluetooth dongle for the computer, or a universal 3.5mm AUX to Bluetooth adapter. But you might have better luck with a competitor’s earbuds; unless you are listening to them on an Apple device, they’re horrible.

Tyler Curl -

Step 13 misses among the status led a reed switch which is responsible for activation upon case opnening.

karmansan - Reply

Guys my AirPods and airpods charging case I washed it in a washing machine bymistakely forgot I had it in my pocket when …the green led light is not illuminating it doesn't work help if any one has any knowledge about it

Ali - Reply

Nope, they’re dead. They might survive a quick drop in a puddle or a toilet, but a ride in a washing machine is total death.

Tyler Curl -

DO they have water indicator?

carlos lopez - Reply

Do they have water Indicator? If not, how can Apple tell if it’s water damage.

carlos lopez - Reply

Every cut out of the AirPods earphone is protected by a water restricting mesh. Same mesh is used in iPhones to make them water resistant. Find a video of EverythingApplePro on Youtube where Philip send AirPods for a complete cycle of washing machine. Do you want to know what happened? AirPods survived and were still in working condition.

So yes, there are no Water Indicators…

Max -

I seem to have bent one of the charging contacts in my case - only very slightly but apparently enough to not allow charging the pod anymore.

Does anyone have a good idea what tool I could use to reach into the tube, hook behind the metal lip and try to gently bend it forward again?

Ralf Pabst - Reply

That sounds like a difficult prospect! If you’re out of warranty or just want to DIY: The tools that immediately come to mind are these thin probe tools. I think the allowances would be too tight for a screwdriver or spudger, even a halberd spudger… Good luck! Let us know if you find a fix! (Or post on Answers to get some more opinions!)

Sam Lionheart -

Looking at gold strip lines in the center of earbud just wondering if it is just to establish connect between earbuds?

Sriram B - Reply

Repairability is horrible. I think that’s pretty typical Apple. Although the earbuds work like a charm. After a few days of wearing, i think i just saw some glue came out from the seams, so much the better….

makrovfisher - Reply

After months of satisfactory use, my left one is putting out less audio than the right one. Audio quality is still fine. So I’m assuming it’s filled with dirt and earwax, even though none is visible externally. Any suggestions? Would a plastic-safe electronics cleaner work, or just destroy the airpod?

Rob Foshay - Reply

Use a toothbrush: worked well for me.

tobyking -

Finding a lot of questions about ways to charge the airpods without a case. Knowing that the case provides is a 3.81V 1.52Wh cell, would it be possible just to hook up a power source (e.g., three AA batteries) to the contacts on the bottom of the airpods to charge them without the case? I’m not an EE, but could someone help me understand if this would work, and if not, what else needs to be considered? Thanks.

Robert Garber - Reply



kingroger - Reply


Miguel -

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