While an updated remote is nice, the real innovation in the EarPods is in the speakers.
Like most speakers, the speakers in the EarPods consist of a diaphragm/cone, a voice coil, a permanent magnet, and a cabinet.
Paper or Plastic? The voice coil is supported by a composite diaphragm made of a paper cone and a polymer surround. This is the first iteration of Apple headphones to use paper cones rather than all plastic.
The most exciting—and most widely publicized—feature of the EarPods is the unique teardrop-esque shape of the cabinet.
Yet once these guys are open, things start looking quite similar to other earbuds.
Apple spent a lot of time analyzing people's ears, so hopefully their external design will pay dividends in the auditory excellence department.
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