iFixit has gotten their hands on Apple’s new AirPods Pro, and as they are wont to do, they have torn them apart. The teardown shows that the new AirPods have a different battery and they’re heavier, but they have retained at least one thing, a zero repairability score.
Each AirPod Pro bud weighed in at 0.19 oz (5.4 g), which is a full third heavier than the prior version of Apple’s wireless earbuds. The new charging case is also notably heavier, tipping the scales at 1.61 oz (45.6 g), compared to the original case’s 1.34 oz (38 g).
The battery inside each AirPod is a watch-style button cell battery, in place of the pin-type battery found inside the original AirPods. iFixit believes the battery is the same one found inside Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, which are replaceable. However, Apple has soldered the battery to a cable, making them unreplaceable.
iFixit noted that Apple is said to have confirmed that the new AirPods Pro aren’t any more repairable than previous versions of the earbuds. The y will just replace them in case of any issues.
An update to Monday’s report: Apple has confirmed that the new AirPods Pro are no more repairable than previous versions of the wireless earbuds. The pods are made partly with recyclable materials but due to size and build process (i.e glue) it doesn’t repair. Just replace.
— Lauren Goode (@LaurenGoode) October 30, 2019
While iFixit believes Apple could possibly be able to replace the in-ear portion of the earbuds and re-use the original stems – which include the System on Package (SiP), antennas, microphones, and Force sensor – the company has, for reasons unknown – has chosen not to do so.
This means that once the battery in an AirPod Pro earbud dies the entire unit will need to be replaced. The cost of that will be $89 for a single earbud, or $178 for a pair. However, if AppleCare+ has been purchased for the headphones ($29), it will cost users only an additional $29 fee to replace a pair of damaged AirPods Pro or their case. AppleCare+ coverage applies for up to two years from the purchase date, and covers two incidents.