As night follows day, when a new gadget is launched, the iFixit teardown is never more than a couple of weeks away. Today, the company has shredded Apple’s new AirPods Max, finding that — in sharp contrast with the regular AirPods — they are “quite serviceable.” It is indeed possible to tear these cans to pieces (if you’re not ham-handed) if, crucially, you have about a million specialist screwdrivers to hand at all times.
One of the most cheering elements is that Apple has swerved both glue and solder for several key components. And while it’s not for the faint-hearted, you can access (and remove) the battery and Lightning port, two likely points of failure for any pair of headphones. In total, the cans scored a six out of 10, the first time an AirPods product has managed to earn points for repairability.
Apple also gets some praise for sweating the details on a couple of oft-overlooked components, like the hinge connecting ear cups to headband. You can almost feel the implicit praise when the electromechanical hinge is described as “both intricate and overbuilt,” and serves as a justification of that hefty price. Even better, is that you can pop out the headband from the ear cups with a SIM tool or paperclip to further aid repairability.
Much like iFixit’s PlayStation 5 teardown, iFixit has X-rayed the AirPods Max in order to see just how these things are put together. If you’re looking for some pretty desktop backgrounds, then the internal workings of a pair of headphones might just be a nice option. It also helps you see to what extent Apple sweated some of the details here to make headphones that might actually be able to swerve landfill.