HomeTech GiantsAppleAirPods Pro 2: No improvement in repairability

AirPods Pro 2: No improvement in repairability

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After six years, Apple hasn’t made any progress on the reparability of its true wireless earphones, a repair service provider complains.

The second generation of the AirPods Pro brings many detailed improvements, but not in terms of repairability: Apple’s true wireless earphones are still “unfixable”, as the repair service provider iFixit complains, who dismantled the plugs and the battery charging box. After all, Apple is now relying on recycled rare earth magnets, but recycling also requires a lot of energy and ultimately the earphones often end up in a landfill.

The small battery is still in the housing of the earplugs and can only be separated with force, complained iFixit. The antenna, the microphone and a now touch-compatible control unit are still in the handle. With the AirPods Pro 2 it is possible for the first time to change the volume with a swipe gesture, which has not been the case with AirPods before.

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Since the debut of the AirPods in 2016, iFixit has complained that they are irreparable and that they are ultimately disposable items. There is now no longer any excuse for the fact that Apple has not made any progress in this regard in six years. With the first AirPods generation, the batteries in the earphones often gave out after around a year and a half to two years of continuous use. While iPhone batteries are said to still offer “up to 80 percent of their original capacity” after 500 full charge cycles, there’s no comparable promise for AirPods. Apple’s price for a replacement AirPod with a new battery is 55 euros each.

In the US, customers have the option to request a prepaid return envelope to send in old AirPods for recycling. In Germany, the manufacturer refers to the rules for electronic waste, so AirPods can be disposed of independently at recycling centers. Third-party processing is now more difficult because AirPods are tied to the owner’s Apple ID for Apple’s Find My service. If the connection is not released, the earphones cannot be set up again.

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