Apple will have taken an important, very important step in the right direction with regard to repairing its products, but there are still several areas with large room for improvement; among these are the earphones, which since the release of the first generation AirPods have been defined impossible to repair . With the AirPods 3 released just a few weeks ago, things have not changed: this is demonstrated by the iFixit video released over the weekend. As a bonus, the video also shows the teardown of the Fit Pro from Beats, another company owned by Apple; and the result does not change – indeed, perhaps the Fit Pros are even more difficult still.
The key problem of the TWS earphones is the battery. As we all know, it is a component that inevitably degrades over time and needs to be replaced after a few years. iFixit says that, like its predecessors (and to be honest many other competing TWS headsets on the market) it is impossible to open the AirPods 3 or Beats Fit Pro without risking serious damage to the body . The most practical opening method found is to squeeze the earbuds in a vise until the plastic shell deforms enough to insert a pick or other thin plastic tool between the halves to complete the separation.
Once this is done, however, the problems are not over. Chip, driver and battery are gathered in a unique “tangle” of components and cables , extremely complicated to also separate due to adhesives and welds. In short, for the moment the only concrete solution to restore the autonomy of your earphones is … Buy a new pair.
Overall iFixit has assigned the AirPods 3 a repairability index of 0 out of 10 . The chances of being able to reassemble your earphones without damage after disassembling them are almost non-existent. There is some good news, albeit a small one: the AirPods 3 battery is relatively easier to remove than in the past, so hopefully if nothing else, recycling components once they reach the end of their life cycle will be a little easier. .