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iFixit Dissects Apple's New EarPods

By - Source: iFixit | B 27 comments

iFixit takes a look inside Apple's new and improved earbud-style headphones.

In addition to the new iPhone and iPod devices unveiled by Apple last week, the company also released new and improved earbud-style headphones. Now called EarPods, Apple's new headphones are the third of three generations worth of designs. According to the company, the engineers behind the EarPods tested 124 different prototypes on over 600 people, resulting in a more durable, comfortable and stable design.As usual, the DIY repair gurus over at iFixit have decided to perform another teardown, confirming a more durable design that is unfortunately near-impossible to self-repair. According to iFixit, the controller inside the earbuds is better sealed, making it less susceptible to water damage and also features strain-relief wrapping to help extend the life and durability of the cable.

Additionally, the previously plastic speaker cones have been replaced with a paper model, making it a little more difficult to blow the drivers and potentially providing the source of Apple's advertised improved mid-range and bass response. Overall, the new EarPods can definitely be seen as an improvement, but the only downside is the lack of repairability. iFixit says sourcing the parts is "next to impossible", so if something does go wrong, you'd have to pay another $30 for a new pair. For the full teardown analysis, head on over to iFixit.

 

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , September 21, 2012 12:21 AM
    Who fixes $30 earphones?
    The personal time and labour expense to get a pair of earphones fixed is pointless for $30 earphones.
  • 11 Hide
    bennaye , September 21, 2012 12:47 AM
    "...that is near-impossible to self-repair"

    methinks that is the mantra that apple designers and engineers chant to themselves while working.
  • 10 Hide
    soundping , September 21, 2012 1:28 AM
    These apple EarPuds are very low-end.
Other Comments
    Display all 27 comments.
  • 24 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , September 21, 2012 12:21 AM
    Who fixes $30 earphones?
    The personal time and labour expense to get a pair of earphones fixed is pointless for $30 earphones.
  • 9 Hide
    joytech22 , September 21, 2012 12:43 AM
    I've heard many saying that although the sound is a big improvement over their last earphones, these are still fairly bad. They look fancy, but perform on-par for their price.

    Nothing special.
  • -1 Hide
    youssef 2010 , September 21, 2012 12:46 AM
    Yep, This sounds just like Apple
  • 11 Hide
    bennaye , September 21, 2012 12:47 AM
    "...that is near-impossible to self-repair"

    methinks that is the mantra that apple designers and engineers chant to themselves while working.
  • 9 Hide
    eternalkp , September 21, 2012 12:48 AM
    according to apple keynote
    "3 years in development"
    why? music lovers just throw away the standard earphones
    since when is apple a major player in sound?
    i mean look at the apple products, all the internal components are from japan, and korea.

    and now they make earphones? please
    why not license some decent earphones form seinhenser.
    the default apple earphones suck
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 21, 2012 12:49 AM
    $30 earphones...comparisons?
  • 3 Hide
    kendrose , September 21, 2012 1:05 AM
    wemakeourfutureWho fixes $30 earphones?The personal time and labour expense to get a pair of earphones fixed is pointless for $30 earphones.


    No kidding. Why would anyone go to that length??? Especially when anyone who wants a high end music experience has proper high end earbuds/headphones. Only reason to keep the ones out of the box are in case your nice ones break and you need backups till the new ones arrive.
    I wonder if apple has made any progress in sound quality from the device itself though. Couple years back the reviews I was reading were not positive for the iphone or ipod. If not, maybe the stock earbuds are as good as they need to be considering the source signal? *eye roll*
  • 10 Hide
    soundping , September 21, 2012 1:28 AM
    These apple EarPuds are very low-end.
  • 7 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , September 21, 2012 1:33 AM
    Nice article. Pics of Apple products in pieces makes me happy =)
  • 1 Hide
    QEFX , September 21, 2012 1:35 AM
    Who fixes apple products?
    The personal time and labour expense to get apple products fixed is pointless, at least that's apple plan.
  • 1 Hide
    assasin32 , September 21, 2012 1:59 AM
    Rather spend the $30 on the well made, better sounding IEM's than apple. Pains me everytime I see someone who says apple earbuds are the best, they sound better than most of the free junk is given with your mp3 player but it is still sub par to good headphones/iems that can be had for cheap.
  • 2 Hide
    bustapr , September 21, 2012 2:00 AM
    clubsaucekillerI see iFixit is still trying to make themselves relevant.

    you fail to notice that iFixits main goal is to sell tools by breaking shit and giving a repairability review, even though only the really hardcore would fix headphones. and Ill say its a very damn good marketing tactic.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , September 21, 2012 2:23 AM
    If Apple says they spent 3 years developing these, they are either exaggerating, lying, or dumb. Ported ear buds are nothing new--they do provide better perceived sounds to a lot of ears--but they're nothing new.

    Also heard that some people aren't digging the comfort of them either.

    Oh well, if they aren't worse than the old stock headphones, then I guess it doesn't really matter.
  • 1 Hide
    deadlockedworld , September 21, 2012 2:33 AM
    Who on earth repairs headphones? We all buy new ones anyway. I'm excited about improved durability.
  • 0 Hide
    vittau , September 21, 2012 3:15 AM
    Let's hope they won't start suing IEM manufacturers from now on...
  • 4 Hide
    lahawzel , September 21, 2012 4:00 AM
    "so if something does go wrong, you'd have to pay another $30 for a new pair."

    If I had $30 to spend on earbuds I would buy from Sennheiser/JVC and the like. Not another pair of this.
  • -3 Hide
    tmshdw , September 21, 2012 6:42 AM
    Quote:
    according to apple keynote
    "3 years in development"
    why? music lovers just throw away the standard earphones
    since when is apple a major player in sound?
    i mean look at the apple products, all the internal components are from japan, and korea.

    and now they make earphones? please
    why not license some decent earphones form seinhenser.
    the default apple earphones suck


    if only seinhenser made decent headphones.

    Try grado or nuforce.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 21, 2012 7:33 AM
    Funny to see that no one here has actually tried them, but ready to bag them on the basis of nothing. I can vouch they are amazing sound compared to the last offering. You would have to spend over $100 mark in seinhenser to beat the sound. Comfort is great, I could not wear the last headphones apple put out but these are very comfy! Try the product before you review it! Am I an apple fan boi, no way! but look at things with clear eyes or in this case open ears :) 
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 21, 2012 7:40 AM
    surprised we didn't get some Apple stastistic like the new Ear Pods are 3.67584 times better than the old headphones. That would have driven the Apple mob's hysteria to new highs!
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