iFixit Dissects Apple's New EarPods

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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Tuan Mai
Tuan Mai is a Los Angeles based writer and marketing manager working within the PC Hardware industry. He has written for Tom's Guide since 2010, with a special interest in the weird and quirky.
  • wemakeourfuture
    Who fixes $30 earphones?
    The personal time and labour expense to get a pair of earphones fixed is pointless for $30 earphones.
  • clubsaucekiller
    I see iFixit is still trying to make themselves relevant.
  • joytech22
    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.
  • youssef 2010
    Yep, This sounds just like Apple
  • bennaye
    "...that is near-impossible to self-repair"

    methinks that is the mantra that apple designers and engineers chant to themselves while working.
  • eternalkp
    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
  • $30 earphones...comparisons?
  • kendrose
    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*
  • soundping
    These apple EarPuds are very low-end.
  • applegetsmelaid
    Nice article. Pics of Apple products in pieces makes me happy =)