iFixit Opens Apple Ear Pods, Finds Durability

Last week at the iPhone 5 press conference, Apple unveiled what it considered to be a key player in the way individuals enjoy their iDevice entertainment. The Apple EarPods were shown onstage to a less-than-enthusiastic crowd. At least, that was the case until Apple execs started rattling off a rather impressive list of variables that are meant to separate the ear buds from the general competition.

A lot of science and tech buffs were impressed by the intensive research and development that went into the creation of these audio accessories. But Apple also boasted that the EarPods were not just designed to be functional, but were also meant to be incredibly durable.

And we now know exactly what Apple meant thanks to the folks over at iFixit. The group managed to get their hands on a pair of brand new EarPods, which they then proceeded to “break down” in order to discover what internal design Apple developers had implemented on the accessory.

The initial breakdown was just an inside look at the volume controls; we didn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary. However, when the EarBuds themselves were taken apart (via an X-Acto blade), the group noticed some key differences on the EarPods internals, compared to that of older Apple head phones.

According to a quote directly from iFixit;

“Like most speakers, the EarPod speakers consist of a diaphragm/cone, a voice coil, a permanent magnet, and a cabinet. The voice coil is supported by a composite diaphragm made of a paper cone and a polymer surround. This is the first iteration of Apple headphones to use paper cones rather than all plastic.”

It was said that Apple implemented this design because the previous plastic materials they used were prone to easy tearing. iFixit also discovered that the internals boasted a new internal grate that is said to help prevent against water and sweat damage.

Unfortunately though, iFixit did not give the EarPods a repairabillity score since they are still considered to be “throw-away headphones.” This means that once the headphones are no longer operable, they recommend that users just throw them away. This is chiefly due to the fact that these accessories will come packaged with new iPhones and iPods already. However, you can still purchase extra pairs from the Apple Store at a price of 29.99 USD.

Photo Credit: iFixit

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About the Author

Ivan Castilho is a citizen of the world; CEO at Mindfield Digital and Executive Director at AppleMagazine, and Techlife News. Ivan's been an avid Apple user and consumer since 2008, with a major in Marketing and extensive experience in strategic management and consulting for tech companies. Hobbies include photography, design, and music.