Apple AirPods Max craftsmanship makes other headphones look like toys: iFixit teardown reveals
iFixit, that tears down devices and gives them repairability scores, gave the AirPods Max a 6 out of 10. This means that if you damage your AirPods Max ever, repairing it should not be a nightmare.
iFixit, known for its device teardowns, has put the new Apple AirPods Max through an extensive teardown and compared Apple's very expensive headphones (retailing for ₹59,900 in India) to other flagship headphones like Sony and Bose to understand why Apple priced them like that.
You can check out iFixit's detailed breakdown here. The teardown revealed that the headphones have two battery cells in the right ear cup and no counterweight in the left one. Despite that there is no imbalance since the AirPods Max are engineered like that. iFixit gave the AirPods Max a repairability score of 6 on 10, which is saying a lot. This is the first non-zero score an AirPods product has ever received from them.
The teardown begins with the removal of the magnetically attached earcup cushions that can be removed without any tools. Next the many pentalobe screws on the earcups are unscrewed. The teardown reveals that the earcups are further glued in and iFixit used a heat gun to take it apart.
We've spent a good beat of time with the AirPods Max, and can now confidently say that we understand why they cost $550. With all their finely-tuned and precision-engineered parts, they remind us more of a mechanical watch than of any other headphones: https://t.co/FLzSTOSUaX pic.twitter.com/d7kmGFjhEC— iFixit (@iFixit) January 19, 2021
The teardown revealed that each earcup has a single microphone stowaway and 40mm drivers that are screwed in. For battery, there are two cells in the right ear cup which are also screwed in and not attached with adhesives. These provide power through a single iPhone-style pop connector without any soldering. This makes the battery inside the AirPods Max easy to replace. The two cells together offer a total capacity of 664mAh and 2.53Whr total energy at 4.35 V.
In comparison, the Bose NC 700 has a 2.39Whr cell that promises about 20-hours of listening time and the Sony WH-1000XM4 has a 4.1Whr battery that promises a 30-hour listening time.
The most uncomplicated and easy part about the repairability of the AirPods Max is the headband, as iFixit teardown revealed. You can detach the entire headband from the earcups with just a SIM card removal tool or a paperclip without having to open up the earcups.