The Apple AirPods Max aren't just some of the finest over-ear headphones you can buy – they're the most repairable AirPods ever, too. That's according to the website iFixit (opens in new tab), which has opened up the cans to see what makes them tick.
It actually started work on the teardown before Christmas, but has only now completed it.
These teardowns are meant to tell you how repairable a device is. But really, it's a chance to peer inside all sorts of gadgets to see what they're made of.
iFixit also dismantled a pair of Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 at the same time to see how they compare.
The result? Well, it's fair to say Apple fared very well indeed. In fact, thanks to their "obsessive craftsmanship", the AirPods Max make those rivals "look like toys by comparison," iFixit writes. They also fared much better than Apple's previous AirPods, all of which have failed to score a single point on iFixit's repairability scale. The AirPods Max, by comparison, scored a very respectable six out of 10.
Highlights include the ear cushions, which attach via magnets so are easy to swap out when they need replacing. And the headband hinge mechanism can be removed with just a single SIM card removal tool – you don't even need to open up the ear cup. Not only does this make them much easier to repair, but it also hints at swappable headbands in the future.
Lots of the internal components are also secured using screws rather than messy glue, making them easier to swap out and repair yourself. Though we wouldn't advise doing so – it will invalidate your warranty. If your headphones do break, your first port of call should really be the manufacturer.
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