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iFixit tears down new AirPods: adds waterproof coating, but

source: iFixit
Although Apple did not use new materials and color schemes in the new AirPods this year as rumored, the newly added wireless charging and H1 chip keep this product in the first rank of similar products. But at the same time, the highly integrated design still keeps this product's "repairability index" at 0.
In other words, the new AirPods are still not repairable.

iFixit commented after disassembling the new AirPods:
The sealed design still makes AirPods a real consumable.
Compared to the AirPods that made their debut at the iPhone 7 conference three years ago, the new AirPods have these upgrades:
Using Apple H1 chip
Supports Bluetooth 5 standard
Support wireless charging (charging box)
Added "Hey, Siri" voice wake-up function
The design of the new AirPods is generally the same as the previous model. The measurement of the charging case and the earbuds is still 44.3 mm x 21.3 mm x 53.5 mm / 16.5 mm x 18.0 mm x 40.5 mm. Added 2.3 grams.
But in fact, if you don't look at the data, the weight gain of 2 grams should not be obvious to most people.

The internal structure of the headset can be seen after X-ray perspective. On the upper layer of the flip, Apple shared 5 magnets to open and close the flip (the host part is also 5).

Although Apple does not have charging tips printed on the National Bank ’s AirPods box, in fact, some regions have printed the charging instructions for AirPods and AirPower in the boxes. It seems that Apple should have launched the charging board in March, but helpless It was stopped urgently because of process problems.

It should be noted that the new AirPods box comes with a Lightning data cable in addition to the host. Since this data cable is "hidden" at the bottom of the box, it may not be noticed by the user (remember to check the packaging Discard the box again!).

While disassembling AirPods, iFixit also announced the disassembly of their Galaxy Buds. Compared to AirPods, this headset is easy to remove and replace the battery, but the process still has room to catch up with AirPods

The hardware is divided into three parts: the left earbud, the right earbud, and the charging case. The models correspond to A2031, A2032, and A1938. In terms of battery capacity, the two earbuds and charging case still maintain the previous generation standards, which are 93mWh and 398mAh, respectively.

Since AirPods do not have a stitching position dedicated to disassembly, the only way for iFixit is to disassemble it by irreversible methods. They first heated the earbuds to soften the glue, then soaked with an industrial cleaning agent (isopropyl alcohol), then cut the shell with tweezers and a knife, and finally exposed the earphones to the flexible cable inside.
Faced with the previous round of operations, iFixit said:
This operation made me feel like an archeologist.

After a round of "archaeology", iFixit finally disassembled the earbud body. From the disassembly diagram, we can see the chip and battery structure inside the earbud. Like the previous AirPods, each earbud is not removable, let alone Said the replacement part.
Red: Chip model Apple 343S00289 (Apple H1 chip body)
Orange: Model 25SL 128A 1820 chip
Yellow: Model is Apple 338S00420 (probably a low power stereo decoder)
Green: Model is T836 chip

As for the charging case, iFixit even dispatched a hot air gun and vise. First they clamped the charging case with a vise until it just deformed, then wedged the repair knife into the seam to remove the glue between the seams, then removed the inner liner and removed the LED charge indicator.
The whole process is like surgery.
However, removing the liner is only the first step in disassembling the headset case. Next, they also need to remove the metal hinges on the upper and lower layers. IFixit said that this generation of AirPods is stronger than the previous generation's hinges. Pull the hinge out with pliers.

But heating the charging case is not easy, because there are still batteries inside. Because there is a large amount of fixed glue inside the battery, iFixit uses a hot air gun to soften the glue, but also cautions not to cause too much heat outside the battery. Obviously, in such a tight internal environment, the battery of the charging box is also not replaceable.

After much effort, the battery of the new AirPods charging box was finally removed successfully. This Chinese-made battery model is A1596, with a capacity of 398mAh and 1.52Wh. Compared to the Galaxy Buds' charging box battery, this AirPods's is significantly larger.

However, removing the battery is just the beginning. Don't forget that the motherboard of the charging case has not been removed. Because there is so much glue inside the charging case, iFixit once again picked up the hot air gun to soften the glue. In fact, this is quite worth it, because after disassembling the inner part, they found that the surface of the new motherboard was coated with a coating that AirPods did not have.

iFixit guesses that the effect of this coating can enhance the waterproof performance of the motherboard to a certain extent. The distribution of each IC on the motherboard is as follows:
Red: Broadcom 59356A2KUBG wireless charging module
Orange: STMicroelectronics MUC chip L476MGY6 A5
Yellow: Texas Instruments TI 87A6FP chip

In the disassembled motherboard part, did you notice that there are four contacts on the motherboard? In fact, these four electric shocks correspond to the contacts of the paired buttons, which is also the only push button switch in the entire AirPods.

This year Apple added wireless charging to the new AirPods, and a natural charging coil will also be equipped inside the natural charging box. After removing the motherboard, iFixit also successfully removed the charging coil. Of course, it is as fast and glued as other components. It is worth mentioning that on the surface of the wireless charging, Apple also added a heat sink, in fact, the purpose is to prevent the earphones from burning your hands during wireless charging.

As stated at the beginning of this article, at the end of the disassembly, iFixit gave the new AirPods a "repairable index" of 0 points. In other words, whether it is an earbud or a headset box, disassembly is irreversible, and it cannot be completely restored, let alone He said he took the headphones apart and replaced the parts. If your AirPods battery is getting old and the battery life is getting worse, the only solution is to buy another AirPods.


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