Surprise! Apple's AirPods Pro Are Impossible to Repair

(Image credit: iFixit)

If you're planning to get your hands on a new pair of Apple's AirPods Pro, don't expect to fix them if something goes wrong.

That's the big takeaway from a recent AirPods Pro teardown by iFixit. The company, which tore down the AirPods Pro this week, said that the wireless earbuds' "non-modular, glued together design," coupled with a dearth of available replacement parts, make actually fixing the earbuds "impractical and uneconomical."

It's perhaps no surprise. Apple's new AirPods Pro are small earbuds with plenty of technology inside that's been modified and made to fit in such a small space. Trying to fix a bad microphone might sound simple, but it wouldn't be in the AirPods Pro.

Beyond that, there weren't a bunch of surprises hiding inside the AirPods Pro when iFixit tore them down. It did, however, find that Apple has nixed the long battery design it used in the first-generation AirPods for a button cell battery in this model. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That's enough to up the AirPods Pro battery capacity from 1.52Wh in the earlier model to 1.98Wh in the AirPods Pro. Still, the AirPods Pro offer the same five hours of listening time as the standard AirPods.

According to iFixit, the AirPods Pro revealed Apple's unique design architecture, which effectively required the company to modify components to get them to fit inside the small earbuds. 

Overall, iFixit had some trouble actually breaking into the AirPods Pro and seeing what was inside. It needed to use a knife and some power to get in there. And once it did, it found Apple's design to be (necessarily) crowded. This lead to iFixit giving the AirPods Pro a repairability score of 0 out of a possible 10.

We gave Apple's new buds a perfect 5 out of 5 in our AirPods Pro review, thanks to their stellar active noise cancelling, great overall sound, comfortable fit and handy feature set. Just be ready to take them to Apple for a replacement if something goes wrong.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.