Apple AirPods Teardown Reveals Intricate Construction With Zero Chance Of Repairability

What happens if you break your Apple AirPods? It looks like you will have to just buy another pair. A teardown of the Bluetooth earbuds revealed that the AirPods are almost impossible to repair, difficult to recycle, and are held together mostly by glue.

The iFixit team had a heck of time getting the AirPods to open up. In order to get to the insides of the AirPods’ heads, they used a heated knife and a pick opener. They attempted to then go through the bottom of the stem of AirPods to no avail. They finally resorted to a scalpel and pliers in order to fully open the stem. The charging station was even more difficult to open. The team had to essentially destroy the charging station in order to get to the good stuff.


It is incredibly difficult to put AirPods back together since their components are so small and tightly packed. iFixit noted, “what remains in the earbud is a hot mess of cables and adhesive, and none of it seems particularly keen on coming out.” The charging station is not much better, as it is filled with “tangle of ribbon cables” or “cable spaghetti”.

The AirPods’ biggest repairability fault is that they are held together by glue and sticky tape. Glue is what makes the casings so hard to pick apart. Glue and sticky tape cover the battery and hold down the cables. The team jokingly noted, “If jamming complex components into a small form factor and sealing it with a copious amount of glue were a game, Apple would be winning.”


If you managed to somehow miraculously not destroy the product, you would need to re-glue everything back together. If you are big into DIY repair, you might want to think twice about Apple’s AirPods.