AirPods Pro 2 teardown confirms repairability fears

AirPods Pro 2 on a mosaic table
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

Apple's brand new AirPods Pro 2 are just as impossible to repair as the old ones, a fact confirmed by teardown artists iFixit.

In a new YouTube video that shows how to take apart a pair of AirPods Pro 2 and the accompanying charging case, iFixit confirms that it is indeed impossible to do so without breaking them — something that in turn makes them impossible to repair.

"Apple’s AirPods are the most popular earbuds in the world—they are also among the most unfixable. With the AirPods Pro 2, the flagship line gets a boost, in all arenas, apparently, except the environment. Personalized spatial audio can give you a great sound experience, but can it mute the guilt from wearing unrepairable future-e-waste? With its new pods, could Apple finally be thinking different?"

Same old story

Apple has long made some of the best iPhone wireless earbuds in the form of the original AirPods Pro, but they were roundly derided for their lack of repairability. It's doubtful that anyone truly expected that to change with the refreshed version that went on sale last week, but iFixit took them apart to confirm.

Spoiler: AirPods Pro 2 aren't going to be repaired anytime soon.

The video shows the work involved in getting into a pair of AirPods Pro 2 earbuds, making them almost impossible to repair. Things are even worse for the battery pack as well, with iFixit finding no way to get into it without cutting their way in — something that nobody should ever do because of the chance of causing a fire by rupturing the battery.

Whether Apple will choose to improve repairability of future earbuds remains to be seen, but given the refreshes we've seen of the normal AirPods and now AirPods Pro, it unfortunately seems unlikely at this point.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.