Engineer adds wires and USB-C to AirPods, making the most advanced EarPods ever

AirPods with wires and USB-C
(Image credit: Ken Pillonel)

Apple's AirPods are loved around the world. Many folks end up losing one or both of these wired earphones. While AirPods are great, many folks want wired earphones, and Apple hasn't made new EarPods in a long time. Well, no worries! Hardware prototyping consultant Ken Pillonel has converted AirPods into the most advanced EarPods there are.

Pillonel has added wires and a USB-C connector to AirPods, converting them into EarPods. AirPods are notorious for having terrible repairability, and being easy to lose. Pillonel is famous for modding Apple products, and his latest project seems to another that many folks would actually appreciate. 

A commentary on AirPods' repairability woes

Ken Pillonel has previously made a USB-C iPhone, which sold for $86,000, followed by USB-C AirPods and AirPods Pro. However, those AirPods only had the port on the charging case itself. This new project brings the USB-C connector to the actual AirPods, adding wires to the best wireless earphones you can get.

Pillonel says that he did this because the batteries on his AirPods had gone bust, and he ended up damaging one of the AirPods while tying to replace the batteries. He converted them into wired earphones as a commentary on the widely criticized repairability of the AirPods. iFixit has given both the AirPods and AirPods Pro a 0/10 repairability rating.

Pillonel has previously told iMore about these projects being an attempt to minimize e-waste, and this seems to be another one in that direction. Although wired earphones are arguably the better choice, wireless earphones promise convenience. However, the latter have been steady contributors to e-waste due to the reduced longevity and repairability, which is a problem many folks think Apple should pay attention to.

Regardless, these wired AirPods do make you wonder whether Apple should revive its good old EarPods, with a long overdue update.

Palash Volvoikar

Palash has been a technology and entertainment journalist since 2013. Starting with Android news and features, he has also worked as the news head for Wiki of Thrones, and a freelance writer for Windows Central, Observer, MakeUseOf, MySmartPrice, ThinkComputers, and others. He also worked as a writer and journalist for Android Authority, covering computing, before returning to freelancing all over town.