That problem extends beyond the earbuds themselves, too. The charging case can't be repaired either thanks to a liberal helping of glue holding the whole thing together. But someone has fixed all of that by not only 3D printing a new case but making it one that can be easily taken apart when needed.
The result? An AirPods Pro charging case that can be repaired if and when something breaks. Are you watching, Apple?
No glue here
This whole thing was the brainchild of Ken Pillonel, a modder that you might remember for putting a USB-C port onto an iPhone. And it's a work of art in and of itself, even before you remember that it actually works.
"I am deeply concerned about the prevailing trend in the consumer electronics industry," Pillonel said. "Most gadgets are designed without repairability in mind, unlike the durable technology of the past that seemed built to last." The answer? To do the work himself.
"Instead of offering just outer shells for the AirPods Pro, I took on the challenge of meticulously modeling every single part of the device, essentially 'stealing' the design, and sharing them freely with everyone." Pillonel not only made a new AirPods Pro charging case but is also showing everyone else how to create their own, too.
Unlike Apple's own charging case, the one created by Pillonel can be taken apart with ease thanks to the use of screws rather than glue — something Apple should probably consider for its next charging case revision.
We'd suggest watching the video above to get a feel for all of the work that went into making this charging case happen because, as you'd expect, it wasn't easy to do.
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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.