Apple's EarPods headphones torn apart for science

Apple's latest headphones have been torn down to identify what's new, different, and improved.

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Apple's latest pack-in headphones, the EarPods.
Apple's latest pack-in headphones, the EarPods. Sarah Tew/CNET

Gadget repair and teardown site iFixit has just finished giving Apple's latest earbuds the business, and says that the redesign has made the accessory more durable than previous iterations.

In an 12-step teardown, posted today, the site has found Apple's new headphones to be as different on the inside as out. That includes the re-worked earbuds themselves which now use a paper cone (no longer metal), along with the beefier remote enclosure.

iFixit says the redesign has improved the seal around the remote, which keeps water damage at bay. It's also been given new strain relief padding around the edges to keep the cable from splitting and exposing the internal wires.

The innards of Apple's new EarPods. iFixit

Despite the additions, iFixit says the EarPods are still a disposable product and not one that can be fixed if there's a problem later on down the line.

"Sourcing parts is next to impossible, and it would be a tough sell to convince someone to take apart their earbuds instead of buying a new pair," the site says. "They will never be the same once taken apart."

Apple debuted the $29 EarPods at last week's iPhone 5 unveiling. The headphones, which Apple says took three years to develop, are included with the new iPhone. Apple also plans to ship them with its latest iPod nano and touch models, which debut next month. For more information on the EarPods, head to CNET's review posted last week.

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