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Circuit Breaker

Second-gen AirPods teardown shows off new wireless charger and old impossible-to-repair design

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Pro-tip: don’t break them

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Apple’s second-gen AirPods are here, and iFixit is already on the (wireless charging) case with its latest teardown, showing off almost the exact same technology that was inside the original AirPods along with the same nearly impossible-to-repair design. But this time, you can charge them wirelessly.

As expected, there’s just a single charging coil in the case, so you’ll want to make sure that you actually place them facing the right way up when you do drop them on a wireless charger (the LED indicator should help with that, though).

The new wireless charging coil
Photo: iFixit

On the plus side, Apple has apparently made some improvements to the design, adding a sturdier hinge to the case and a new, more water resistant coating to the circuit board in the case, which should help them avoid damage a bit better. You’ll need those improvements, too, because like the original AirPods, iFixit has ranked these at a zero out of ten for repairability — essentially unfixable once they break or if the batteries wear out.

Still, the AirPods pale in comparison to the recently released Samsung Galaxy Buds, which are far easier to disassemble, aren’t held together entirely by glue, and even can (in theory) have their rechargeable batteries replaced or easily removed for recycling.