Apple's EarPods Receive the Teardown Treatment
Among the most interesting changes is a move to paper cones surrounded by a polymer, shifting away from the all-plastic design seen in the previous headphones.
- Apple's switch to paper-based speaker cones may be the source of their advertised improved low and mid-range response.Early reviews of the EarPods indicate that they perform significantly better than the stock headphones included with previous iPhone and iPod models, but still fall far short of higher-quality offerings available from other companies. Apple is including the EarPods with the iPhone 5 and the new iPod touch and iPod nano, and is also selling them as a standalone $29 accessory.
- We also discovered that the speaker basket has a much more refined look than previous models (see comparison in next step), with a fine mesh covering the back and symmetrically-placed vents. The basket is a critical component, as it must be rigid to maintain consistent sound quality while still being open enough to not inhibit movement of air behind the vibrating diaphragm.