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Apple's EarPods Receive the Teardown Treatment

The teardown experts at iFixit are undoubtedly itching to get their hands on the iPhone 5 later this week, and in the meantime they've decided to bide their time by taking apart Apple's new EarPods to see how the earphones compare to their predecessors. Overall, the teardown reveals a significantly revamped design with greater durability in the form of better-sealed components and increased cord strain relief features.

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.

- 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.
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.

Top Rated Comments

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71 months ago
Is it too sexual that I like it to put something in my ear the Jonathan Ive has designed?
Rating: 24 Votes
71 months ago

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.

Well, there's a sentence that I never thought would be described as interesting. :p We aren't exactly getting a lot of:

Rating: 21 Votes
71 months ago
Yes but will it survive a go in the washing machine ????
Rating: 18 Votes
71 months ago
The important question is: how is the sound quality on those things? I can't wait for a real audiophile to do a test on them.
Rating: 16 Votes
71 months ago
LOL, this thread is hilarious. Apple earpods, bose and dre beats all in one discussion. All crap headphones.
Rating: 10 Votes
71 months ago


$29 vs. Bose

That is like comparing BMW 528i to a base model Ford Focus.

With the Bose being the Ford Focus of course.
Rating: 8 Votes
71 months ago
But.... Will it blend?
Rating: 8 Votes
71 months ago
Ummm... Paper Cones = Cheap?


The longest running industry standard studio reference monitor speakers used in every major studio and production facility in the world have paper cones. Most of you have seen them on TV shows or movies.

I own 2 pairs, and they beat the snot out of the other cones that cost over 10 times as much....

There are real world and scientifically proven reasons why paper cones offer a more realistic solution when replicating sound, which is the goal...

Most main stage PA systems run paper cones... for your favorite musicians.... u think they are cheap or sound bad? As if the major labels and venues are too stupid to buy synthetic cones? No.

Also, in many cases, paper cones are more expensive.

Haven't heard these EarPods yet... mine are on their way...
but I take no issue with paper cones... in fact, I much prefer them

As far as complaining about a $30 pair of earbuds due to their quality???
No earbud is going to be able to cut actual mustard. NONE
That small a single driver speaker cannot replicate sound properly...
particularly when jammed inside your ear

Certainly not something an audiophile takes seriously

Rating: 8 Votes
71 months ago
I bought a pair this morning and have been using them for a few hours. Listening to alternative rock, hip hop and rap, classical and metal. They have a great range. A lot better sounding than the previous earbuds. Bass isn't overpowering like Dre Beats, yet present. They are very comfortable to me at least. They didn't fall out on the treadmill. Cord is a little bit thicker and what seems less prone to tangling. The remote is also a lot easier to click and has larger areas to click. Definitely worth an upgrade.

For $29 I think these are a viable option.
Rating: 7 Votes
71 months ago

Paper cones?!

How very Bose - like


Paper's actually a very good speaker cone material. Light, cheap, stiff and self-damping. It's better than plastic.

I design speakers that use aluminium drivers and they're a bitch at times due to break up characteristics - the only real advantages over paper are consistency (paper can be variable) and the fact you can use it as a heat-sink for the coil, other than that I'd use paper.
Rating: 7 Votes

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