iFixit’s Powerbeats Pro Teardown Reveals H1 Chip, Larger Battery Than AirPods
iFixit has posted its teardown of the brand-new Apple-owned Beats Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones.
Aftermarket repair website iFixit yesterday posted its teardown of Beats’ Powerbeats Pro, revealing the earbud’s components and construction share a number of similarities with Apple’s latest AirPods model.
The teardown treatment is presented in a video that measures in at almost four minutes. Here’s how the publication describes the video:
It looks like ‘true wireless’ earbuds are here to stay. After the success of Apple’s Airpods, other manufacturers are rushing to snag a spot in this market. So far this year we’ve torn down Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, which turned out to be some of the most repairable earbuds we’ve ever seen, and Apple’s updated Airpods, which were almost identical to—and just as un-repairable as—their first-gen predecessors. Today we’ve got the Powerbeats Pro on our teardown table—the first wireless earbuds made by Apple-owned Beats by Dre.
iFixit had a tough time accessing the internals of the wireless earbuds, using an Exacto knife to create an incision along the side, inevitably causing some cosmetic damage. Inside, they found that both the battery (the same 200mWh battery found in Samsung’s Galaxy Buds) and the main board are attached to a third board, which is itself attached to the earbud’s driver.
As far as replacing the battery goes, iFixit says that theoretically “it’s not entirely impossible” for someone with the right skills, but it’s most definitely not an easy job.
The Powerbeats Pro earbuds are home to the Apple-made H1 chip (the same found in the latest AirPods model), which is located on the folded motherboard and supports Hey Siri and Bluetooth 5.0.
iFixit had significant trouble opening up the Powerbeats Pro charging case, using “tons of heat and difficult prying” to get it open, making repair difficult. The website hypothesizes this could be due to the advertised IPX4 water resistance rating. The charging case features a 1.3Wh battery, which is glued in place.
Overall, iFixit gave the Powerbeats Pro a repairability score of 1 out of 10, citing the following issues:
- The battery is a fairly common button-cell and is only lightly soldered in place, meaning battery swaps are technically possible with the right tools.
- The earbuds’ opening procedure is not totally destructive per se, but it will likely lead to at least some cosmetic damage.
- The earbuds’ internal circuitry is all connected with fragile ribbon cables that do not detach, so a full disassembly can only be accomplished destructively.
- The charging case is a nightmarish bucket of glue, making potential battery replacements unnecessarily difficult and destructive.
You can watch the full teardown video below. Earlier this year, iFixit awarded the new AirPods a repairability score of 0 out of 10.