Powerbeats Pro teardown earns 1/10 repairability score

Apple’s new Powerbeats Pro are the first truly wireless Beats-branded earbuds to hit the market. Several weeks after their release, the folks at iFixit have given the Powerbeats Pro the teardown treatment, noting that repairs will be difficult if not impossible.

The iFixit teardown of the Powerbeats Pro shows just how challenging it is to access the internals of the wireless earbuds. You’ll have to use an exacta knife to create an incision along the earbud. The battery and main board are intertwined with a third board, which is connected to the earbud’s driver. In order complete the disassembly, iFixit opts to cut that connector cable.

The Powerbeats Pro earbud battery is soldered to the motherboard via “delicate wiring,” according to the teardown. It’s a 200mWh battery, and is actually the same cell used in Samsung’s Galaxy Buds. That’s over two times the size of the 93mWh battery found in AirPods.

As for whether it’s possible to replace the Powerbeats Pro battery, iFixit says that theoretically “it’s not entirely impossible,” but it’s certainly not easy. The Apple-made H1 chip is located on the folded motherboard, supporting Hey Siri and Bluetooth 5.0.

As for the Powerbeats Pro charging case, iFixit had to use “tons of heat and difficult prying” to get the case open. The inside of the case features a ton of adhesive, which could be attributed to the Powerbeats Pro IPX4 resistance rating. The charging case features a 1.3Wh battery, which is glued in place.

Ultimately, iFixit gives the Powerbeats Pro a repairability score of 1/10, citing the following bullets:

  • The battery is a fairly common button-cell, and is only lightly soldered in place.
  • The earbuds’ opening procedure is not totally destructive per se, but it will likely lead to at least some cosmetic damage.
  • The earbuds’ internal circuity is all connected with fragile ribbon cables that do not detach.
  • The charging case is a nightmarish bucket of glue.

You can watch the full Powerbeats Pro teardown video below. For comparison’s sake, the AirPods were awarded a repairability score of 0 out of 10 back in March.

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