Making The AirPods Pro Case Repairable

A closeup of a black flexible PCB with an out-of-focus quarter in the background, approximately the same size as the end of the PCB we're looking at. One the right is a USB C connector and to its left are two SMD components with visible pins. Several smaller SMD components (resistors or caps?) are soldered to other parts of the board.

Apple is often lauded for its design chops, but function is often sacrificed at the altar of form, particularly when repair is involved. [Ken Pillonel] has made it easier for everyone to replace the batteries or lightning port in the AirPods Pro case. (YouTube)

With such notable hacks as adding USB C to the iPhone already under his belt, [Pillonel] has turned his attention to fixing the notoriously poor repairability of AirPods and AirPods Pro, starting with the cases. While the batteries for these devices are available, replacement Lightning ports are not, and taking the housing apart for the case is an exercise in patience where the results can’t be guaranteed.

He designed a USB C replacement port for broken Lightning ports that is a perfect fit if you happen to get the case apart in one piece. If you’re less successful, he has you covered there too with a 3D printable enclosure replacement.

We sure miss the days of schematic proliferation here at Hackaday, but we know you don’t let glued enclosures or unobtainium parts stand in the way of repairs.

8 thoughts on “Making The AirPods Pro Case Repairable

    1. Yeah, Ken (the guy who fixed his Airpod case), seems like a total hipster.

      And I’m sure showing off his wealth was the only reason he decided to fix those terrible Apple headphones. I know when I buy something that performs poorly and then breaks, my first reaction is “hey, I should spend hours of my life repairing and improving it, and help other people do the same thing. Because surely other people will want to continue to the sub-par experience from this terrible product.”

      1. I’ve not personally tried them but I understand from folks that have the apple ones are actually really good for this type of in ear thingy, one of the few occasions in their history it is not pay a huge markup for locked down slow hardware and the ‘convenience’ of the Apple walled garden of integrations. As this is just a Bluetooth headset as I understand it, doesn’t care what you connect it to and apparently it sounds good too.

        Either way it doesn’t matter why he liked ’em enough to want to fix them, as humans are weird and can love the stupidest things (like the standard NES controller, that thing with nothing but sharp points for ergonomics). What matters is he did a really good job it seems in fixing them, and better still sounds like anybody else who likes theirs enough to want to fix them going forward should have a good chance to do so affordably.

  1. This is a good hack/fix.
    Lots of hate for apple here but the rare time I had a laptop crap out they just replaced it for me under warranty. Other than that the function has been really good for all of the numerous devices I’ve owned, AirPods included. Obv just one guy’s experience though.

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