In December, MacRumors revealed the big range of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it ended up being clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale independently. Now, it appears that AirPods Max have a more modular style than previously understood, as raised by MacRumors forums member “MayaTlab”, who highlighted the bit from Chinese YouTube channel Prelook.
As discussed in iFixits teardown of AirPods Max, it is possible to quickly eliminate the headband from AirPods Max with no disassembly of the headphones. Users merely need to remove the magnetic ear cushions, fold the earcups flat, and place a SIM card ejector tool into a small hole above the speaker.
Heres the technique, and the best part: regardless of the joints complexity, you can remove the entire headband from AirPods Max with simply a SIM card removal tool or paperclip, without even opening the ear cup.
When totally assembled, a little poke in just the right place compresses 2 small springs inside the joint, freeing the clamp that protects the headband.
As soon as removed, the spokes on either side of the headband expose a little port for transferring power, and potentially data, in between the earcups. It is also interesting that the adapter bears some passing similarity to the Lightning port. It promises that users could switch the headbands from different AirPods Max units to achieve non-stock colorways far more easily than anticipated.
Changeable headbands were one of the functions believed to be removed from AirPods Max prior to launch. Prior to being announced, it was speculated that AirPods Max would use unique customizability with interchangeable headbands and earcups, duplicating the concept behind Apple Watch bands.
Apples VP of industrial design Evans Hankey stated that Apple prototyped numerous AirPods Max designs over a lengthy advancement period. In the middle of significant hold-ups, Bloomberg correctly forecasted that Apple would drop the principle of an exchangeable headband to accelerate production:
Apple has likewise scaled back a few of the interchangeable functionality of the earphones that were a trademark of the initial concept. The most recent version of the product is most likely to lack a changeable headband, but could still include interchangeable ear pads.
It is therefore possible that this system for eliminating the headband is a remnant of the original, more modular technique to AirPods Max. On the other hand, this covert function might exist purely to help repairability, and could not be planned for basic user interaction at all.
However, it is very uncommon for earphones that transfer power over the headband to make the part so quickly detachable. The ease of removing the headband and the little port on either side looks to be a peculiarly well-developed principle and stands in striking contrast to the otherwise tough repairability of the device.
If this action voids the products service warranty, users who want to try elimination of the headband from AirPods Max must still take extreme care as it is not yet clear.
It is possible to get rid of the headband of AirPods Max with just a basic SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway.