After a prototype of translucent AirPods was shared last week, we now have a fascinating look at the inside of the rest of Apple’s AirPods earbuds thanks to a few stunning CT scans.
Scan of the Month, which last month showed off a Lego minifig, uses computerized tomography scans (the same ones used by doctors to diagnose tumors and bone fractures) to showcase the evolution of AirPods from the inside out. Despite the similar shapes, Scan of the Month found that Apple “completely redesigned AirPods with each major generation” as each model presented challenges.
AirPods (1st generation): A cluster of rigid-flex electronics are packed behind the speaker, with a microphone in the stem base rotated slightly toward the user’s mouth.
AirPods (3rd generation): Downward-facing moves to a spot between the charging contacts at the bottom of the stem. A third microphone is positioned below the skin sensor.
AirPods Pro: Battery moves from the stem to the head, while the down-facing microphone is swapped out for two stem-based microphones.
The whole website is slickly designed and fun to scroll through, with the various models appearing and rotating through each generation. You can also sign up for monthly alerts for the site’s scans as well as suggest future projects.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.