Counterfeit Apple products are a real problem, especially with products like AirPods and Apple Watch, so the Cupertino company has a dedicated team dedicated to dealing with illegal counterfeits. Although some counterfeits may look very convincing from the outside, a comparison X-rays show all the differences between real and fake AirPods.
Jon Bruner of Lumafield has shared its new CT scan comparison of authentic AirPods Pro with two pairs of counterfeit products (along with some MacBook chargers) on social media, the company’s blog and in a YouTube video. In the photo you see at the beginning, on the left are the authentic AirPods Pro (2nd generation), in the middle and on the right are the fakes. Here are the three main differences that x-rays reveal between the authentic model and the imitations:
- Build quality
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What the batteries, Bruner explains:
Authentic AirPods contain carefully designed coin cell batteries in each earbud, designed to fit perfectly into the compact form factor and deliver optimal performance efficiently. In contrast, fake AirPods contain lithium batteries, which are not only less sophisticated in construction but also potentially less safe because they are not custom-made.
As for them circuitX-rays show authentic AirPods are “a miracle of miniaturization and precision engineering.” This is made possible by “a combination of rigid and flexible circuit boards to tightly pack components and ensure that every millimeter of space is used effectively.”
Fake AirPods feature much simpler electronics assembled from off-the-shelf components. This leaves less scope for functionality; Counterfeits have fewer microphones and fewer control circuits, which compromises sound quality.
The world is full of counterfeit Apple products. We CT scanned two fake AirPods and compared them to the original… 🧵 pic.twitter.com/VFWvAwUrox
— Jon Bruner (@JonBruner) November 7, 2023
Finally on the topic Build qualityLumafield called the observed differences “dramatic.”
One of the fakes doesn’t offer wireless charging at all (no coil is visible in the scans), while the other has wireless charging coils but is missing the magnets that connect the AirPods case to the Apple Watch charger. Fake AirPods even use internal weights whose sole function is to mimic the weight of the original product – a deceptive tactic to make them appear heavier and compensate for inferior materials and fewer features. These imitations may reproduce the visual characteristics of the original, but the use of inferior materials not only compromises the tactile experience but also compromises the structural integrity and overall durability of the product.
Jon Bruner also filmed a video with Adam Savage examining fake and authentic AirPods as well as some Apple chargers after getting all the X-rays.