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iFixit HomePod 2 teardown finds less glue, more repairability

The iFixit HomePod 2 teardown isn’t the first one we’ve seen since the launch of the new model, as Brandon Geekabit got there first. But the company does echo the comments on repairability of this model compared to the original, together with a cool video clip of the woofer in action (below).

Back in 2018, iFixit said that the innards of the original model were a nightmare to access, the firm literally having to cut the device open

Four years ago we did a teardown of Apple’s first smart speaker, the HomePod, and to say that teardown was excruciating would be an understatement. If you talk to anyone who was involved with that teardown, they’ll tell you the cemented-together plastic was a nightmare to get apart and the amount of destruction we inflicted on that device was a sight to see.

That is a problem people subsequently managed to solve, but iFixit shows that the new model is trivial to open, simply because Apple uses a lot less glue.

Just how hard is it going to be to get this thing open? Very easy it seems. For the HomePod 2 Apple has seriously dialed back on the adhesive here making disassembly way easier. The top portion of the pod we just removed holds the logic board, connected to the rest of the pod by a single flex cable.

So no ultrasonic cutter needed this time, though you do still need either a bendy screwdriver, or a very short one and very dextrous hands.

The woofer lifts right out but is still attached by a cable to the amplifier board deep down inside the pod. Our handy bendy driver attachment makes a rare appearance to help us reach all the awkwardly placed screws securing the boards down inside the pod. With those removed, I can remove the middle section of the case and get up close and personal with the power supply and amplifier board.

iFixit notes the surprisingly huge heatsink provided to keep the digital amp cool. The firm says that this is a good indication of how seriously Apple takes the audio quality, as you wouldn’t normally see this level of passive cooling for an audio chip.

The video shows the power of the woofer by showing just much how air it displaces even without maxing out the volume.

All in, then, the company is happy with accessibility, and is now testing repairs to find out whether there are any software gotchas in there, as has been the case with some iPhones before Apple made changes to officially support DIY and third-party repairs.

Speaking of software limitations, Apple doesn’t officially support stereo pairing of 1st- and 2nd-gen HomePods, stating that this isn’t available because although the old and new models sound very similar, they aren’t perfectly matched. But if you want to do it anyway, there is a way. It’s a bit clunky to setup, but once you’ve done it, it’s then easy to activate in future.

Check out the iFixit HomePod 2 teardown video below.

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