Fairphone’s Fairbuds feature user-accessible batteries

Repairability and longevity are top of mind with these new earbuds

Fairphone's Fairbuds feature user-accessible batteries

Key Takeaways

  • Fairphone launches Fairbuds with reusable batteries and 70% recycled materials for €149.99.
  • Fairbuds offers replaceable batteries, an equalizer app, and multipoint Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Fairphone leads with modular design to reduce waste and may influence tech giants to follow suit.

Fairphone has launched a new pair of true wireless earbuds, aptly named the Fairbuds. The Dutch tech company has listed the product on its website for €150, though it doesn't appear that they are yet available for those of us across the pond.

Fairphone's Fairbuds feature user-accessible batteries

As is Fairphone's modus operandi, the Fairbuds put sustainability and user servicability front and center. The company designed the device in such a way that the batteries are user-accessible and can be replaced with little fuss. Fairphone also offers 7 spare parts for exchange, as well as the ability to order a single earbud to replace a lost one.

"The Fairbuds also allow you to replace the batteries in both the earbuds and the modular charging case. Replaceable batteries are key to long-lasting earbuds, as decreasing battery life is one of the major reasons that people discard working earbuds," says Fairphone

Both the earbuds and the charging case are made with 70% recycled materials, and 100% recycled rare earth elements are used in their production, according to the company.

From a technical perspective, the buds seem competitive. You can expect active noise-canceling (ANC) on board, which helps to drown out unwanted noises from your environment. An IP54 rating provides basic sweat and weather resistance for added peace of mind, and the USB-C charging point is a convenient inclusion as well.

The Fairbuds boast a six microphone setup and 11mm titanium coated audio drivers, but the sound signature and overall audio quality needs to be tested in the real world before any conclusions can be made. Thankfully, Fairphone offers an equalizer app for iOS and Android, which should give users a bit more control over the way the buds sound.

Another highlight is the inclusion of multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, which I wish came standard across all earbuds and headphones on the market. The feature allows you to seamlessly connect the Fairbuds to two devices simultaneously, so you aren't fiddling around with swapping connections between your phone and laptop.

Fairphone's Fairbuds feature user-accessible batteries

Modular design is the way forward

The repairable nature and swappable batteries of the Fairbuds might be a glimpse into the future of consumer technology. Since the advent of true wireless earbuds, almost all of them on the market have had sealed-in batteries. You don't need us to tell you why this isn't ideal — batteries are consumables that degrade over time, and throwing out an entire pair of earbuds because of a chemically weakened battery is downright wasteful.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the European Union spearheading the push towards user-accessible batteries across consumer devices. Starting with smartphones, the bloc is looking into forcing tech companies to discontinue the gluing of a phone's battery into its chassis.

Fairphone's Fairbuds feature user-accessible batteries

The batteries used in wireless earbuds including the Fairbuds are far smaller than those used in modern smartphones, and so they naturally degrade at a faster pace as a consequence. The ability to swap in a fresh battery is a huge win for Fairphone, benefiting both the environment and the average person's wallet.

Fairphone pitches its new Fairbuds as 'the last pair of earbuds you'll ever need to buy.' If the company can deliver on its promise, and if the product itself can garner up a solid user base, we might start to see the likes of Apple, Samsung, and others take notice.

The Fairbuds are available now on Fairphone's website.

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