Meet the all-new Apple EarPods (with video)

It’s not easy to create earbud-style headphones that not only feel good in your ears, but also sit securely in your ears. That’s because everyone’s ears are different. Using optical scans combined with silicone molding, Apple designers created 3D models of various ear types to find a common shape across many different people. That shape led to the unique look of the new Apple EarPods. Unlike traditional circular earbuds, their design is defined by the geometry of the ear. Which makes them more comfortable for more people than any other earbud-style headphones.

They’re more stable and durable, too. Apple engineers asked more than 600 people to test over 100 iterations of the Apple EarPods. Testers ran on treadmills in extreme heat and extreme cold. They performed various cardio workouts. They were even asked to shake their heads side to side, up and down. The result: Apple EarPods provide stronger protection from sweat and water, and they’re remarkably stable in the ear. Which means they stay in, even when you’re on the go.

At the same time Apple designers were trying to define an ideal earbud shape, Apple sound engineers — acousticians — were focused on improving sound quality. First, they established a target sound for the Apple EarPods. That target: a person sitting in a room listening to high-quality speakers.

The biggest determinant of what you hear from any speaker is the movement of its diaphragm. The inward and outward motion is what creates sound. But earbud speaker diaphragms are typically made from a single material, which can limit sound output.

So Apple acousticians re-engineered an earbud speaker diaphragm with both rigid and flexible materials to minimize sound loss and maximize sound output. Adding to the superior audio quality are strategically placed acoustic vents. The most notable of these vents is the one located in the stem of each EarPod. It allows air inside the stem, which acts as an acoustic chamber, to flow out. So you hear deeper, richer bass tones. The overall audio quality of Apple EarPods is so impressive, they rival high-end headphones that cost hundreds of dollars more.

Learn more about Apple’s new EarPods here.

30 Comments

  1. Great Video, Love Jony Ive. A little peek inside the genius that is Apple. What other company would do this in depth research for 3 years to design a pair of earbuds? Only One. APPLE!

        1. I will put up my Bose against anything you can bring. Bose are designed to be used by end users who understand sound reproduction and reflex.

          My 901’s set up up with a 12″ floor firing sub hooked to to my Cambridge amp are just fine thank you very much. P.S. I am a musician and DJ so easy with the cheesy comeback as I have tried just about every speaker brand up to 30K speakers.

          Also own 5 other Bose products and not one complaint.

          1. I would never use Bose with my setup. That is just wrong, they give off the highs to much. I love Bose to death don’t get me wrong, I still have 9 year old speakers that are in my entertainment room, but for producing music never use Bose.

      1. You really are a prick, Pat. Why has Jony Ive’s nationality got anything to do with it? He’s acknowledged as one of the foremost industrial designers of this century, irrespective of where he comes from, and these phones were designed by a team of acoustic engineers, not Ive, so blow that out of your ass. After you’ve removed your head from it, of course.

        1. Industrial design? iSheeps think that he is what you suggest he is but to claim that it took 3 years to develop these ear pods is hog wash! Tell me what product takes 3 years to design based on 5 work days per week and a large department being all in?

          As for Jony, well the Queen did give him a Monarchist title but then again she gives those out like candy. Sir Elton John…. nuff said.

          1. First, can you support your statement with facts or links that “it would take Bose and others 1 week of testing at a National Research Lab/Institute and off to the design department and voila!”?
            Second, since you find it easy to bash on someone like Ive for his accomplishments, What have you done in your life that has made a difference and impact to millions of people around the world?

    1. They can be used on anything with a 2.5mm jack.
      It’ll be interesting to compare them with my in-ear phones; Mee M6 Sport/Shure SE215/UE TripleFi 10 Studio, which range from around $60 to $300.

  2. Who wrote this article? Is this from Apple, or a somewhat-independent reviewer? I’m confused. But very excited that Apple is tackling earbuds! It was one of the “doh — why didn’t we think of doing that” revelations of the last week. Way to go, Apple!

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