A new product by Fairphone: fully repairable headphones

Fairphone just released fully repairable wireless headphones:

There’s already plenty of initial reviews published, generally positive, some more than others:

In my opinion, the key aspect is that once again Fairphone demonstrates that products can be designed in a way to make repair super easy - having a battery replacing feature super accessible, and very low-cost spare parts is a big achievement.

On the other hand, some reviewers are not fully convinced about the audio quality for a product costing €249/£219. They’re definitely not for everyone, to say the least! My current wireless noise-cancelling second-hand headphones cost approximately a third of that…although I’m sure I won’t be happy when eventually the battery will need to be replaced…
Lastly, and this is why we at Restart don’t endorse products, it’s not clear how long will spare parts be provided for.
In any case, hopefully this product will inspire more manufacturers and designers to make user-repairable products much more common in the future.

What do you you think?


This is great to see! I think the fact they’re getting decent coverage is really significant, and perhaps the thing that could put most pressure on other manufacturers to prioritise repairability :crossed_fingers:

For the last few years I’ve been using (wired) AIAIAI TMA-2s, which I chose because I wanted a decent-sounding pair of headphones that are also modular and highly repairable (they also offer some repair guides).

But it looks like Fairphone have leap-frogged AIAIAI here when it comes to repairability of wireless (i.e. battery-powered) headphones. Fully agreed that making battery replacement so easy is an important step forward!


A review in the wild, which on the downside mentions an issue with Linux support (on Fedora, at least), but a big plus that it sounds like the firmware on the headphones can be easily updated, which hopefully bodes well for longevity.

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I don’t think it will directly inspire the behaviour of other manufacturers, but I still think it is a vital part of an overall strategy that will, as a really-existing example of what is possible. Something we can point at and say: see!

I was reading the book Platform Socialism recently, and liked a three-pronged approach that it outlined for making change: resist (actively do the opposite of what current structures let you), regulate (push for legislation to change those structures) and recode (build alternatives in the meantime).

Things like Fairphone and Framework are recoding. The R2R campaign is pushing for regulation. Buying second-hand, repairing things even when they’re not designed to be, is resisting. All combined together they make a difference.