Yes, there is a difference.
I'm sure most iPhone users have thought about buying fake AirPods at least once. They look the same and cost much less, so what's the difference? Well, there are some changes manufacturers have to make to offer cheaper options, although you might have to use extreme measures to spot them. For example, have you ever thought about X-raying your headphones?
Lumafield, a company providing industrial CT and AI inspection, has. As its Head of Marketing Jon Bruner demonstrated, real and fake AirPods do have some differences inside.
After running an X-ray CT scan, the first thing that you immediately notice is how much more the authentic earbuds have going on. There are definitely more parts used compared to the fake ones. The space inside is effectively packed to the max, with nearly no room left unoccupied.
You can clearly see wires here and there in fake AirPods while the real ones are organized neatly. Bruner also notes how soldering is not very careful in the fakes.
The differences don't end here. The real AirPod Pro has 3 microphones, but the fake only has one. "The real AirPod Pro has a coin-cell lithium-ion battery that fills the space behind the audio driver. The fake AirPods have tiny pouch cell batteries."
Apple's cases are also more advanced, it turns out. As you might have guessed, richer stuffing makes real Pods heavier, so fakes have weights, metal bars, inside their cases to make them feel similar.
The projections were inspected with Voyager, Lumafield's AI-powered 3D analysis software, which can be useful not only for engineers but for anyone interested in how things are made.
If you want to check the scan out, you can do it on Lumafield's website – just click on the Try Voyager button. Also, join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.