As geeks, we could spend all day arguing about whether Apple makes good products or just expensive status symbols. The reasonable answer is that it’s probably a little bit of both. A new MacBook may be pricey, but it’s not completely unreasonable when you consider the quality of the components and software. Some Apple products, however, have had price tags that have been quite hard to swallow. The AirPods are probably the most notorious example at $160 for a pair of wireless earbuds. Sam Cashbook thought he could make his own for a lot less money, and ended up with these DIY AirPods that cost just $4 to build.
These are functional wireless earbuds (or one of them, at least)— not just standard Apple earbuds with the wires cut off for a laugh. Cashbook decided to make them after a friend of his received a pair of AirPods for his birthday. Cashbook didn’t want to shell out the cash to buy his own pair, but figured it might be possible to make his own. The resulting DIY AirPods may look a bit clunky, albeit in a cool cyberpunk sort of way, but they do work.
To make them, Cashbook purchased a hands-free bone conduction headset from eBay. Those work by transferring sound vibrations through the bones in your ear. This particular headset connected through Bluetooth, and included the battery to keep everything wireless. Cashbook simply took that headset apart, and connected the audio output wires to the speaker of an old Apple earbud. He then hot-glued everything together. It may not meet Jony Ive’s aesthetic standards, but not all of us have the money to do that.