Just the other day, we were discussing with a friend the advantages and disadvantages of AirPods 2, and when it came to the zero maintainability of the Cupertin headset, I thought about what rating I would give to the recently available IconX 2018 headset.
An additional incentive was the desire to find out in advance whether the experiment I had conceived would be successful – whether it would be possible to fit the wireless charging coil from the Samsung Gear S2 watch, which I ordered for this experiment, inside the headphone case (I want to upgrade my IconX 2018 so that there is no desire to buy Galaxy Buds only due to wireless charging in the case).
My screwdriver was already combing with the desire to make out something. No sooner said than done. We disassemble. And let's start with the case.
We disassemble the case
As it turned out, the case is easy to understand. To disassemble it, you only need a thin Phillips screwdriver, a thin spatula, and then not immediately.
To disassemble the case, it is necessary to heat the inner surface with the cradles for the headphones with a hairdryer and, gently picking it up with your finger, pull it towards you.
Take your time, the decorative overlay is kept on the scotch tape, which you would not want to damage. As soon as the overlay gives way, you will see that transparent tape.
Peel off a little to prevent the tape from stretching too much – this will facilitate the reverse installation.
After the cover is removed, flatten the tape and set it aside.
Now our task is to unscrew the four screws around the perimeter of the case.
After the screws are unscrewed, we pry the inner part from the sides, snapping off the latches, pull it out of the case and inspect it.
The first thing that catches your eye is the large number of magnets, both on the top and on the motherboard below it.
Magnet underneath, marked with red paint
The inner part of the case is connected to the lid by a primitive hinge without any springs. It looks like the lid is flipped open with unipolar magnets.
Let's see what's inside the lid – snap off the inside.
And inside the lid, as expected, more magnets are found, and it also turns out that the upper part of the lodgment is made of soft silicone and can be easily removed.
We put all this goodness aside and proceed to further analysis.
We remove the board – it can be removed quite easily, since it is connected to the battery with contact pads, and not with a ribbon cable.
There is nothing interesting or noteworthy on the board itself, apart from a mechanical lever that turns on the power supply when charging.
Despite the large number of magnets and electronics, the power supply was left to the mechanics. It's strange. Why complicate something that already works well, though.
Due to the fact that the board is connected to the battery with contact pads, it will be easy to throw a wireless charging coil here.
However, in order to understand if there is enough space, it is necessary to remove the frame with the battery.
In order to remove the frame, you need to disassemble the button. We squeeze out the latches and remove the button and the massive counterpart with a powerful magnet.
Be careful – outside the button sits on two small springs, which love to shoot out of their sockets and disappear in the depths of the space-time continuum, just like men's socks …
And here is the frame with the battery. Everything is so solid, and the battery is on scotch tape. We shoot and examine.
The battery looks small at only 380mAh.
We write down the battery model in case we have to change, if the capacity drops dramatically over time.
It looks like the seats are back to back. But thanks to the gap between the battery, the frame and the body, it will be possible to 'shove the stuff in'. Yes, in terms of safety and common sense, placing the heating coil close to the battery is not the smartest solution, but I plan to lay it with copper foil with an exit to the frame, which will act as a radiator, so everything will be fine.
But defeatist sentiments aside, and the case aside. Let's move on to opening the headphones.
It seemed to me that there would be difficulties with opening the headphones, since usually such miniature things are made either completely non-separable or requiring a special tool.
Looking ahead, I will say that in the case of IconX 2018, these fears did not materialize. Headphones are disassembled not just easily, but very easily, I would even say, elementary. In order to disassemble the headphones themselves, I only needed my fingers and pry them with a spatula in one place.
So let's get started. We need to snap off the top half. To do this, we pry the joint with our fingernail and open the case with light pressure.
The latches are visible from the outside, you don't even need to look for them – these are elongated holes next to the seam. Therefore, we press in these places.
We remove the cover without fear – there is nothing to come off, the external touch pad is connected to the board with push contacts.
The sensor pad itself can also be removed from the case, but I did not break the pins holding it, but just opened it slightly to make sure that the element is removable.
Now let's extract all the insides. To do this, unfasten the speaker cable from the end, then open the lid of the inner case and set it aside.
Carefully peel off the board from the battery, pulling it over the edges with your fingernail. Just by the edges – do not put anything under this board, there are many elements that can be damaged.
After the boards are bent, you can remove the case with the battery – it is more convenient for me, since there is less risk of damaging anything than removing the case assembly.
You can also remove the assembly without first bending the board. It is more convenient for someone.
To get the inner case, it is best to find the holes for the latches, pry and squeeze in these places with a spatula.
After the filling is removed, we will remove the board from the case and take a closer look at it.
The contact block is insulated with soft foam tape to prevent sweat and moisture from entering.
It turns out that the board on the cables wraps around the inner case with the battery, which takes up the most space inside the earphone.
A massive and rather plump battery is glued to the body with adhesive tape and can also be easily removed.
By the way, this is the German Varta. I'll write down her model just in case.
So where is the speaker?
The speaker is inside the sound guide and is connected to the board with a ribbon cable.
Due to the fact that the speaker itself is quite tightly glued into the sound guide, I did not pick it out from there, since there is a very high risk of damaging it in the process.
But it is perfectly visible and so. It is small, however, it produces a very decent sound.
By the way, the microphone shafts are made in the form of the letter 'L' with membranes at the ends. This means you can clean the microphone holes without fear of damaging the microphone itself – you simply cannot reach it. Therefore, if the holes are clogged, then a toothpick in hand, and forward. It will not be worse.
And this is how a completely disassembled earpiece looks like. There are few details, they are all well-arranged inside.
We put everything back, turn it on, make sure that it works, and go to listen to music, satisfied with ourselves.
During the dismantling process, four goals were achieved at once:
- The inner technomaniac is satisfied.
- It turned out that my idea to equip the IconX 2018 with a wireless charging coil is real, since there is a place for this inside the case.
- It turned out that the headphones and the case are easy to disassemble, very, very maintainable. For this parameter, I can give them a rating of 9 out of 10 (I'm just like a local iFixit spill, yes).
- Well, in case I have to change the batteries, I now know their models.
I hope this material is not useful to you, but if suddenly, now you know not only that it is easy to disassemble IconX 2018, but also how to do it.
The only thing left is to wait for the wireless charging coil and stick it inside the case, but that’s later. Until!