Fairphone is the leading repairable smartphone brand; it regularly receives praise from iFixit, and its extended software support puts brands like Google and Samsung to shame. Now, Android Authority has discovered that Fairphone is working on a pair of wireless headphones.
Update, 5/11/23: The Fairphone Fairbuds XL are here, and they’re seriously repairable. Thank goodness!
Update, 5/9/23: WinFuture obtained and published renders of the FairBuds XL, which we’ve added to this article. As noted by WinFuture, these headphones appear to have easily-accessible screws, so they may be easily repairable—still, we’re not sure.
This is a pretty exciting discovery. As Android Authority notes, a Bluetooth SIG listing for the “FairBuds XL” appeared on April 13th. And a quick Google Search for “FairBuds XL” reveals a preview for a Vimeo video, which was uploaded toward the beginning of April. (This video is set to private. Or, it may have been removed. In any case, you can’t watch it.)
Fairphone, Google This video appears in a Google Search for FairBuds XL. The video is set to private and can't be played.
From what we can tell, the FairBuds XL utilize Bluetooth 5.0 and feature a speckled green paint job, similar to a popular Fairphone 4 colorway. The headphones have two large buttons, presumably to control volume and power. We can’t find any details about battery life, noise cancelation, and so on.
One might assume that their FairBuds XL are repairable. After all, they’re made by Fairphone! But this isn’t Fairphone’s first attempt at an audio product. The company previously launched a set of wireless earbuds, which scored a stunningly low repairability score in iFixit’s teardown. (Notably, these earbuds are called “True Wireless Earbuds,” not “FairBuds.” I’m not sure why the upcoming headphones are called “FairBuds XL.”)
I should also note that the Fairphone 4 doesn’t have a headphone jack. Naturally, a lot of Fairphone enthusiasts complain about this omission, so I’m curious to see how they’ll respond to the FairBuds XL.
Our friends at Android Authority managed to find a Swiss listing for the headphones, which set the MSRP at 235.35 Swiss Francs (about $260). But this price may be a placeholder, so I wouldn’t take it to heart.