Fairphone entered the headphone market with its TWS buds in 2021, now the company has introduced its first over-ear headphones. This one feels closer to the spirit of Fairphone as it’s not only made out of recycled materials, it’s very easy to repair too.
The design of the new Fairbuds XL is modular with 11 parts, so the headphones are easy to disassemble and repair. Something like replacing the ear cushions is simple and doesn’t even require tools. You can replace the battery too, once it starts dropping in capacity (it will be at 80% after 500 charge cycles). Here’s a diagram showing all the parts:
Avoiding e-waste is one part of Fairphone’s mission, another sourcing materials and components responsibly. The Fairbuds XL are made out of 100% recycled aluminum and 80% recycled plastics and with a 100% recycled textile pouch. Even the electronics inside use 100% recycled tin solder paste.
That’s not all, Fairphone also takes care of the workers at the assembly lines – it tries to set up good working conditions for them and makes sure they are paid a living wage.
Okay, but how are the Fairbuds XL as headphones? They have 40mm drivers and use Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX HD (plus AAC and SBC), along with multi-point connectivity. They can be used in wired mode too through the USB-C port, though they don’t have a 3.5mm jack (and neither does the latest Fairphone smartphone).
The headphones are powered with a user-replaceable 800mAh battery. This will last 26 hours with Active Noise Cancellation enabled, 30 hours without it. You can tune the settings of the Fairbuds XL using the Fairbuds app available for Android and iOS.
The headphones weigh 330g and have an IP54 rating for dust and splash resistance. They have a foldable design for easy transportation.
The Fairbuds XL are already available in Europe through the Fairphone store at a price of €250/£220. Note that no charger is included in the retail package, not even a charging cable (any USB-C cable will do, though). Also, the spare parts aren’t available just yet, so we don’t know their prices.