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The New Fairbuds: Nine things you need to know

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Titanium is key: The new Fairbuds feature 11mm titanium-coated drivers for better, cleaner, richer sound. During the development process, we evaluated several different driver types. This was done from both from an objective perspective, measuring and comparing frequency curves and harmonic distortion, as well as a more subjective approach, in the form of listening tests. We zeroed in on titanium as it is low in density but high in strength. That means our earbud drivers remain lightweight and ensure superfast responses, but are also strong enough to resonate high-fidelity, high-quality, crystal-clear audio.

Peak sustainable design: Designing the Fairbuds was a challenge in itself. We wanted to make it as small as possible, make sure the batteries were replaceable, all while still retaining our IP54 sweat and moisture rating. We also wanted to move away from the ‘stick’ design that wasn’t as user-friendly as we liked. Experience told us that modularity usually meant a larger form factor. We used that to our advantage, increasing the size of the earbuds where ergonomics would not be compromised. For the battery, while we did want it to be replaceable, we didn’t want to make the battery holder completely removable as it would run a high risk of getting lost or broken.  So we came up with a rotating battery tray, one that was easily accessible by using a screwdriver or even a fingernail. We put a silicone ring around the earbud to secure the tray even further and to prevent any dust or moisture from getting inside. On the white Fairbuds, the silicone ring is transparent, hinting at the modularity inside. While the battery replacement process is not as straight-forward as the Fairphone 4 or 5, the idea is that you would be doing this process once every two to three years. The end result is an absolute stellar example of sustainable design.

Perfect for rainy weather … and the gym: The new Fairbuds come with an IP54 rating, but the case itself does not. The earbuds will therefore be able to withstand a short downpour, or a longer drizzle, as is the case usually in our native Amsterdam. It’s also the perfect companion for a grueling workout. Having said that, it’s not built to go swimming with. 

Tough as nails, the Fairbuds are: The Fairbuds have gone through extensive reliability testing to ensure their durability over time. In short, they’re tough. Really tough. That’s why we can confidently offer an extended warranty on them. Considering we don’t currently offer an extended warranty on the Fairbuds XL (at least not yet), it’s already a great step forward for Fairphone’s audio products.

Better-than-industry standard batteries inside: Earbuds in general have a small battery due to their small form factor. And with earbuds that offer active noise-cancelling, the playtime differs enormously. We tested the Fairbuds’ battery life in highly controlled conditions (continuous playback, volume at 50%, 1KHz sine wave on loop— That’s like playing Hotel California on repeat) and the playtime we promise is based on those test results. In general, we have an above average battery capacity (45mAh) compared to many other earbuds. That battery is rated for 500 charge/discharge cycles (to reach 80% remaining capacity). So it also depends heavily on the frequency of use when you should replace the batteries. But if we do some napkin math, you should get up to 2700 hours of listening time before the battery reaches 80% capacity. And like we have kept saying, the moment your battery starts degrading, you can always opt to swap in new ones and keep your Fairbuds going for even longer.

The Fairbuds are possibly the most repairable earbuds in the world right now: The new Fairbuds are our most repairable earbuds yet, possibly the most repairable earbuds in the world as of right now. Compared to the earlier TWS earbuds, the new Fairbuds come with an assortment of other replaceable parts, including the aforementioned replaceable batteries in both earbuds and the charging case. A deteriorating battery is the biggest pain point when it comes to earbuds, and makes all the difference when it comes to device longevity. 

Did we mention the charging case is modular and repairable too?: It’s not just the Fairbuds that’s modular. The charging case is fully repairable too, with the outer shell forming a separate part from the charging case core that contains all its electronics. We also offer single earbuds as replacements on our webshop. The way we see it, the biggest reason why people might want to discard their earbuds is because of degrading battery life, or misplacing one of the earbuds. With replacement batteries and earbuds, this will not be a problem for Fairbuds users.

They are our most sustainable earbuds as well: The new Fairbuds are also the most sustainable earbuds out there, with almost 70% of the weight of the earbuds being made from fair and recycled materials. This includes plastics, gold, silver, cobalt and recycled magnets –  a first for Fairphone. We had some challenges when using recycled plastics, especially for the transparent parts. It took us a lot of time and tweaking to get the final design to look just right, because raw, recycled plastic has a very yellowish tint to it. The straightforward (less sustainable) solution was to either go for virgin material, or change our designs from the ground up. Of course, being Fairphone, we went for the latter, and the end result proves it wasn’t a compromise at all.

A brand new Fairbuds app for the brand new Fairbuds: We’ve completely revamped the Fairbuds app to now also support the Fairbuds along with the Fairbuds XL. For the Fairbuds, we went for a more simple approach with the presets, offering our default tuning, a bass boosted profile, and a flat profile. However, compared to the Fairbuds XL, the Fairbuds come with eight adjustable equalizer bands as opposed to five. This also has to do with the chipset we’re using inside the Fairbuds. As with the Fairbuds XL, the Fairbuds app is your one-stop shop to access support articles, tutorials, and learn more about the different modules of your Fairbuds.

Check out the new Fairbuds here, now available for €149.


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