Ken Pillonel, an engineer who gained fame for modifying the iPhone and AirPods cases with functional USB-C ports, has returned with what he considers his most innovative project to date. He has successfully converted his broken AirPods from 2020 into wired USB-C earphones, demonstrating the process in a recent YouTube video.
Ken pointed out that the first and second-generation AirPods are notoriously difficult to repair, earning a dismal 0/10 repairability score from iFixit. However, being a person who does not settle for the status quo, he dove into the AirPods to figure out how to improve them with a wired connection.
Ken’s expertise does not stop at functionality, as he also gave the AirPods a stylish new two-tone black and white design. The end result is a set of earphones that not only function better but also look more sophisticated than the standard wireless AirPods.
By adding wires and a USB-C connector to AirPods, Pillonel’s latest project is a satirical take on the repairability challenges of Apple’s wireless earbuds. The engineer aims to promote awareness about these issues and encourage consumers to consider purchasing non-consumable wired earbuds instead.
In 2021, Engineer Ken Pillonel made waves in the tech world by becoming the first person to successfully modify an iPhone to include a working USB-C port. Not content with stopping there, he also turned his attention to Apple’s popular AirPods and AirPods Pro cases, successfully modifying them to include USB-C ports as well. This achievement put Pillonel at the forefront of the tech industry, showcasing his innovative approach to solving problems.
In addition to his work on modifying Apple products, Pillonel has also tackled repairability issues with the lightning connector by adding it to a Samsung Galaxy A51. His expertise and innovative approach have earned him a reputation within the Apple community, with several of his projects generating significant interest in recent years. Some of his notable projects include creating a fully-functional Apple Watch using off-the-shelf components, upgrading a MacBook Pro with a larger internal hard drive, and building a custom Apple Pencil charging dock.