At a time when the electronics industry is constantly tempting consumers to buy the latest and most cutting-edge devices, Amsterdam-based Fairphone has made a name for itself by doing just the opposite.
Best known for its sustainably made, modular and repairable (DIY) smartphones, the startup is now applying the same ethos to another product segment: headphones.
The newly launched Fairbuds XL are a pair of over-ear wireless headphones, priced at €249. Like the company’s smartphones, they are sold primarily in Europe, although some authorized resellers also ship to other parts of the world.
The Fairbuds XL comes with 30 hours of battery life, 40mm dynamic drivers for sound quality and active noise cancellation. They also have a USB-C connector for charging, a Bluetooth range of 10 meters and smart assistants.
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But their most impressive element is undoubtedly the design. The modular headset consists of nine components/potential spares: battery, speaker-to-speaker cable, earmuff caps, headband, ear cushion, headband base, speakers and headband cap.
Customers can order any of them from the company’s website or Fairbuds app and easily replace or repair parts that break or wear out over time. The headphones come with a two-year warranty, which means that within this period the cost of the components will most likely be covered by the start-up.
To further increase their positive impact on the environment and society, the Fairbuds XL are made with 100% recycled plastic, aluminum and tin solder paste where possible, while the startup claims to pay $0.55 per pair of headphones to close the living wage gap of the production line workers.
Fairphone’s overall ethos aligns with the EU’s goal to drastically reduce e-waste and move to a circular economy by 2050. Right to repair and the Ecodesign for sustainable products the start-up’s approach can give a significant regional boost.