AirPods on acid: See the evolution of Apple’s wireless buds like never before

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AirPods Pro CT scan
A CT scan reveals the insides of AirPods Pro in the prettiest way possible.
Photos: Scan of the Month

Ever wondered what your favorite wireless headphones might look like during a weird acid trip? Find out right here (while sober) with these mesmerizing CT scans of AirPods, which showcase the evolution of Apple’s buds on the inside.

AirPods have seen some surprisingly big changes since their initial introduction in late 2016. Here’s how Apple made them better — and even more compact.

The evolution of AirPods on the inside

Like many Apple products, AirPods are an engineering marvel. They pack teeny-tiny circuit boards, chips, microphones and more — all intricately designed to squeeze into an ultra-small form factor that fits comfortably in your ear.

AirPods CT scan
AirPods have come a long way since the original.
Photos: Scan of the Month

We’ve already gotten a glimpse at what’s inside Apple’s most popular wireless headphones, thanks to teardowns from the likes of iFixit. But these detailed CT scan photographs reveal AirPods’ guts more spectacularly than ever before.

They also do a stellar job of highlighting how AirPods have evolved over the years. One of the most obvious changes is how Apple moved their batteries from the stem to the head of the bud, allowing the stem to be a lot shorter.

AirPods Pro get even more intricate

The scan of AirPods Pro — the first major AirPods redesign since the original — reveals how Apple switched from a downward-facing microphone to two outward-facing mics to allow for active noise cancellation.

A third microphone, located right in front of the speaker, enables AirPods Pro’s Adaptive EQ and the handy fit test that tells you whether you’re using the right silicone tips for your ear.

AirPods 3 CT scan
Apple’s newest AirPods, with a all-new circuit board design.
Photo: Scan of the Month

The scan of Apple’s newest AirPods reveals they take some cues from AirPods Pro, but feature a brand-new, double-sided circuit board with hundreds of minute sensors and transistors that squeeze into the steam of the buds.

Check out Scan of the Month for more amazing CT scan images like these.