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Someone made an AirPods Max USB-C conversion kit, if you're feeling extremely brave


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If you can't wait for Apple's expected USB-C AirPods Max 2 later this year, or you already have a pair of AirPods Max and don't fancy dropping another five hundred bucks on another pair of Apple cans, hardware consultant and device hacker Ken Pillonel has a solution: why not hack a pair of Lightning ones to make them USB-C?

And that's exactly what he's done, and he's made a video showing you how you can do it too using a kit he's selling.

How to hack your AirPods Max to make them USB-C

As the video demonstrates, the process won't have to be that hard if you're a practical, fiddling-with-your-gadgets'-internals type; the full kit is available from Pillonel's website, which is linked in the video. We're not sure the average AirPods Max buyer will give it a try, but it could be a lot more intimidating than it is.

The hack doesn't add audio over USB-C, though: it's one way only because Apple's hardware requires a firmware handshake, and adding that to the project would mean getting hold of an authentication chip that would make the project prohibitively complex and expensive. However, given the leaks around Beats Solo 4 and the likelihood that they'll have USB-C audio connectivity, maybe we can hope for the same from AirPods Max 2.

Pillonel isn't just hacking AirPods for the fun of it. Well, he is. But he's also promoting something bigger, which is the Right to Repair movement. Right to Repair believes that products of all kinds should be more repairable, and that manufacturers shouldn't be able to use legal and technological measures to stop us fixing products when there's still plenty of life left in them. 

The movement, with a little bit of help from regulators, has pushed many tech firms to offer more repair options for their products – but right to repair doesn't necessarily mean easy or inexpensive to repair, and some firms have been accused of sticking to the letter rather than the spirit. And don't expect tech firms' definition of repair to include any support for modifications such as hacking your headphones. This will very much void the warranty of your AirPods Max, so it if goes wrong, you won't be able to charge them at all.

We wouldn't recommend most people try this at home – but it's nice to know that you could, if you really want your AirPods Max to perfectly match your iPhone 15 and iPad Pro M2 for charging. 

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