Amsterdam-based Fairphone, a social enterprise company, on Thursday, May 11, announced the launch of Fairbuds XL, its first modular audio device.
Fairphone has expanded its product portfolio with sustainably designed, modular over-ear headphones that include recycled and fair materials.
By leveraging their expertise in producing sustainable and repairable smartphones, Fairphone has applied the same principles to develop the Fairbuds XL.
This feature allows users to extend their devices’ lifespan, reducing electronic waste and minimising environmental impact.
Combating the make-use-dispose mentality
In 2021 alone, approximately 548M headphones were sold, and sales have steadily increased since 2013.
Unfortunately, the prevailing make-use-dispose mentality in the electronics industry, driven by short product life cycles, has led to a significant e-waste problem.
Only a small portion (17.4 per cent) of e-waste is recycled. Additionally, the industry faces challenges related to the demand for minerals used in electronics production. In addition, it faces poor working conditions in mines and factories.
Fairphone aims to challenge these practices and demonstrate a more ethical approach that benefits both people and the planet.
What makes Fairbuds XL sustainable?
According to the company, the Fairbuds XL are among the most sustainably designed headphones on the market.
These headphones incorporate various eco-friendly features, including Fairtrade gold integration in the supply chain and vegan leather.
Moreover, they utilise several recycled materials, such as 100% recycled plastic in applicable parts, 100 per cent recycled aluminum in structural elements like the headband base, and recycled tin.
Even the travel pouch accompanying the headphones is crafted from 100% recycled polyester and nylon.
Further, Fairphone will pay $0.55 per headphone to fill the living wage gap of the production line workers. It is working with the supplier on improving working conditions based on workers’ needs.
Fairbuds XL is climate-conscious, meaning that Fairphone reduces the carbon footprint of the Fairbuds XL through longer use, using recycled materials, and also investing in carbon reduction projects that lower CO2 emissions while benefiting the surrounding communities.
Fairbuds XL specifications
Fairbuds XL features a 40mm dynamic driver, noise cancellation, a two-point Bluetooth connection, and strong bass, warm mids, and clear highs.
Moreover, the replaceable battery promotes longevity, providing up to 30 hours of battery life. Despite their modular design, the Fairbuds XL also has IP54 certification.
Fairphone has developed the Fairbuds App, available on both the Play Store and App Store.
This app allows users to customize the sound through Signature EQ presets professionally tuned by Sonarworks. The app ensures the longevity of the headphones by offering firmware updates, introducing new features, and providing occasional bug fixes.
Users will also have the option to order replacement parts if repairs are required. In addition, they will gain insights into the different components that comprise the Fairbuds XL.
Fairphone collaborated with Sonarworks, a renowned leader in sound calibration, to deliver the signature sound quality of the Fairbuds XL.
Sonarworks’ technology has been utilised by Grammy Award-winning engineers working with top artists like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Rihanna, Adele, and Coldplay.
The headphones will be available from 11 May on Fairphone’s website and selected partners. They are priced at a suggested retail tag of €249 / £219 in two colors — green speckled and black speckled.