These Apple earphones are a bit of an anomaly. The design is based upon its Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic that was sold independently and also included with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, and iPod touch (Generation 3). Each of those devices used a microphone. At the same time, Apple released the iPod Shuffle Generation 3 that did not have microphone compatibility. Instead of using an old earphones design, they instead produced the same design without a microphone.
This version of the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic without a Mic lacks the small Mic hole in the housing on the right-ear wire. Previous Apple Earphone designs lacked the + and – volume controls and the microphone on models that included the Mic.
Of course, I would love to tear these apart or X-ray them to see if Apple left out the microphone, or simply covered the microphone hole in this version of the earphones.
The EarPods design replaced a previous Apple headphone design with a circular earphone design. The product description states that, “Unlike traditional, circular earbuds, the design of the EarPods is defined by the geometry of the ear. Which makes them more comfortable for more people than any other earbud-style headphones.”
EarPods also included a remote and microphone on the right EarPod wire. The remote allowed the user to pinch the thickened cord to control volume, play/pause music and video, and answer or end a call.
The same wired EarPod design was used in the EarPods with Lightning Connector product when Apple removed the audio connector from the iPhone. Both the 3.5 mm Headphone Plug and Lightning Connector options were sold at the same time since both ports were still used in Apple products.
This product was sold in a variety of packaging. This is the same packaging that shipped inside iPhone models and also available as OEM replacement parts from some online retailers.