Crackle in AirPods Pro: what is the reason, how to fix the problem and what Apple advises

Some associate the sound with a firmware update, according to another version – the problem is in a factory manufacturing

AirPods Pro

Owners of AirPods Pro faced a crash in the headphones. Judging by complaints in social networks and forums, by the spring of 2020, the problem became truly widespread.  ran into this himself and tried to figure out what was going on.

The first complaints of crackling began in 2019 – how does the problem manifest

For the first time, talk about cod in AirPods Pro began talking almost immediately after the headphones went on sale – in November 2019. Then a Reddit user with the nickname adhdkidsftw complained about a crack in the headphones while walking.

In the comments on the post, several users talked about a similar problem, but everyone showed it differently: for some, only the left earphone started to crack, for others only the right one, and for the third, both. Some noticed the problem only while walking, while others at any time. But all users agreed that the crack appeared only when the “noise reduction” or “transparency” mode was on.

A massive problem began by January 2020, when it began to be discussed on the Apple forum. The record gathered eight pages of comments: at least 1,500 users complained of cod.

At the same time, in 2019 alone, Apple sold about 60 million AirPods (both Pro and regular), and in 2020 it was predicted to sell 90 million AirPods. Given these numbers, it seems so far that the crack has affected only a small part of users.

In late April, two  editors ran into a similar problem almost simultaneously. In both cases, the crack began in the left earpiece and appeared when the “noise reduction” and “transparency” modes were turned on.

This is a pulsating sharp crack in the ear, which manifests itself even without turning on the music, when the earphone is just in the ear and very annoying. It is as if something has gotten in and is trying to find a way out.

One of the  editors tried to get rid of the cod, following popular tips from the network: reconnecting the headphones and disconnecting all other devices that work with Bluetooth. This did not help, so on May 4 he turned to Apple support, where he was advised to wait for the firmware update without giving an approximate date.

Apple acknowledged the problem – what the manufacturer advises

On May 5, Apple released on the tech support site instructions for users who experience crackling or static sounds in AirPods Pro. This is the company’s first public reaction to the problem.

What is advised at Apple

  • Make sure the latest version of the system is installed on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.
  • Check the device’s connection to prevent wireless interference;
  • try to listen to music through different applications;
  • If the problem persists, contact Apple Support.

Apple has not publicly declared the issue a mass marriage. However, when handing over the headphones for repair in Russia, Apple authorized service centers recognize the case as a factory defect. However, this does not guarantee that the crack does not occur again – with a new pair of headphones.


Factory defect or problem with the firmware – what is the reason and what you can do yourself

The exact cause of the cod in AirPods Pro is unknown: although service centers recognize the defect as factory, Apple did not announce a public replacement program, as was the case with the butterfly-type keyboard on the MacBook Pro.

The manifestation of the problem only when the “noise reduction” or “transparency” mode is turned on suggests that the crack can be caused by a software bug. In addition, in January 2020, users already complained about the deterioration in the quality of noise reduction after the next firmware update

Then many owners of headphones noticed that AirPods Pro began to deal worse with “bass”, for example, with the sound of aircraft engines or cars. The difference was found after updating the firmware of the device from 2B588 to 2C54.

To find out the AirPods Pro firmware version, you need to go into the iPhone settings – basic – about the device – AirPods Pro.

On May 5, Apple began sending out a 2D15 update, but what exactly has been changed in it is unknown: the company does not report on innovations and changes in the firmware of the headphones. In addition, users cannot manage AirPods updates – Apple does not warn about their release, does not give the opportunity to install manually or refuse.

Both editors ran into a bang on January 2C54 firmware, so the problem is probably still factory. However, before you take the device to the service center for an indefinite period (now they are overloaded and take longer to process applications), you can still try to do something yourself – for example, reset the headphones or force them to be updated.

In some cases, the cod problem can be resolved by reconnecting AirPods Pro. Sometimes the headphones are simply not correctly connected to the smartphone, so this method may help.

How to reset AirPods Pro:

  • Headphones should be placed in a case and closed;
  • After that, AirPods Pro should be untied from the smartphone – in the Bluetooth settings you need to click “forget”;
  • Then it is enough to open the lid and hold down the button on the case for 15 seconds, until the indicator starts flashing yellow;
  • The device can be reconnected to the smartphone.

It is possible that some will also benefit from a firmware update. In support of Apple, editors were told how to install the latest update on AirPods Pro yourself.

How to update AirPods Pro:

  • Connect the headphones and use them to listen to music for some time, at least 30 seconds;
  • After that, put the headphones in the case and close;
  • The case is connected to charging and left for 30 minutes, you do not need to break a pair with a smartphone;
  • Connect to smartphone.

As experience has shown, after that the headphones are really guaranteed to receive a new version of the firmware, if the irrelevant one was installed before. At the same time, the update did not help  editors solve the problem.


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