Apple offers fixes for AirPods Pro issues with noise cancellation and crackling audio

AirPods Pro

Crackling sound and problems with active noise cancellation are currently two major issues that are being increasingly reported by owners of the AirPods Pro earbuds. Following yesterday’s release of a new AirPods Pro firmware update, Apple has now issued a pair of support documents that tackle the noise cancellation and crackling audio issues.

9to5Mac spotted new support documents specifically mentioning troubleshooting steps to try for those who are experiencing issues with active noise cancellation or crackling sound.

For active noise cancellation assistance, Apple recommends updating your operating system to the latest version. Then, clean the mesh on the top of the AirPods Pro using a dry cotton swab. Apple says noise cancellation performance can be impacted if the mesh gets gummed up with earwax or other debris.

If you’re hearing more background noise lately when using your earbuds, try cleaning them.

The cleaning steps should be useful if you have noticed a loss of bass response or an increase in the amount of background noise (e.g. airplane sounds) that the active noise cancellation setting fails to remove. If you clean the product and you still think you are experiencing worse than normal active noise cancellation, contact Apple Support.

Unfortunately, the AirPods Pro firmware update that released yesterday doesn’t appear to bring back the rather aggressive form of active noise cancellation we originally had. In fact, the previous firmware version update drew some ire from AirPods Pro owners who complained about it noticeably reducing the quality of the active noise cancellation feature.

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An upswell in complaints from AirPods Pro owners on the Apple support forums also focuses on crackling and static sounds coming from the earbuds. Again, Apple suggests checking that all devices are running up-to-date software before attempting other steps.

9to5Mac has more:

Apple suggests isolating problems relating to audio interference in the environment and trying out a different audio app. If problems persist, the company says to contact their support teams — especially if the issues arise in ‘loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone’.

The report mentions that Apple appears to be “liberally sending out replacement AirPod units” which do not exhibit the issue, based on the forum replies.

Be sure to read Apple’s support documents titled “If Active Noise Cancellation isn’t working as expected on your AirPods Pro” and “If your AirPods Pro make crackling or static sounds”.

Have you been affected by these issues?

Let us know in the comments!