How to view the changelog and release notes for AirPods firmware updates

Learn how to find and view the official changelog release notes for all AirPods software updates, as well as check out the current firmware version of your Apple earbuds.

AirPods Pro in their charging case with the lid open, set against a solid black background
Image: Apple

As you’re probably aware, AirPods software updates are downloaded and installed without any intervention on your part. So, instead of using the familiar Software Update mechanism like your iPhone, AirPods updates are on auto-pilot.

That’s why you can’t go to Settings → General → Software Update to manually apply the latest AirPods firmware or see what’s new like you would for iOS updates.

Starting with iOS 16 and iPadOS 16.1, additional details are available in the AirPods settings like the firmware versions and a changelog link.

Follow along to learn how to view release notes for AirPods firmware updates.

How to view release notes for AirPods updates

Three iPhone screenshots showing AirPods settings in iOS 16 with firmware version number and a link to release notes on the web
iOS 16 links you to AirPods release notes on the web | Image: Christian Zibreg / iDB

You can view detailed release notes for all AirPods firmware updates in a support document on Apple’s website, with a link available in your AirPods settings.

  1. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone.
  2. Open the Settings app on the phone.
  3. Choose “Bluetooth” from the root list.
  4. Touch “ⓘ” next to your connected AirPods.
  5. Touch “Version” underneath the “About” heading.
  6. Hit the Apple Support link on this screen.

This will open a support document on the Apple website which provides detailed information about all the changes, fixes and features included in the firmware updates for your AirPods. You can also browse release notes for older AirPods firmware updates in this document and see the latest firmware versions.

Current AirPods firmwares

AirPods firmware versions as of September 13, 2022:

  • AirPods Pro: 4E71
  • AirPods (2nd and 3rd generation): 4E71
  • AirPods Max: 4E71
  • AirPods (1st generation): 6.8.8

AirPods firmwares are delivered automatically.

How automatic AirPods updates work

Apple clarifies that firmware updates for AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are delivered “periodically” (in stages, meaning not all customers will get the latest firmware on the same day). Read: Tips for using AirPods Pro like a pro

Your AirPods must be in their charging case and within Bluetooth range of their paired iPhone, iPad or Mac for the update to install. “Because firmware updates are delivered automatically, you don’t need to update your AirPods,” Apple notes.