What to do if your AirPods Pro sound crackly?

AirPods can rightfully be called the best accessory in the segment, however, they are not without drawbacks. In this article, we will discuss how to solve common issues with your headphones and how to make AirPods louder.

Crackle in earphones – AirPods trouble

Users started complaining about the crackling of static discharges in wireless headphones back in November 2019, when AirPods Pro went on sale. Other complaints included sound distortion and loss of bass when activating noise reduction, as well as arbitrary amplification of external noise.

Apple admits there is a problem. On May 5, Apple released a manual on its support site for users who hear crackling or steady sounds on AirPods. This is the company’s first public reaction to the problem.

In the fall of 2020, an update was released that was supposed to solve the problem, but it did not help everyone – after that, the manufacturer launched a program for the free exchange of headphones for new ones at certified service centers.

When working with devices on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, AirPods Pro supports the surround sound function – the sound source is fixed on a smartphone or tablet, and when you turn your head relative to the screen, the direction of the sound will change accordingly.

What Apple advice?

The company recommends doing some manipulations:

  • Make sure your device you’re connecting AirPods Pro to is running the latest operating system available;
  • Make sure your AirPods Pro is running the latest available firmware, which is also updated from time to time and fixes existing bugs and shortcomings;
  • Make sure that the head unit to which the AirPods Pro are connected is close to the headphones, and there are no obstacles between them that interfere with the passage of the Bluetooth signal;
  • Try listening to the sound in your headphones from a music application other than the one you usually use, because the crackling may be caused by interruptions in the application itself;
  • Try cleaning the outer mesh of the headphones (not under the ear cushions) as it can become clogged with earwax, dust, or debris, which can also have a negative effect on sound quality or noise canceling performance.

How to resolve?

Some associate the sound with a firmware update, according to another version, the problem is in a factory defect. Unlike other accessories, Apple Wireless Headphones for proper operation require software called flashing.

You can try the following options:

  • The first step is to check the firmware of the devices to which you connect your “firmware”. They must be running the newest version of OS.
  • Next, you need to carry out an obvious operation – check if the active noise reduction mode is turned on at all. This can be done in two ways:
  • Go to the control center and briefly hold down the volume slider if you have an iPhone with Haptic Touch, or press with a little effort if you have 3D Touch active. In this case, an additional menu will appear;
  • Navigate to “Settings” → “Bluetooth” → “AirPods”.

If everything is on, and the firmware is the latest, then try cleaning the speaker grids, painted in a contrasting black color.

The fact is that external dirt or your earwax could have gotten on this element. This can adversely affect the quality of the noise reduction. It is possible that some will also benefit from a firmware update.