If you have a pair of Apple AirPods Pro with static or crackling issues, or those where active noise cancelling is not working correctly, you're not alone. Apple admitted on Friday that some of its most expensive earbuds are having issues — and the company is willing to replace them for free.
The company says only "a small percentage of AirPods Pro" are involved. And the earbuds are those that were made before October 2020 — not after. But the problem with the sound quality, if it happens, is specific.
In some cases people may find that active noise cancellation is off, making background sounds increase actually, or dropping out the bass. Another may be hearing cracking or static sounds when you're in a loud environment, while you're exercising, like running, or talking on the phone. It's this latter issue that GearBrain experienced with one of the earbuds as well, contacting Apple earlier this year and requesting that the device be replaced. Apple complied, citing that the AirPods Pro were still under warranty. But that's no longer necessary in order to get the replacement from Apple now.
How to get the replacement
There's no way to get a replacement without returning the original AirPods Pro to Apple. You're going to either need to:
- Make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store
- Call, email or text Apple Support
- Go to an Apple Authorized Service Provider
After these steps, your AirPods Pro are going to be checked to see if the issue is really there. In GearBrain's case, only one of the earbuds was malfunctioning. And Apple notes that may be the case.
In that situation, just one earbud may be swapped out, with the replacement sent back to you. The case in not involved, Apple says, and so it will not be replaced.
You are going to have to be without the AirPods Pro to get the replacement. We're also going to recommend you make sure you get the right ear tips back — the size you prefer for your ears. Or ask Apple if you can remove those when you send the earbuds to them.
Apple AirPods Pro