AirPods Pro: Something has happened to Apple earphones’ noise cancelling, users complain

Andrew Griffin

The performance of Apple's AirPods Pro appears to have got worse, according to users.

While the sound has got better on the premium earphones, the noise cancelling has become worse, a variety of users have complained.

And many are blaming a recent firmware update that appears to have changed the way the earphones perform.

Noise cancelling is one of the key features of the AirPods Pro, when compared to the older wireless earphones. Apple introduced them with fanfare about the way they would allow people to focus on their music and podcasts while on the train, for instance.

Reviewers agreed that the noise cancelling is effective, and that they kept the sound out despite their small size.

But now a host of Reddit users have complained that the noise cancelling is now less effective, and that more sound is getting through.

Review site RTINGS tested the earphones in the wake of the controversy, and said that it found the noise cancelling was keeping less sound out. While the performance of the audio was improved, they appeared to have got worse at keeping noise out, the site said.

Various users have suggested that was the result of a firmware update, which changed how the wireless earphones perform.

AirPods updates happen automatically: there is no way of stopping them, nothing to indicate when they do happen, and no way of rolling them back once they have. You can check whether your AirPods have been updated relatively easily.

That is done by connecting your AirPods to your phone, heading to the Settings app, clicking "General" and then "About". That menu should include the name of your AirPods, and clicking that will give you a host of information about them, including the firmware number.

The latest version is known as "2C54", and is the one that is said to have brought the problems. But some say they even started with the "2B588" update.

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