Are Apple AirPods noise suppression

AirPods Pro: These tips will help with ANC issues

Apple's AirPods Pro wireless headphones use active noise cancellation. But Active Noise Canceling (ANC) does not always work properly, as Apple itself had to admit. There are many reasons for poor noise cancellation or crackling noises in the headphones.

On its support pages, Apple gives tips on what to do if you have problems with the AirPods Pro. We summarize common problems and their solutions.

Dirty microphones interfere with noise canceling

For noise suppression, microphones constantly record the ambient noise in order to then take active countermeasures. As Apple explains, debris and wax can build up in the microphones or their metal covers and interfere with noise suppression.

This is expressed, for example, in a weakened bass sound. Also, more noise than usual can get through to the ear, such as road or engine noise.

This can be remedied by cleaning the metal cover. The black microphone grille can easily be cleaned with a dry cotton swab. You can find more information about cleaning the AirPods (Pro) here.

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Cracking or crackling noises in the AirPods Pro

Another problem that Apple addresses is cracking or crackling static noises. If these occur, you should check whether the device connected to the headphones is nearby. Obstacles such as walls can interfere with the Bluetooth signal. Other radio sources such as WLAN networks, a microwave or poorly shielded cables can also have an impact.

It is possible that the problem is not with the headphones, but with the sound source. Test the headphones with another app and also listen to music or other audio content that is stored directly on the connected device and is not streamed from the Internet.

If none of these solutions help, the AirPods Pro could be qualified for Apple's exchange program (see end of article).

Firmware update against ANC problems

For all problems that can occur with the AirPods Pro, Apple also points out that you should first check the software on all devices. The current version of the respective operating system should be installed on the iPhone, iPad or Mac connected to the headphones.

But a firmware update can also help with the AirPods Pro itself if a previous version caused problems. For example, firmware version 2C54, which was delivered in December 2019 and which Apple withdrew shortly afterwards, led to a deterioration in the noise-canceling function for some users. A downgrade to an earlier firmware version is not provided for the AirPods Pro, so that affected users could only wait for an update.

This has finally been available since the beginning of May 2020. Apple did not comment on the content of the firmware update itself, but at least it was able to replace the withdrawn version that some users had been stuck on since December. You can check which firmware the AirPods Pro are running under Settings -> General -> About. The May 2020 version is called 2D15.

An available firmware update should start automatically if the AirPods Pro in the charging case are connected to a power source and the connected iPhone is within range. In an emergency, it can help to disconnect the AirPods Pro from the iPhone and restart the pairing.

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Contact Apple Support

If none of the tips worked, it's time to contact Apple support. There, a support employee can help you track down the problem, or arrange for a repair or replacement of the headphones. You can find prices for out-of-warranty repairs on an overview page from Apple.

AirPods Pro models manufactured before October 2020 could also qualify for the exchange program Apple has launched for faulty models. If you hear static noises that get worse in a noisy environment, while playing sports or on the phone, or the noise canceling does not work as expected, you can submit the AirPods Pro to Apple or an authorized service provider. There it is checked whether they are qualified for the exchange program and exchanged if necessary.

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