AirPods Pro users report poor noise cancellation after software updates

Yolanda Curtis
January 21, 2020

Apple has reportedly ruined the active-noise-cancelling (ANC) feature in their $399 AirPods Pro following a December firmware update. This usually isn't big news, but it might just be the cause of allegedly worse noise cancellation quality, now being experienced by both professional reviewers and everyday users. RTINGS said after retesting the AirPods Pro, it found the earbuds "won't do almost a good job blocking out the low engine rumbles of planes or buses as they did before this update". Apple AirPods Pro users must think twice before installing the latest updates and here is how you can upgrade your earbuds to patch 2C54 by yourself. You can see which version of the firmware and software your AirPods are using in the General section of the Settings menu, in the About tab. This means that even if you avoided the 2C54 version, you might still have some firmware that delivers less than impressive noise-canceling.

In terms of water resistance, the AirPods Pro is definitely the victor as they feature IPX4 water-resistance. A window showing details about the AirPods Pro will appear. You won't find the new feature on the original Airpods.

What should Apple do about the AirPods Pro's firmware in the future?

"I changed the tips on mine and found a comfortable fit that definitely helped with noise-cancellation, however it still can not beat how jaw-dropping [sic] good it was when I first got them", writes user Storm_d.

It's possible that Apple made a decision to turn the maximum noise canceling knob down ever so slightly without telling anyone to avoid any ill effects, but I really hope not. As I pretty much always have them in my coat pocket, they're flawless to quickly throw on if I need to block out the world and get some work or reading done. Some AirPods Pro owners are convinced noise cancellation took a downturn right after that first 2B588 update, and they were left without any method of going back.

So, Apple, why don't you give us the option to change the level of the AirPods Pro's ANC? There are a lot of people who say they've experienced this issue, and it's escalated to the point where Bose is now visiting customers at home to get a handle on whatever's going on.

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