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Apple program will replace AirPods Pro buds with crackling, ANC issues

The AirPods Pro Service Program will replace affected units for up to two years after they were sold.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
October 30, 2020
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HONG KONG, CHINA - 2020/02/19: A man stands in front of American multinational technology company Apple store displaying the Airpods Pro banner at its entrance in Hong Kong. (Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Occasionally Apple identifies a problem significant enough to launch a program to repair or replace an issue with one of its products, and today it revealed a service program for the AirPods Pro. According to the notice, in devices manufactured before October of this year, “a small percentage of AirPods Pro may experience sound issues.”

Apple didn’t specify a cause for the issue, but affected units could have problems with a crackling or static sound that increases when other outside noises are present, or the Active Noise Cancellation feature otherwise not working as expected.

“An affected AirPods Pro may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

  • Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise”

We didn’t experience problems with our review unit last year, but when we asked readers for their opinions on Apple’s high-end ear buds, some of you reported these exact symptoms. Yianni noted in June “The problem is an extremely annoying crackling noise when you talk while you are on the noise cancellation mode and gets worse over time.”

Apple’s repair program doesn’t extend the warranty on the AirPods Pro, but covers replacements for one or both buds, if necessary, for two years after they were first sold. If you’re having issues, contact Apple Support, an Apple Store, or an authorized service provider so they can check them out and, if they identify a flaw, replace the affected ear buds.

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