Were you one of the early adopters of Apple’s AirPods Pro? Apple did a great job selling us all on the seamless connectivity between all of our Apple devices, and the new fit and design of the AirPods Pro, plus outstanding noise cancellation made it a no brainer. My AirPods Pro just celebrated their second birthday, and I’m disappointed to report they won’t see their third. In the last couple of days I’ve noticed a very annoying rattle inside the right earbud. This rattle or crackling in one ear usually overtakes any sound that is still audible, and tapping on the earbuds makes it more pronounced, almost like something has come loose inside and is rattling around. Hoping to find a fix for this, I did some thorough research on static in airpods and found a couple of recommended solutions.
Why AirPods are crackling, popping, rattling, staticy and ways to fix it
What to do first: iOS Update
The first step is to ensure you are running the latest iOS firmware. (I’m not sure why the firmware would be causing what sounds like an audible rattle, but that was one of the first things Apple recommends I do in order to resolve any concerns with my AirPods Pro.) Sadly, but not surprisingly, the software update did nothing to help. The next recommended fix is to do a hard reset on the Apple AirPods Pro. Here’s how:
How to Reset Apple AirPods Pro
- Put your AirPods in their charging case, and close the lid.
- Wait 30 seconds.
- Open the lid of your charging case.
- On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the More Info button next to your AirPods. (If you don’t see your AirPods in Settings > Bluetooth, just go to the next step.)
- Tap Forget This Device, and tap again to confirm.
- With the lid open, press and hold the setup button on the back of the case for about 15 seconds, until the status light flashes amber, then white.
Reconnect your AirPods: With your AirPods in their charging case and the lid open, place your AirPods close to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Follow the steps on your device’s screen to reconnect.
Much to my dismay, this also did not fix the problem.
Next: Clear vents in AirPods Pro, try a thorough clean
Next I found some chat forums dealing with airpod cracking where they recommend using sticky tape to remove anything that may be potentially blocking the tiny almost invisible grills on the Airpods. My results using tape to press and release over the grills in hopes of removing any dust or debris: Nada.
Moving to more extreme measures, I tried cleaning the AirPods with cotton swabs, and a drop of isopropyl alcohol. This proved ineffective as well.
How to clean AirPods Pro with compressed air: use with caution
Figuring at this point I had nothing left to lose, I moved to the last and most extreme fix; blowing them out with compressed air.
There’s plenty of websites that will tell you using compressed air on your AirPods Pro is a dangerous game because it could blast something loose inside (that’s not already loose, that is!), so only use this as a last resort.
There are three vents or small grills on your AirPods that might have something lodged inside them. Use a can of compressed air to indirectly (try blowing the air across the grill rather than right into it) and gently blow them out.
Again, this didn’t work for me, but I’d love to know if anything up to this point works for you… post your comments below.
Last resort: Replace the broken AirPod Pro
At this point I have to assume something has broken inside my right AirPod Pro. As these are out of warranty, my only option is to replace the damaged bud at a price of $89USD. So, that is an option, and it’s definitely cheaper than buying all new AirPods Pro. But it is a bit disappointing I only got just over 2 years of use out of them.
In the end I did purchase a new earbud directly from Apple and now my AirPods Pro are as good as new and I’m glad to report they’re working perfectly.
If you are having similar problems with your AirPods, I’d love to know if any of the fixtures I suggested did indeed work for you. I’m also curious about the longevity of other people’s AirPods too (how long before you saw issues? What fixed it?) so don’t forget to post your experience and comments below.
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