I have been really happy with my AirPods Pro since I got them right at launch. They were the first earbuds I’ve owned with noise cancellation and definitely were a big step up in terms of sound quality, isolation and features. As much as I liked my original AirPods, the Pros are definitely the way to go for listening to music. I’ve also been using them in the car to cut down on road noise and for lots of Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A few weeks ago, I started noticing occasional popping sounds coming from my left AirPod Pro. In line with the descriptions of many others, the small pops and rattles only occur when the Noise Cancellation or Transparency Modes are enabled and are triggered by movement. I first experienced them while riding in my work van and going over rough spots in roads. It also seemed like something was loose and rattling around inside of them. Now the sounds are triggered by much smaller movements and are more common.
I’ve seen a few posts about this problem online, as well as Apple’s Support article with a few brief tips on how to possibly alleviate the issue. However, I’ve tried resetting my Pros and they have the latest firmware installed. Neither helped.
I’ve also come across other articles and suggestions online, including one from iMore describing a cleaning procedure. Evidently, if the mesh covering the mic on top gets covered or clogged with enough debris, it can negatively affect noise cancellation. The original suggestion, which came from Nikita Goryainov of iPhones.ru, describes using tape to clear the loose debris in the grill and then using compressed air blown at an angle to clear more.
I haven’t tried the air yet because I don’t have any here at home at the moment, but I will give it a shot when I am back at work on Monday. I have tried clearing what I can with tape, but unfortunately that didn’t work, either. Again, I will give the air a shot, but after some reading online, it doesn’t look like this cleaning method is a completely reliable cure. If the air doesn’t work, I guess the next more is to call Apple.
One other issue that popped up with my AirPods Pro this week is that the ear tips that I’ve been using came apart. I settled on the middle size as the best fit for my ears and I’ve been using them since I got my AirPods Pro. When I tried to remove them for cleaning a few days ago, they literally fell apart. I could see where the rubber material had started to pull away from the plastic ring at the base when I tried to remove them. One tip came off, but I could tell it was starting to fail. The other one came apart and the rubber material completely tore away.
This isn’t the end of the world, as replacement tips don’t cost very much. Also, I use my AirPods Pro multiple times every day, so I have put significant mileage on those ear tips. However, I was a little disappointed that they wore out relatively quickly.
I am curious if anyone out there has had any success using remedies suggested online for curing the popping sounds affecting some AirPods Pro. Have any of you had similar issues? Has anyone been able to get them to stop? Has anyone had to get replacements from Apple to resolve the problem? Also, has anyone else had their eartips come apart like mine did? If any of the above applies, I would love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.