Why Your Replacement AirPod Can't Pair Up

AirPods are easy to misplace, we know. If you recently had to acquire a single replacement AirPod earbud, you might assume that all is now well—your lonely AirPod now has a friend again. However, a number of Apple fans are reporting that their replacement AirPod won’t pair up with their older AirPod, which defeats the point of having a functional, matching pair.

Don’t worry; it’s not even a bug this time around, nor is your new AirPod broken. Apple accidentally shipped out some replacement AirPods with an unreleased firmware—version 2D3—making them incompatible with the AirPods you already own. Both AirPods need to run the same firmware to pair up.

You can confirm your AirPod’s firmware number by pairing it to your iPhone and putting one (or both) into your ear. From there, go Settings > General > About. Scroll down and tap the name of your AirPods, and then look for your device’s “Firmware version.” If it’s 2D3, then your device is running the unreleased firmware.

You can’t roll back the firmware on your AirPods firmware, so you’ll need to wait for Apple to finally release the update sometime in the future. Apple hasn’t publicly commented on the uneven firmware despite the widespread reports, but Apple Support is reportedly confirming the firmware update is on its way. It’s anyone’s guess when that update will finally roll out, so your only option is to wait—and get used to some one-ear listening.


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