Some owners of Apple’s Airpods Pro have been reporting strange issues with their earbuds’ active noise cancelling (ANC) for the past few months. For some, ANC doesn’t work at all; others hear weird static or a crackling or popping noise when they use the feature.
Some of these ANC performance issues were caused by bad firmware that has since been fixed, but the bug reports persist. If you’re experiencing this issue, Apple will replace your AirPods Pro for free. It’s a welcome solution, but the replacement program has a few restrictions:
- Apple says only AirPods Pro manufactured before October 2020 have the malfunctioning ANC, and the company will only replace purchases made within the last two years. That should cover everyone as of today, since AirPods Pro came out in October 2019, but you don’t want to dawdle.
- Replacement AirPods Pro will not receive an extended warranty.
- Apple will not replace the AirPods Pro charging case as part of the program.
- Only devices confirmed to have the ANC issues are eligible. You can’t send in the pair you accidentally put through the laundry or damaged in some other way.
Getting a set of replacement earbuds is free, but you need to have your faulty AirPods Pro examined by an Apple support representative or at an Authorised Apple Service provider. Apple Stores adopted strict COVID-19 safety guidelines after reopening earlier this year, so make sure you follow protocol if you go get your AirPods Pro checked out.
For those who can’t head to a local Apple store or a certified repair provider (or don’t want to), Apple lets you send in the earbuds by mail to be repaired or replaced for free. Start a claim through Apple’s support website then follow the instructions to send them in. You’ll receive your new pair by mail a few days later if you qualify.