Do you know that you can update the firmware on AirPods to improve its performance? Yes, not manually, but it can be done automatically. It would fix miscellaneous issues and bring in improvements. So, if you haven’t updated your AirPods since you got or didn’t remember the time you updated them last, let me show you how to update the firmware on your AirPods or AirPods Pro.
How to Update Your AirPods Firmware
- Insert your AirPods in the charging case.
- Attach your AirPods charging case to a power source via the Lighting to USB cable that comes with the AirPods.
- Pair your iOS device with your AirPods and keep them close with each other.
- Make sure the iOS device is running on an internet connection.
Once your AirPods are set up, the firmware update will be automatically downloaded and installed. If they’re not updated, you probably need to make sure nothing is wrong with your AirPods.
First, make sure your AirPods battery is fully juiced up! And if still, it didn’t work out, reset your AirPods and try again.
How to Check the AirPods Firmware Version
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Go to General settings.
- Tap About.
- Select AirPods or AirPods Pro.
- Check out the Firmware version.
The latest version for AirPods is 6.8.8, and AirPods Pro is 2D15. If your AirPods are already updated to the latest version, be patient for the future update.
AirPods Firmware can’t be manually updated. They are released occasionally and can be downloaded and installed automatically. So if your AirPods are working perfectly fine and updated to the latest version, that’s great! If you have trouble using the AirPods, these quick links are plenty of help!
Updated 3 months ago
There are fewer things that get me more excited than unwrapping a new piece of technology, especially when it’s a new and exciting product that’ll change the way I get stuff done. And while wireless Bluetooth headphones aren’t anything new, when Apple debuted the AirPods, it altered the way people viewed hands-free earbuds forever. The AirPods Pro managed to improve upon the original buds with noise-cancellation and isolation technology. And if you want to know how to update them, then you’re in luck.
The newest AirPods Pro firmware update 3A283 introduces spatial audio. What is it?
This technology is absolutely mind-blowing and it’s honestly going to be difficult for other manufacturers to keep up with — if all of the user reports are true. The newest feature utilizes the gyroscope and accelerometer in the AirPods Pro and users’ iPhones to fully track your head movements and adjust the audio accordingly.
The sound levels then fluctuate with your body’s motions, creating the sense that the sound is occurring around you and not coming into your ears via buds. One MacRumors user who tried the update wrote, “Just tried out spatial audio on my iPad. Very cool! The illusion of the audio coming from the iPad is so convincing that I actually thought at first that the sound was coming from my iPad’s speakers.”
They continued, “Had to take an AirPod out of my ear to confirm I was really hearing it from the AirPods themselves. I would really like to learn more about whatever dark magic Apple is using to pull off this illusion!”
The other big update to the AirPods Pro is automatic switching. This allows users to be simultaneously “paired” with all of their Apple devices at the same time and instantly switch audio between each device.
You’ll need to be logged into your iCloud account on each device in order to use the automatic switching feature and then you’ll need to activate the audio on said device that you’re using in order to seamlessly transition between devices.
People have been seriously praising the updates, giving them a renewed appreciation for the $250 headphones and showing that AirPods are the gift that keeps on giving.
Auto switching between devices and spatial audio seem to work with the latest iOS/iPadOS 14 betas and at least Apple TV+.
It’s insane. updated without me even knowing. Thought the sound was coming from my iPhone and not AirPods for a second!
Here’s how to update the AirPods Pro.
It’s a pretty straightforward process and in most instances, your AirPods will just update by themselves when put in their case but are still actively paired with an iOS device. Here’s how to check your firmware:
- Connect your AirPods to your iOS device.
- Open settings.
- Hit general.
- Hit about.
- Hit AirPods.
- Check the “Firmware Version” number.
How to “force” update your AirPods Pro.
If the number isn’t 3A283, and you want to “force” the update here’s what you do:
- Ensure your AirPods are connected to an iOS device. To be extra sure, you can even try un-pairing or re-pairing them with your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
- Place the AirPods in their charging case and close the case. Leave them in there for a few minutes.
Recheck your firmware and make sure they’re on the latest version. That should do the trick!
In case you haven’t heard. Spatial audio is here with the latest firmware update on AirPods Pro.
Oh my god these things will NOT update. @Apple let us manually update AirPods already damnit.
If you’re still having difficulty, you may want to “factory reset” your AirPods Pro. You can do that by holding the button on the charging case down for 15 seconds. The notification light on your case should flash orange for a bit before flashing white. Once you see this white light, you’ll know that your AirPods Pro have been reset. Re-pair them with your iOS device and put them in the charging case again. You should be good to go.
January 15, 2020, 11:23am EDT
As with the iPhone, Apple pushes out firmware updates to your AirPods (first- and second-gen) and AirPods Pro. The update process takes place behind the scenes automatically, but you can manually check which firmware version you’re running. Here’s how.
How to Update Your Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro
Before we jump into checking your AirPods’ firmware version, let’s take a second to discuss what’s required before your Apple earbuds will update themselves. First, your AirPods need to be in the charging case. Second, the charging case needs to be attached to power. This can be done with the included Lightning cable or on a Qi charger (where applicable).
Lastly, your AirPods need to be near your paired iPhone or iPad. As long as your phone or tablet is connected to the internet, it will transfer and install any firmware upgrades to your headphones.
How to Find Your Firmware Version
To check your AirPods’ firmware version, you’re first going to need to connect them to your iPhone or iPad. You can do this by simply flipping the charging case’s lid up. But as you won’t want to hold the top open for this entire process, we recommend taking a bud out and putting it in your ear.
With your paired AirPods connected to your phone or tablet, open the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad. Use Apple’s built-in Spotlight Search feature to find the app if you can’t locate it on your homescreen.
Next, scroll down the list and tap on the “General” option.
From the next submenu, select the “About” button.
As long as your AirPods or AirPods Pro are connected to your device, you should see them listed as an option. Select it from the list.
You can find all of your AirPods’ identifying information in this menu, such as its serial number. Near the button of the list is your current firmware version. You will need to check online to see what the latest version available is as Apple doesn’t currently supply that information.
Apple’s AirPods are one of the company’s most popular accessories, and they’re pretty great. Like all modern wireless headphones, they have firmware that sometimes needs to be updated for optimal performance. Here’s how to update the firmware on your AirPods.
With no screen to speak of it can be easy to forget that wireless headphones often need firmware updates to make sure that hey work as well as they possibly can. Sometimes the updates even fix bugs that have been reported. If your AirPods are misbehaving, it’s always a good idea to check whether there are software updates available.
When AirPods Automatically Update
Thankfully, AirPods will normally update their firmware—a type of software that runs on the AirPods themselves—on their own. So long as a few prerequisites are met, you should never need to force your AirPods to update manually. Those prerequisites are:
- Your AirPods are in their Charging Case.
- The Charging Case is plugged in or placed on a Qi charger if using a Wireless Charging Case.
- The AirPods are within range of a device to which they have previously been connected. That device also needs to have an internet connection.
That should be all that’s needed to make sure that your AirPods take care of any firmware updates automatically. It’s likely that this will happen without you realizing—when you charge your AirPods, for example.
There are some times you may wish to kick an update off manually, however. First, let’s check which version of software the AirPods are running currently.
How to Check Which Firmware Your AirPods are Running
With your AirPods in their Charging Case, open the lid near your iPhone. Dismiss the on-screen battery indicator that appears and then open the Settings app.
Inside the Settings app, tap the “General” button.
Next, tap “About” to progress.
Scroll to the bottom of the screen, and you will notice your AIrPods listed. Tap their entry.
This screen will show you the current version of the firmware installed on your AirPods.
How to Force an AirPods Firmware Update
If you find that a new version of the AirPods firmware is available, but not yet installed, you can try forcing your AirPods to update.
To do so, put your AirPods into their Charging Case, start charging the case, and place it near your iPhone. Next, open the cover and then dismiss the on-screen battery display.
That should be all that’s needed. You may not have to plug your AirPod case in to charge (or charge wirelessly, if you have a new case that charges wirelessly) if you have enough battery power. However, charging will ensure that your AirPods try updating and don’t delay the update to save battery.
You won’t see anything on-screen to suggest an update is underway, which isn’t ideal. However, leave your AirPods for a few minutes and then follow the process above to check the current firmware version. It should have changed to the new version.
Apple has released a new firmware version for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro, updating them from version 2D15 (second-generation AirPods) and 2D27 (AirPods Pro) to version 3A283. The company doesn’t currently offer a list of changes present in the firmware, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know what’s in it, at least for the AirPods Pro. With this firmware, AirPods Pro have gained the previously-announced Spatial Audio and quick device switching features, originally announced at WWDC 2020.
But Apple won’t just install the firmware update willy-nilly (if your AirPods died mid-update it could cause all sorts of problems); you’ll need to make sure of the following:
- Your AirPods must be in the charging case.
- The charging case must be plugged in and charging.
- An iOS device that’s been connected to your AirPods must be nearby.
Once all of those conditions are met, the firmware update should automatically begin at some point (yeah, it’s that vague).
Now, while you can’t trigger a firmware update with a button press or tap, you can check what firmware version your AirPods are running and view some other interesting information about the wireless earbuds. Here’s how!
How to check your AirPods’ firmware version
Checking the firmware on your AirPods is considerably easier than it used to be. Instead of digging though the About page in Settings, you just need to pop into the Bluetooth menu.
Open Settings on your iPhone and iPad.
Tap the i button next to your AirPods in the Bluetooth device menu. The firmware version will be at the bottom of the list presented to you.
If your firmware version says something other than 3A283, your AirPods or AirPods Pro need an update! Put ’em in their case, plug it in, place your phone nearby, and keep your fingers crossed for that automatic update!
If you’ve got questions let us know in the comments below!
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Protect your AirPods charging case. with a case!
Your AirPods case is the perfect protection for your AirPods, but who protects the protectors? We’ve rounded up a cool collection of cases for your precious buds, with a style and on a budget to suit everyone.
Learn how to change the name of your AirPods and change what happens when you double tap an AirPod or press and hold on AirPods Pro.
Open the AirPods Case, then go to Settings > Bluetooth on your iOS or iPadOS device. Tap the information button next to your AirPods in the list of devices. Here’s what you can do:
Name your AirPods
Tap the current name. Then enter a new name for your AirPods and tap Done.
Change the press-and-hold action on AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro have three noise control modes: Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and Off. By default, when you press and hold the force sensor on the stem of your left or right AirPod, your AirPods Pro switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode.* You can change which noise control modes the press-and-hold action uses:
- Go to the settings screen for your AirPods Pro.
- Under Press and Hold AirPods, tap Left or Right, then make sure that Noise Control is selected.
- Select the two or three noise control modes that you want to use with press and hold. If both AirPods are set to change noise control modes, a change to the press-and-hold action settings on one AirPod applies to both.
You can also set the press-and-hold action to allow you to use Siri. In the AirPods Pro settings screen, tap Left or Right, then select Siri. You can have one AirPod set for Siri and the other set to change noise control modes.
Change the double-tap action on AirPods
With AirPods (1st and 2nd generation), select the left or right AirPod in the AirPod settings screen and then choose what you want to happen when you double-tap the AirPod:
- Use Siri to control your audio content, change the volume, or do anything else Siri can do
- Play, pause, or stop your audio content
- Skip to the next track
- Go back to the previous track
Turn Automatic Ear Detection on or off
By default, AirPods sense when they’re in your ear and receive the audio from your device. AirPods also pause and resume playback when you remove one of your AirPods, or stop playback—and won’t resume—when you remove both. When you have Automatic Ear Detection on and you’re not wearing your AirPods, audio plays through your device’s speakers.
When you turn off Automatic Ear Detection, these features are off and all audio plays to your AirPods whether or not you’re wearing them.
Set Microphone to left, right, or automatic
There’s a microphone in each AirPod, so you can make phone calls and use Siri. By default, Microphone is set to Automatic, so that either of your AirPods can act as the microphone. If you’re using only one AirPod, that AirPod will be the microphone.
You can also set Microphone to Always Left or Always Right. These set the microphone to either the left or right AirPod. That AirPod will be the microphone even if you remove it from your ear or put it in the case.
Not unlike other accessories, Apple’s wireless earphones need a piece of software, called firmware, to function properly. A new AirPods firmware should install silently in the background without the user ever realizing it. Should the process fail, an update can be manually deployed on your AirPods or AirPods Pro as soon as Apple releases a new version.
In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to deploy a new firmware for your earbuds manually, as well as check the version number of the firmware that’s currently running on your AirPods or AirPods Pro.
Updating the AirPods firmware is similar to refreshing the software on your Apple Watch, meaning it happens through your iPhone. That’s because your earbuds cannot retrieve software updates on their own as they don’t have Wi-Fi circuitry built-in.
In most cases, any available update will install without you having to do a thing. If the firmware update does not happen in the background eventually, here’s how you can manually update the software on your AirPods or AirPods Pro.
How to update the AirPods or AirPods software
1) Check that AirPods or AirPods Pro are connected to your iPhone: bring up Control Center, then select your AirPods as your audio output device.
2) With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, your AirPods paired and selected as the output device, place both earbuds in the charging case and close the case.
3) Connect the case to a charger or a USB port on your computer. Your iPhone must be nearby your earbuds in their case.
4) Wait fifteen minutes or so to give your iPhone enough time to download the firmware, verify it and send the update wirelessly to your AirPods or AirPods Pro.
Tip: Remember, your AirPods or AirPods Pro must be connected to your iPhone and the phone must be nearby and connected to Wi-Fi in order for the firmware to download and install.
5) Once the software update has installed, check your AirPods firmware version by opening the charging case so that the connected graphics appears on your iPhone, then tap Settings → General → About, then choose your AirPods or AirPods Pro from the list.
The firmware version of your earbuds is shown alongside other information like the serial number, model number and AirPods hardware version. Again, your AirPods or AirPods Pro won’t show up in the About section unless connected to your iPhone.
If you prefer Apple’s wired earphones that came in the box with your iPhone, be sure to read our EarPods tips and tricks instead.
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Following yesterday’s announcement of the new AirPods Max on-ear headphones and the opening of pre-orders, customers are already seeing shipping times slipping well into the new year, so if you were hoping to put a set of AirPods Max under the tree this year, it’s going to be a challenge, but there are still some ways you might be able to do it.
To be clear, AirPods Max are only available for pre-order right now, so they’re not expected to be arriving before next Tuesday, December 15th anyway. However at this point almost every version is showing arrival times well beyond that date.
While the Space Grey and Silver versions didn’t sell out quite as quickly, the more fun colours — Sky Blue, Green, and Pink — were already showing shipping times of 12-14 weeks by late yesterday afternoon, and now that appears to be the case for every colour option.
This means that if you’re ordering your AirPods Max from Apple they might not arrive until well into March 2021, but fortunately, there appear to be a few ways you might be able to get them faster.
Add Engraving to Your AirPods Max
As strange as it sounds, MacRumors has discovered that if you add engraving to your AirPods Max, the shipping times are actually being significantly reduced for at least some colours.
This still appears to vary based on the colour chosen, but in the case of the Space Grey, Silver, and Pink versions, that’s reducing delivery times down to 7–8 weeks, while as of this moment the Green only sees a drop to 10-12 weeks and getting the Sky Blue version engraved doesn’t change things at all.
Although these numbers seem to be increasing as time goes by, we’ve observed a couple of examples where they were briefly even shorter, with the engraved pink AirPods Max falling to a potential Dec 30–Jan 7 delivery date after originally showing 4–6 weeks, before jumping back up to 7–8 weeks about an hour later, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the shipping times as it’s still possible that they could move downward as Apple shuffles things around.
It’s an odd distinction, as you would think engraved products would take longer to deliver (and they usually do), but it’s also important to keep in mind that Apple’s engraving isn’t done in a separate location, but rather right at the factory before the products are even packaged, so while it’s an extra step, it’s a relatively minor one.
For this reason, engraved products also always ship directly from the assembly line, which is really the only reason they often take longer to arrive; while Apple might have plenty of stock in a local Apple Store or a nearby warehouse, it’s going to take longer to ship a product from China or Vietnam.
In the case of AirPods Max, however, at this point it’s likely that all of the pre-orders are coming straight from the factory; it remains a mystery of Apple’s inscrutable logistics as to why engraved versions should be shipping faster, but there it is.
AirPods Max In-Store Pickup
That said, if you really want to get your hands on AirPods Max in time for the holidays, you’re probably not going to want to take the risk of ordering them online, no matter what Apple is promising in terms of delivery times.
Fortunately, if you live near an Apple Store, you’ll very likely be able to take advantage of online ordering with in-store pickup when the new headphones go on sale next week. For obvious reasons, Apple always reserves stock for its retail stores, and chances are those shipments are already on their way to your local Apple Store.
If the last 24 hours of online ordering are any indication, however, you’ll want to be super fast, and we recommend using the online ordering with in-store pickup option as early as possible on Tuesday morning, as once you’ve placed the order and paid for it, you’re pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have a set of AirPods Max waiting for you at the store — something you can’t be sure of even if you’re willing to line up outside that same morning, especially since it’s impossible to know for certain how many units each Apple Store is going to get its hands on.
While Apple has been swamped with pre-orders, it appears that third-party retailers may still have stock available. At this point, Best Buy still has the Space Grey and Silver AirPods Max available for ordering online, listed as shipping by Dec. 15th. On the other hand, the Pink, Green, and Sky Blue versions are already sold out entirely.
Presumably you’ll still be able to find them in Best Buy and maybe even some other retail stores next Tuesday, but again like Apple Stores, it’s going to be hit and miss, as it’s unbelievable how popular Apple’s new headphones have become considering their $549 asking price.
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously.
Apple does not provide details on what’s included in refreshed firmware so we don’t know what’s included, but we are awaiting new firmware to support iOS 14 features such as automatic device switching and spatial audio for the AirPods Pro.
There’s no standard way to upgrade the firmware of the AirPods, with the new firmware installed over-the-air while the AirPods are connected to an iOS device. Putting the AirPods in the case, connecting the AirPods to a power source, and then pairing the AirPods to an iPhone or an iPad should force the update after a short period of time.
You can check your AirPods or AirPods Pro firmware by following these steps:
- Connect your AirPods or AirPods Pro to your iOS device.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap About.
- Tap AirPods.
- Look at the number next to “Firmware Version.”
It has been several months since Apple released new firmware updates for the AirPods and the AirPods Pro.
AirPods Pro firmware updates often include performance improvements, bug fixes, and feature tweaks, and if we find notable changes after the firmware updates are installed, we’ll add new details to this article.