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AirPods Pro noise cancelling borked by firmware update

Apple AirPods Pro users are complaining that the headline noise cancelling feature has lost its effectiveness, with some placing the potential blame on a recent firmware update.

According to posters on a Reddit threat, noted by What Hi-Fi, the active noise cancellation feature that bumped the price up significantly, is not longer as effective as it was in the immediate post-purchase period.

Interestingly, the owners are also claiming the ear-tip test, which is designed to inform users whether the seal is tight, is being failed.

One upset user, posting under the username Storm_d writes: “I changed the tips on mine and found a comfortable fit that definitely helped with noise-cancellation, however it still cannot beat how jaw-dropping [sic] good it was when I first got them.”

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When quizzed by another poster, Storm_d went as far to say “the noise cancelling on my AirPods Pro right now is practically no different than having it set to off. There’s barely any suppression of background noise.”

The firmware update theory has seemingly been corroborated by the RTINGS.com, which retested the feature after installing Firmware 2C54. It said there was a “fairly significant drop in isolation performance, primarily in the bass-range.”

The high-end audio reviewer reckons this means that with “ANC turned on, these headphones won’t do nearly as good a job blocking out the low engine rumbles of planes or buses as they did before this update.”

Apple is yet to comment on the reports, had already pulled the firmware update, which initially rolled out in November. Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade to the previous firmware if you’ve already updated to the new version. Some users are even complaining an earlier firmware update, 2B588, started the problems.

To check on the firmware your AirPods are running, you can open the Settings app, head to General and About. AirPods appear in the EID section.

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