Headphones with noise-cancellation features can bring peace and serenity in crowded places such as public commutes, to focus on work. However, a few AirPod Pro users are gradually discovering that a recent firmware update is affecting the overall performance of this feature.
Some earbuds use passive noise cancelling i.e. physically sealing your ears from noise with materials such as memory foams or other barriers. AirPods Pros, however, use Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) to filter outside noise by injecting inverse sound waves in your ears. Although Apple’s uneven firmware update boosted the AirPods Pro’s audio performance, the ANC feature was adversely impacted.
MacWorld reported that Apple rolled-back the firmware but many users have already installed it. Firmware updates are auto-installed by Apple when the headphones are charging; basically, users aren’t able to interrupt or opt-out of installation.
If you noticed something strange, connect your AirPods Pro to an iPhone or iPad and click Settings > General > About > AirPods Pro. Lookup the version number. If it’s 2c54, we’ve got some bad news.
Unfortunately, there’s still no way to return back to the previous update until Apple releases a proper fix soon. Meanwhile, you can add memory foam ear tips for better passive noise cancellation. Alternatively, you can switch to another pair of noise-cancellation earbuds till the issue is resolved.