Do your AirPods Pro sound crackly? Apple has a fix for that

airpods pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Have you noticed a crackling sound coming from your Apple AirPods Pro? Or is the noise cancellation not as good as it used to be?

Apple may have the answer, having released new support guides in the wake of complaints from disgruntled AirPods Pro owners.

The new support guides offer troubleshooting steps for those who are experiencing issues with the active noise cancellation feature, or for those who have noticed crackling or the sound of static coming from their wireless earbuds.

The support guide for the latter issue says that you should ensure that you have "the latest software on your connected iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac" – that means you may need to do a software update. 

Secondly, make sure your connected device isn't too far away from your AirPods Pro, and that "there's no wireless interference or obstructions between you and your device". Users should also try listening to audio using a different app to make sure it's not the app causing the issue rather that their Bluetooth earbuds

Still hearing a crackling sound? Or find that the issue increases in loud environments, with exercise, or while talking on the phone? Apple says you should contact Apple Support.

airpods pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Noise-cancelling woes

If the noise cancellation provided by your AirPods Pro isn't as effective as it once was, Apple has released a support guide for that, too.

Again, the company recommends that your devices are up to date – it's probably also worth ensuring your AirPods are fully updated, too. To do this, connect your AirPods Pro to your device, and head to Settings > General > About > AirPods Pro. 

Apple says that you should ensure that active noise cancellation is turned on – if it is, try cleaning the mesh located on the top of the earbuds. According to Apple, built up debris or earwax (yuck) can cause a reduction in bass sounds and an increase in background sounds, "such as street or airplane noise". 

So how should you clean your AirPods Pro? Apple says that, if water has accumulated in the ear tip, you should "tap the AirPod on a soft, dry, lint-free cloth, with the ear tip opening facing downwards". 

Then, pull off the ear tips from each AirPod and rinse them with water – next, wipe them dry with a lint-free cloth. Once you've removed your silicone tips, you can use a dry cotton bud to gently clean the mesh on the top of the wireless earphones.

Again, if the problem persists, it's worth contacting Apple support for more help. 

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.