AirPods Pro users have been complaining about a reduced noise cancellation after receiving a firmware update (2C54). Users say that the issue began even before the AirPods were updated (2B588), the new update just worsened it.
Rtings.com, a website that reviews headphones and music devices, tested the AirPods and reported that their noise-canceling capabilities to be worse after firmware update 2C54. A Reddit user posted on the site, “I’m in a plane now and put them in. The very first time I wore them I was on a plane and thought “crap. Plane died. Not going anywhere”, forgetting about the ANC feature. This time, I can still hear the airflow/humming. Hope they fix it as it was spooky and great how well it killed (continuous) background noise.”
Apple has not responded yet. The way updates work on Apple products is bizarre. The update takes place in the background, without any notification. One can’t simply reject AirPods software updates as you plug a charging cable into your AirPods case, put them near your iPhone, and wait. Once a firmware update is installed, you’ll notice the new version in settings.
This isn’t just an Apple problem. Bose faced a huge controversy when its QuietComfort 35 II headphones received an update that drastically worsened the level of noise cancellation, as compared to their original out-of-the-box performance.