AirPods Pro problems? Apple may replace it for free

Ivan_Shenets /

Apple offers free replacement AirPods Pro earphones to users affected by certain issues. The program is only available for a limited time, so here’s how to check if your spouse qualifies for a replacement.

What is the problem with AirPods Pro?

Apple has stated that a “small percentage” of AirPods Pro units have sound problems and is offering to replace them free of charge. Problems that may arise from a malfunction include:

  • Cracking and constant sounds – especially in noisy environments, when exercising, or while talking on the phone.
  • Problems getting Active Noise Cancellation to work properly (including loss of bass and small volume, or increased background noise).

The problem may affect the left and right earphones, and it is possible that only one earphone needs to be replaced. The problem is limited to AirPods Pro units (not regular AirPods) that were manufactured before October 2020.

Apple AirPods Pro

Some of these issues may appear on AirPods Pro units that have been knocked out or damaged, but Apple has no real way to find out. If you’ve had a pair of AirPods Pro for a while and are experiencing one of these issues, you can also contact Apple to see what they offer you. The program was initially due to expire in October 2021, but Apple renewed it for a third year, so be sure to take advantage of it before October 2022.

How to request a replacement AirPods Pro

Unlike previous Apple exchange programs, there is no specific serial number to verify the return program. It’s also hard to know how old the AirPods Pro really are, even if you bought them in 2021 or later.

The exchange program is operated worldwide in countries such as the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. The process is the same in all areas. You can either find a local Apple Authorized Service Provider, schedule an appointment at an Apple Store near you (if you have one), or contact Apple Support directly.

Your AirPods Pro will be tested for issues and if any problems are found, you will be offered a replacement pair. Some users (including the How-To Geek team) have reported noticing problems with only one earbud but both have been exchanged as part of the program.

Since the issue only affects the earbuds, Apple will not replace the charging case that came with your original purchase.

The best headphones from Apple

AirPods Pro are excellent wireless earbuds that work well with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. Apple’s use of active noise cancellation to remove ambient sound is a notable feature.

If it turns out that your AirPods Pro isn’t covered but you still need a replacement, check out our recommendations for wireless earbuds to go along with your iPhone.

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