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ColdUpNorth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 17, 2017
18
16
Yorkshire, UK
Out of the blue, my Max's have developed a set of issues all at once.

Firstly, when I place my headphones in the silly bra case, they are constantly connecting and then disconnecting every few seconds to my desktop (Mac Studio, incase that makes a difference - I use them almost solely on there really). Before putting them in the case they'll work fine for hours of use in one go.

Then when I place them back on my head, they act like theyre connected to the Mac, the heaphones show as connected, but I hear nothing, nothing happens when I change from Noise cancelling to pass through. I have to make the Mac forget them entirely in the bluetooth settings and fully re-pair them, and they'll play and work fine till I put them in the charge bra once more.

I've run them completely flat today to see if I can bump start them like turning a computer off and on again, but as soon as they get a little charge so begins the connecting / disconnecting all over again.

They're about a year and three quarters old and have been faultless until now.

Has anyone come across this before, and eve better - solved it?
 

Sinker

macrumors newbie
Aug 11, 2022
5
3
Mine APMs also seem to not turn on sometimes or something. I take them from the bra, put on my head, and cannot switch between modes or connect them to my MBA M1. Same thing has happened a few times after I put them on a table after using them. After a minute or two put them back on my head, and they do nothing. Nor transparency or ANC works.

They worked pretty much perfectly for about two years, and this started happening after 5E133 firmware, and 5E135 did not fix it. Pretty sure it is a firmware bug. Tried resetting them to factory settings twice, no change.

So no solution, but similar experience. Mine start to work after holding both buttons until the led starts flashing amber. I believe it forces a restart.

I have noticed also they sometimes stay connected when they are in the bra.
 

ColdUpNorth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 17, 2017
18
16
Yorkshire, UK
Sounds like very similar symptoms - I can't say when mine were updated, but I'll put it down to a dodgy update for now then, fingers crossed a new update comes soon.
 

mpetrides

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2007
535
485
My AirPods Max had been working fine until yesterday. Earlier in the day, I used them for an hour or so with no issues listening to podcasts on my iPhone. When I tried to connect them to my MBP later in the day, they would not connect so I went back to trying them with my iPhone--and they wouldn't connect with the iPhone (14 Pro Max) either.

Since then, I have charged them multiple times, most recently overnight. In addition I have tried the following, all to no avail:

Restart
Cold reboot (but never get the white light I'm supposed to get)

Cold reboot the iPhone

They also won't connect with any of my other devices, iPad mini 6, Mac Studio, M1 iMac, M1 Pro MBP. I even tried to connect them to the headphone jack on each of my three Macs using the Apple cable designed for that purpose--no joy, even with a hard-wired connection.

I guess I'm going to have to contact AppleCare.

**** FLAME ON: What really p*sses me off is that I purchased AppleCare+ for these babies when I got them in March two years ago because I had been told I could extend the AppleCare on a monthly basis once the two years ran out. Nope. No extensions can be purchased. So now, 3 months later I have what appears to be a dead set. The sad part is that I have used mine daily for the last two years and am so fond of them, I suspect I'll pay whatever tax Apple wants in order to get them fixed. Grrrrr.... **** stepping off soap box ***** FLAME OFF 🤬🤬🤬🤬
 

froggyforce

macrumors newbie
Dec 15, 2020
7
4
Mine also started doing the exact same thing recently. I can't even factory reset them. I don't know if there was an update that borked them but its very disappointing.
 
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mpetrides

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2007
535
485
Mine also started doing the exact same thing recently. I can't even factory reset them. I don't know if there was an update that borked them but its very disappointing.
Yes. If you contact Apple and they are not under warranty, it will cost a whopping $325 to get them repaired. Highway robbery but I can't live without my APM, so I decided to pay the piper. I hope they at least tell me what the diagnostics show once they are done evaluating my set. Given that my APMs don't work even when hard wired to a Mac, I would think it's a hardware issue but I suppose a failed firmware update could be the cause. Sigh.

Now comes the long wait to get a box to send them back to Apple. (Nearest Apple Store is almost 3 hours away from me, so no Genius Bar for me.) If I get a definitive diagnosis from Apple, I'll be sure to post it here.
 

ppetrovic

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2016
89
207
Belgrade, Serbia
I’ve had the exact same issues with my pair of AirPods Max, and the issue started around the latest batch of firmware updates. I’m pretty sure the issues are related to it, but I might be mistaken.

Long story short - I’ve rectified the issue when it first occurred by doing a complete restart and re-pairing of them with my iPhone, but on subsequent occurrences, they kept disconnecting all the time and at some point they stopped pairing altogether. I took them to an Authorized Service Provider and today I got the email that the replacement is on the way, so the issue is definitely there.

I wonder once I get a replacement if the firmware update is going to trigger the exact same issue because at some point they will inevitably update to the new firmware version. They’ve worked flawlessly for a year and a half beforehand and I miss them dearly.
 

mpetrides

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2007
535
485
I got my APM back from Apple is a record-setting two days (one to get there, one to get back to me both shipped via FedEx Overnight). Evidently they replaced the left ear cup and the headband, so it sounds like the issue was indeed hardware and not firmware. That said, there was no indication of the exact diagnosis.

It appears from the super-rapid turnaround that what they do is get your APM into the shop, verify they are indeed dead, swap out the defective parts and ship them back to you the same day. Since all the mechanical parts (i.e. parts most likely to fail over time) of the APMs are in the right ear cup, I really wish that they had swapped out the entire unit. I can just envision a year from now having to go through this same expense because one of the buttons has broken or the lightning port has gone belly up.

Interestingly enough, the replacement of those two parts (left ear cup and headband) did result in the returned unit having a different serial number that the original set. I'm assuming from this that the serial number is associated with the left ear cup.
 

ppetrovic

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2016
89
207
Belgrade, Serbia
Very good insight. There’s no Apple Store over here, so I had to take them to an Authorized Service Provider instead, and I was told I need to wait for about 2 weeks for the replacement to arrive, so I’m assuming they’ll just give me a new pair altogether (that’s what they did for AirPods Pro 1st gen after a confirmed rattlegate issue last year), which will be amazing, since the old pair had a lot of discoloration (green version) all over the headband. Perhaps I could’ve replaced them just on the ground of that alone, but I typically use them all day every day, and cosmetic wear and tear is a non-issue for me anyway.

Now the main problem is waiting for the new pair to arrive and I’ll have to switch between my AirPods Pro pairs (1st and 2nd gen) due to battery life constraints. #firstworldproblems
 

ZeChild

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2012
384
318
Glasgow, UK
I’ve had the same issue as above my APM’s disconnected from my devices overnight on the 24th May and I couldn’t get them to pair again, couldn’t even get them into pairing mode tried everything I could find online even down to disconnecting the ear cups from the headband and cleaning the connections, nothing worked they were dead.

Got a Genius Bar appointment they tried everything even took them into the techs to see if they could get them working again nothing, I said it looked like they died during the firmware update as they were on 5E133 before I put them on charge and was told if they were within 2 years of purchase they’d look to fix for free but as they were 1 month past that point I‘d have to pay £270 to get them sent off for repair.

I decided to wait off on sending them out for repair in case there was any rumours of a 2nd gen being released.

Anyway they’ve been sitting taunting me since the 29th May without a charge doing nothing and I started to think about the repair option again, before that I thought I’d have one more futile attempt to get them connected so put them on charge overnight last night and tried pairing them again, and what do you know they’re working fine connected straight away and they’re on the latest firmware!😲😲

Not sure what’s got them up and running again, maybe letting the battery drain out completely for 2 months or one thing crossed my mind I used mine every day for long periods for work and music/movies at the weekend and I’m wondering if it was moisture build up that knocked them out and now that’s completely dried out they’re back from the grave.

Not sure what it was that got them back up and going but if this happens to you may be worth leaving them for a good long while and try again before forking out the repair fee.
 

mpetrides

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2007
535
485
I’ve had the same issue as above my APM’s disconnected from my devices overnight on the 24th May and I couldn’t get them to pair again, couldn’t even get them into pairing mode tried everything I could find online even down to disconnecting the ear cups from the headband and cleaning the connections, nothing worked they were dead.

Got a Genius Bar appointment they tried everything even took them into the techs to see if they could get them working again nothing, I said it looked like they died during the firmware update as they were on 5E133 before I put them on charge and was told if they were within 2 years of purchase they’d look to fix for free but as they were 1 month past that point I‘d have to pay £270 to get them sent off for repair.

I decided to wait off on sending them out for repair in case there was any rumours of a 2nd gen being released.

Anyway they’ve been sitting taunting me since the 29th May without a charge doing nothing and I started to think about the repair option again, before that I thought I’d have one more futile attempt to get them connected so put them on charge overnight last night and tried pairing them again, and what do you know they’re working fine connected straight away and they’re on the latest firmware!😲😲

Not sure what’s got them up and running again, maybe letting the battery drain out completely for 2 months or one thing crossed my mind I used mine every day for long periods for work and music/movies at the weekend and I’m wondering if it was moisture build up that knocked them out and now that’s completely dried out they’re back from the grave.

Not sure what it was that got them back up and going but if this happens to you may be worth leaving them for a good long while and try again before forking out the repair fee.
Wow! In some ways I wish I had seen this before I paid $325 for a repair. That said, I'm not sure I could have gone 2 months without my APMs.

FWIW, I too suspected that the issue was a failed firmware update but had no way to prove that theory. I would have liked to think that if the issue were a failed firmware update that could have been fixed by a simple new firmware update, that AAPL would not have replaced 2/3 of my set of APMs (left cup and headband) and would have had the decency to charge only a minimal fee (to cover shipping). But that wouldn't be AAPL's way, now would it?
 

Sinker

macrumors newbie
Aug 11, 2022
5
3
Mine APMs also seem to not turn on sometimes or something. I take them from the bra, put on my head, and cannot switch between modes or connect them to my MBA M1. Same thing has happened a few times after I put them on a table after using them. After a minute or two put them back on my head, and they do nothing. Nor transparency or ANC works.

They worked pretty much perfectly for about two years, and this started happening after 5E133 firmware, and 5E135 did not fix it. Pretty sure it is a firmware bug. Tried resetting them to factory settings twice, no change.

So no solution, but similar experience. Mine start to work after holding both buttons until the led starts flashing amber. I believe it forces a restart.

I have noticed also they sometimes stay connected when they are in the bra.
Just to report that I seem to have fixed mine. Problems started happening after a firmware update, but I now think that it was just a coincidence. What fixed the problem was cleaning the headband lightning-like connectors after using sim tool to separate headband from ear cups. At least my APMs have worked for about 1,5 weeks without any issues, which they didn't do earlier.

The connectors did not even seem dirty or anything, but yet it seem to have helped. I guess dirt somehow messes up head detection, as I once witnessed APMs playing sounds from them when they were laying on a table with head detection turned on. It would explain why APMs seemed sometimes unresponsive when I put them on my head, as they were not detecting that they were on.

Worth a try anyway, hope it helps other people too.
 
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wills11

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2013
161
73
Just to report that I seem to have fixed mine. Problems started happening after a firmware update, but I now think that it was just a coincidence. What fixed the problem was cleaning the headband lightning-like connectors after using sim tool to separate headband from ear cups. At least my APMs have worked for about 1,5 weeks without any issues, which they didn't do earlier.

The connectors did not even seem dirty or anything, but yet it seem to have helped. I guess dirt somehow messes up head detection, as I once witnessed APMs playing sounds from them when they were laying on a table with head detection turned on. It would explain why APMs seemed sometimes unresponsive when I put them on my head, as they were not detecting that they were on.

Worth a try anyway, hope it helps other people too.

I tried this, too.

And FWIW, it seemed like the disconnection happened mostly, if not exclusively, with my MacBook Pro and iMac as opposed to iOS or ATV devices.

As a side note, I found that my APM are far more reliable after turning off "automatic head detection" and setting "reconnect" to "when this [device] was last connected" rather than "automatically".
 
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