AirPods Pro 2C54 Firmware: Worse Noise Canceling, Improved Frequency Response and Bass Accuracy

Phuz01

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2006
82
45
New York, NY
So... My visit to the Apple Store proved to be a waste of everybody's time. I was offered two options: (1) to send my AirPods Pros in for "repairs" (meaning the tech would flash them with an older firmware), which would take about a week, or (2) to just deal with the lousy noise cancellation until Apple issues a firmware update, whenever that might be. Between the service call and the store visit, I'm out about 2 hours of my time, only to learn that the info on Macrumors is just as if not more reliable than what's coming out of Apple these days. As an IT professional, I know how bad the situation must be for Apple to not be providing an estimated date for the firmware update; that means they haven't gotten to the root of the problem or the proposed solution comes with risks that require extensive testing.
 

japanime

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2006
1,998
2,005
Japan
I'm on my second pair. Last night while riding the train, with ANC on and music at about 40%, I could clearly hear people having conversations.

The reviews that were written when these things were first released are no longer accurate. ANC on the APPs is mediocre at best.

I wish a high-profile, respected tech journalist would write an updated review about the APPs, and make it clear that the ANC on these things is really lackluster in comparison to the ANC of other brands of earphones.
 
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Phuz01

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2006
82
45
New York, NY
I wish a high-profile, respected tech journalist would write an updated review about the APPs, and make it clear that the ANC on these things is really lackluster in comparison to the ANC of other brands of earphones.
Right? The one thing that blew everybody away about the Pros was the amazing isolation Apple was able to get from such little cans. And now that's gone.

It's been 6 weeks without an acceptable response from Apple. Their support teams are clueless, only a handful of techs in the stores know what's up, and they can only apologize for the bad experience and offer up the hope that a new firmware release will restore the Pros to their former functionality.
 

AbblePC

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2009
172
64
I say everyone hit Twitter and demand either a firmware update or at minimum revert back to the original, the one all tech guru‘s rated as A+ for ANC.

If we do not demand an update, it then appears to them (based on lack of response) that it is only a small minority who noticed the latest firmware changes for the unfavorable ANC And accept it as favorable for most.
 
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Phuz01

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2006
82
45
New York, NY
Is there a way to force the update yet?
There's no update to force. They rolled back to firmware 2B588 when people complained about 2C54. And that had its own problems with active noise cancellation. Apple has given no indication that a fix was in the works, and iOS 13.3.1 came and went without any update. Maybe with iOS 13.4?
 

MrMacintoshIII

macrumors newbie
Oct 11, 2019
17
27
Apple replaced my entire APP unit for free, now I'm on 2B588 and life is good again. Not amazing like Day 1, but good enough. It'll be interesting to find out what happened with this gaffe.
 

PTVMan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2012
907
369
Apple replaced my entire APP unit for free, now I'm on 2B588 and life is good again. Not amazing like Day 1, but good enough. It'll be interesting to find out what happened with this gaffe.
Did you deal with the Genius Bar or go to Apple Support?
 

Phuz01

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2006
82
45
New York, NY
Just made another appointment to try to exchange mine. 2 months of 2C54 is enough for me. Let's see if they actually swap them out this time.
 

tangfish

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2014
170
202
I’ve endured a couple 20 hour flying days with the new firmware. Not impressed with how long a fix is taking. At least they’re selling like hotcakes so a lot of people will hopefully suddenly get an upgrade when the fix eventually comes.
 

japanime

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2006
1,998
2,005
Japan
Last week, a senior Apple advisor collected logs from my iPhone and told me those logs would be forwarded to engineers. I was asked to wait a week, at which time I would be contacted with an update.

Of course I didn't hear anything back.

So I reached out to them again today. A senior advisor told me that their engineers have received "multiple reports" of issues with ANC, and are "investigating." I was told that once the engineers had concluded the investigation, customers who had provided logs would be contacted and informed of the findings. I was also told to wait for an iOS update or firmware update that might fix the issue. No timeline was offered to me.

I don't know if I buy any of what they say, but it does make me think that the more of us who are experiencing this issue who contact Apple and insist on them collecting logs, the more we have a chance of Apple at least publicly confirming or denying that there is an issue with ANC.
 

brucewayne

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2005
134
151
I’ve endured a couple 20 hour flying days with the new firmware. Not impressed with how long a fix is taking. At least they’re selling like hotcakes so a lot of people will hopefully suddenly get an upgrade when the fix eventually comes.
Unfortunately 2C54 was pulled shortly after it was released - anyone that received them over the holidays or purchased since late December will never 'upgrade'. Current ones ship with 2B588 which, while not as good as the original firmware, at least wasn't horrible.

So Apple has a ton of good press/reviews from the original firmware, anyone that made a recent purchase doesn't have the reference to how good the original 2B584 was, and the people complaining are a relatively small subset of people that unluckily got the update over 2 months ago.

There isn't much pressure on Apple to fix these things.
 

Phuz01

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2006
82
45
New York, NY
Do you ask them to ship/replace a pair with old firmware? How would they know?
I went into the Apple Store after chatting online with Apple Support and letting them know I'd already been through this process with no satisfaction about a month ago, and that I just wanted a new pair with noise cancellation that worked. When I got to the store, the tech swapped out the AirPods Pros (but not the case), and once they paired with my phone, we checked that the firmware wasn't 2C54. The whole thing took less than 15 minutes. The difference in quality was shocking, though still not as good as when the AirPods Pros were released. I don't know how Apple tests noise cancellation, but they really need to step up their game.
 

HeadphoneAddict

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
966
801
Unfortunately 2C54 was pulled shortly after it was released - anyone that received them over the holidays or purchased since late December will never 'upgrade'. Current ones ship with 2B588 which, while not as good as the original firmware, at least wasn't horrible.

So Apple has a ton of good press/reviews from the original firmware, anyone that made a recent purchase doesn't have the reference to how good the original 2B584 was, and the people complaining are a relatively small subset of people that unluckily got the update over 2 months ago.

There isn't much pressure on Apple to fix these things.
What do mean by "will never upgrade"?
 
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SAIRUS

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2008
587
89
Finally my right APP started doing some static pops randomly. So back to 2b588. Need to put them through the paces. After a point my old pair constantly failed the sound test.