AirPods Pro Crackling/Rattling Issues: Troubleshooting

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Some AirPods Pro owners have run into issues with their earbuds, and there have been numerous complaints about crackling or popping noises that occur during movement when the AirPods Pro are worn. This guide outlines the problem and provides troubleshooting steps recommended by Apple as a potential fix.


Some AirPods Pro users have been complaining of rattling, crackling, or static-like noises when Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency Mode are engaged since shortly after the AirPods Pro launched.

The noise seems to appear over time, and MacRumors readers have speculated that it's a hardware issue as it does not happen when ANC and Transparency Mode are turned off.

The sound happens when something causes the earbud to move or vibrate, such as when a person walks, runs, taps the affected earbud with a finger, turns their head, nods, or plays music with a lot of bass. A MacRumors reader describes what it sounds like:
It's often described like it sounds like something has come loose inside the APP earbud. Many people seem to think it's actually a problem with the external microphone: it appears to be picking up tiny vibrations as sound, and then attempting to "cancel" (in Noise Cancellation mode) or amplify (in Transparency mode) these sounds (which don't actually exist), causing the APP to play the rattling-style noise. Whether this is the actual cause or not I don't know.
While there has been speculation that it's a hardware issue, Apple seems to believe it could be based on wireless interference or a specific app, and recommends people who hear crackling sounds follow these steps:
  • Make sure the latest software is installed on a connected iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.
  • Check that the connected device is nearby and there's no wireless interference or obstructions between you and the device.
  • Listen to audio from a different app to see if the app causes the issue.
Contact Apple Support

If AirPods Pro problems with crackling persist after following the steps listed above, Apple suggests AirPods Pro owners should contact Apple Support for further help.

Apple has been replacing affected earbuds under warranty, and those impacted may be able to get a new pair.

Guide Feedback

Have a question about Apple's advice for these issues, know of a potential solution we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.

Article Link: AirPods Pro Crackling/Rattling Issues: Troubleshooting
 
Last edited:

TheKDub

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2008
113
57
Wow, I have that exact same problem and was going to go to an Apple store (after Covid) to exchange my Airpod Pros (I have applecare+) b/c I really thought it was a hardware issue.

Glad to hear that it's being addressed and that it wasn't only me!
 
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