My AirPods are faulty (constant high-pitched noise), Apple rejects service

KingdomKey

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2017
5
0
Sweden
Tl;dr:
A high-pitched noise from my left AirPod bugs me to the limit of not being able to use them, service provider say that there's nothing wrong with them and Apple won't help me. I'm left with a faulty product I cannot use. What can I do?

Long version:
I hear from my left AirPod a high-frequency sound when there's no music playing. It reminds me of the whistling sound that some AC adapters produce when plugged in. It bugs me so much that I cannot wear them in silence without my ear hurting. The BIG PROBLEM however, is that my local service provider cannot hear it. Their staff and their technicians cannot "recreate the issue" and thus return the headphones to me without any fix. Three times I've returned my AirPods to them, and three times I've been rejected service. The EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM is that they've been in contact with Apple, and instead of Apple being the good guy and examining the issue, they've basically told the service provider say that if they cannot detect the problem, then they have to return it to the customer (me) without any fix... :/

My siblings hear the high-frequency sound from the left AirPod (17 & 19 y.o.), but my friend who is 27 cannot hear it. My parents cannot hear it either (49 & 60 y.o.). I'm 24. Thus, my hypothesis is that age is the reason why the technicians cannot detect the sound (already at the age of 20, there's a deterioration of hearing around the highest frequency spectrum 15-20kHz).

So theoretically, I may not be hearing this sound in 2 years. But now I can hear it, and it bugs the crap out of me that neither Apple or my service provider understand this!!! I can't use my headphones cause it makes my left ear hurt :/ Thanks a lot for you "customer oriented service", Apple.

Apart from this Reddit post, I haven't found anything else on the internet about this issue. So can someone help me, what can I do now?! Service provider won't exchange the product, and Apple completely trusts them. I'm stuck.

(On another note, I'm baffled by the fact that Apple is performing subjective evaluations of their products. My service provider evaluate by listening for the sound with their own ears. But what the technicians are hearing is not what I am hearing.)
 

dgreening

macrumors regular
May 12, 2010
187
97
Have you updated to the 3.5.1 firmware. I don't know if it will work but it could hurt.
 

KingdomKey

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2017
5
0
Sweden
I just heard about this news. I'll grab my AirPods tomorrow and test them with 3.5.1.

What I'm so saddened about is the way this issue has been handled :/
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
14,010
I've always been personally sensitive to electronic buzzing that most others can't here. My friends were always blown away when I would turn to them and tell them that the internet was about to cut out because the buzz from the router would stop.

I think you're hearing the buzz from when the bluetooth channel is open, I've heard it myself but it's very dull. I think this is just how the technology works for now unfortunately.
 

KingdomKey

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2017
5
0
Sweden
I've always been personally sensitive to electronic buzzing that most others can't here. My friends were always blown away when I would turn to them and tell them that the internet was about to cut out because the buzz from the router would stop.

I think you're hearing the buzz from when the bluetooth channel is open, I've heard it myself but it's very dull. I think this is just how the technology works for now unfortunately.
I can relate to your situation haha.

As you may referring to, there is a constant background noise caused by how the bluetooth technology works, but this high-pitched sound is different. I've tested two other AirPods, neither of them had this weird, ear penetrating sound though :/
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,637
1,099
I can relate to your situation haha.

As you may referring to, there is a constant background noise caused by how the bluetooth technology works, but this high-pitched sound is different. I've tested two other AirPods, neither of them had this weird, ear penetrating sound though :/
You cannot get that one replaced for $69? Maybe your best alternative at this point instead of entirely losing out on your original purchase.
 
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KingdomKey

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2017
5
0
Sweden
You cannot get that one replaced for $69? Maybe your best alternative at this point instead of entirely losing out on your original purchase.
Arguably the most comfortable solution. But I'm poor as **** right now, searching for a job...
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,420
30,671
Arguably the most comfortable solution. But I'm poor as **** right now, searching for a job...
Perhaps that might be a feasible solution is to seek a replacement when it's most convenient for you. At least it's a solution if you have no other options.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,253
How long have you had them? Can you just return or exchange them?

If not, can you explain the problem and request that they have a younger technician test them? I don't know about Sweden, but here in the USA there are many teens working in Apple stores.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,557
16,055
Tl;dr:
A high-pitched noise from my left AirPod bugs me to the limit of not being able to use them, service provider say that there's nothing wrong with them and Apple won't help me. I'm left with a faulty product I cannot use. What can I do?

Long version:
I hear from my left AirPod a high-frequency sound when there's no music playing. It reminds me of the whistling sound that some AC adapters produce when plugged in. It bugs me so much that I cannot wear them in silence without my ear hurting. The BIG PROBLEM however, is that my local service provider cannot hear it. Their staff and their technicians cannot "recreate the issue" and thus return the headphones to me without any fix. Three times I've returned my AirPods to them, and three times I've been rejected service. The EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM is that they've been in contact with Apple, and instead of Apple being the good guy and examining the issue, they've basically told the service provider say that if they cannot detect the problem, then they have to return it to the customer (me) without any fix... :/

My siblings hear the high-frequency sound from the left AirPod (17 & 19 y.o.), but my friend who is 27 cannot hear it. My parents cannot hear it either (49 & 60 y.o.). I'm 24. Thus, my hypothesis is that age is the reason why the technicians cannot detect the sound (already at the age of 20, there's a deterioration of hearing around the highest frequency spectrum 15-20kHz).

So theoretically, I may not be hearing this sound in 2 years. But now I can hear it, and it bugs the crap out of me that neither Apple or my service provider understand this!!! I can't use my headphones cause it makes my left ear hurt :/ Thanks a lot for you "customer oriented service", Apple.

Apart from this Reddit post, I haven't found anything else on the internet about this issue. So can someone help me, what can I do now?! Service provider won't exchange the product, and Apple completely trusts them. I'm stuck.

(On another note, I'm baffled by the fact that Apple is performing subjective evaluations of their products. My service provider evaluate by listening for the sound with their own ears. But what the technicians are hearing is not what I am hearing.)
So have you contacted Apple directly to talk to them about this and see what they can do about it?
 

KingdomKey

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2017
5
0
Sweden
How long have you had them? Can you just return or exchange them?

If not, can you explain the problem and request that they have a younger technician test them? I don't know about Sweden, but here in the USA there are many teens working in Apple stores.
Bought them the moment they were released (yep, Apple fanboy here haha), so it's been >1month now unfortunately...

Wow, I have never seen a teen work here in Apple Stores, nor at the specific service provider :p My plan is now to go to an another service provider (we have around 4 here in Gothenburg), maybe I can fetch someone young over there?

So have you contacted Apple directly to talk to them about this and see what they can do about it?
I've been in contact with them before, and they just told me to visit another service provider. At first I didn't want it to be necessary, but now it seems like that's my only choice – to try convince every legitimate person I might bump into.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,557
16,055
Bought them the moment they were released (yep, Apple fanboy here haha), so it's been >1month now unfortunately...

Wow, I have never seen a teen work here in Apple Stores, nor at the specific service provider :p My plan is now to go to an another service provider (we have around 4 here in Gothenburg), maybe I can fetch someone young over there?



I've been in contact with them before, and they just told me to visit another service provider. At first I didn't want it to be necessary, but now it seems like that's my only choice – to try convince every legitimate person I might bump into.
You might want to contact them directly and if they tell you to work with the service provider tell them that they aren't willing to work with you and you as the customer would like to work with Apple directly as they are the manufacturer that provides the warranty.
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,637
1,099
If all else fails just sell them as not everyone can hear it you said. You probably could even make a profit as they are hard to come by and you are looking for work anyway.
 

kev0n

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2017
1
0
I have the same problem, got my Airpods yesterday and i have a high pitch sound in my left airpod, i have two colleagues that also have airpods and they have not the high pitch sound in any of there airpods

the thing with my left airpod is that the sound is not constant so its very clear that it exist
 

Enjoyhannah

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2017
1
0
Tl;dr:
A high-pitched noise from my left AirPod bugs me to the limit of not being able to use them, service provider say that there's nothing wrong with them and Apple won't help me. I'm left with a faulty product I cannot use. What can I do?

Long version:
I hear from my left AirPod a high-frequency sound when there's no music playing. It reminds me of the whistling sound that some AC adapters produce when plugged in. It bugs me so much that I cannot wear them in silence without my ear hurting. The BIG PROBLEM however, is that my local service provider cannot hear it. Their staff and their technicians cannot "recreate the issue" and thus return the headphones to me without any fix. Three times I've returned my AirPods to them, and three times I've been rejected service. The EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM is that they've been in contact with Apple, and instead of Apple being the good guy and examining the issue, they've basically told the service provider say that if they cannot detect the problem, then they have to return it to the customer (me) without any fix... :/

My siblings hear the high-frequency sound from the left AirPod (17 & 19 y.o.), but my friend who is 27 cannot hear it. My parents cannot hear it either (49 & 60 y.o.). I'm 24. Thus, my hypothesis is that age is the reason why the technicians cannot detect the sound (already at the age of 20, there's a deterioration of hearing around the highest frequency spectrum 15-20kHz).

So theoretically, I may not be hearing this sound in 2 years. But now I can hear it, and it bugs the crap out of me that neither Apple or my service provider understand this!!! I can't use my headphones cause it makes my left ear hurt :/ Thanks a lot for you "customer oriented service", Apple.

Apart from this Reddit post, I haven't found anything else on the internet about this issue. So can someone help me, what can I do now?! Service provider won't exchange the product, and Apple completely trusts them. I'm stuck.

(On another note, I'm baffled by the fact that Apple is performing subjective evaluations of their products. My service provider evaluate by listening for the sound with their own ears. But what the technicians are hearing is not what I am hearing.)

I am 100% hearing it, and I'm 29 and listen to heavy metal. If you're perceptive enough, you can hear it.

It's really strange how cheap these headphones sound when they're in the ears with no phone sounds going on. Like the old tvs turning on, that frequency. You can hear an old tv is On even when the sound is muted. AirPods do the same thing it seems.

Guess they don't feel liable for that, but the AirPods will probably kill that specific frequency in your ears soon anyway! Sucks because regular headphones don't emit any frequency with no phone sounds, unless there's a physical connection issue. (I've noticed the USB headphones will malfunction and produce the loudest most deafening sounds in my ears.)

My assumption is apple wont do anything about it unless you contribute to their forums and consider yourself a number on the complaint list. Enough people, then the complaint is meaningful enough to address.

Enough people complained about the functionality of the late 2011 MacBook Pros and apple completely revamped mine for free when it was eventually addressed years later (before we all started a lawsuit).

Anyway, Bluetooth things put out weird noises. Too bad they didn't figure out how to make it shut off like an idling smart car.
 

lef0

macrumors newbie
Apr 4, 2018
1
0
I've bought them and I confirm I hear the noise also in the left one.
Nothing in the right one.
 

saltd

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2010
759
346
I’ve had three pairs of AirPods now, and have not had this issue. Apple should help you out-that ringing is not a normal thing. If it were, there’d be a 500 page thread here on MR.

I’d pester them mercilessly for a replacement before I spent any more of your hard earned cash. There pretty great when they work, but that ringing would drive me nuts.
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,623
5,670
California
I am also someone who can hear high frequency noises. People didn't believe me till I told them to turn on/off the devices making the noises - they couldn't believe it - I got it right every time.

I just got my first AirPods yesterday - no noise coming from them! :) It would drive me nuts if I could hear something from them. :(