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Rocko99991

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 25, 2017
1,574
2,191
Should I hold off on getting APP until the firmware improves the ANC?
 

Schranke

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2010
974
1,072
Copenhagen, Denmark
Should I hold off on getting APP until the firmware improves the ANC?
Honestly I think they are great. I have however not tried the original firmware.
My use case which primarily is sports they work great, keeps the background noice out, stops most loud music and I don’t have to have my own volume super high.
I have not had any issues with them staying in, keeps thight when jumping and being inverted.
 

jterp7

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2011
1,256
137
Should I hold off on getting APP until the firmware improves the ANC?

try it in the store if you can and double check the firmware. If you like the sound signature with your preferred music the choice is up to you if its worth the money.
 
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Ralfi

macrumors 601
Dec 22, 2016
4,322
3,019
Australia
try it in the store if you can and double check the firmware. If you like the sound signature with your preferred music the choice is up to you if its worth the money.
I would normally advise similar, but with the Coronavirus out there, trying demo units in store is too risky. I’m pretty sure Apple have banned it for the time being too.

I’d just buy them & test them extensively for the 14 days.
 

bwinter88

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2012
152
1,912
Ignore the firmware stuff. Just use them and enjoy them. I'm on 2C54, have owned them since early November, and haven't noticed any change in performance. The "firmware issue" is all speculation at this point. Most people are using their Airpods without complaint and never think to come online to this forum and complain.
 

Tommy Hewitt

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2013
81
84
I'm on 2C54, have owned them since early November, and haven't noticed any change in performance.

I've got my APP with 2C54 replaced for a different reason, so I was able to do a side by side comparison with 2B588 vs 2C54. The ANC is a little bit better with 2B588 but not really worth mentioning.
 
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bwinter88

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2012
152
1,912
I've got my APP with 2C54 replaced for a different reason, so I was able to do a side by side comparison with 2B588 vs 2C54. The ANC is a little bit better with 2B588 but not really worth mentioning.
I did a similar test, bought another pair from the Apple Store that was on 2B588 and walked up and down the street with both pairs before returning them. I couldn't discern which was which. Pretty clear to me that people complaining "ANC is ruined" have something else going on entirely.
 
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mxrider88

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2019
747
887
Sydney, AU
50% of the times I try to put them on to answer the phone I end up with the microphone not activating or with one bud not working and I’ve to ask to the caller to wait a minute. Ridiculous. And I am Not making it up.

I’m on my second pair, firmware 2b588 or whatever it is. Tried at least 100 resets and I reset a few times the network setting on the 11pro too.

Leave them on the shelf in my opinion.
 

bwinter88

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2012
152
1,912
50% of the times I try to put them on to answer the phone I end up with the microphone not activating or with one bud not working and I’ve to ask to the caller to wait a minute. Ridiculous. And I am Not making it up.

I’m on my second pair, firmware 2b588 or whatever it is. Tried at least 100 resets and I reset a few times the network setting on the 11pro too.

Leave them on the shelf in my opinion.
You tried two different sets of airpods and are having the same problem? Maybe it's with your phone? That's not a common problem...
 

mxrider88

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2019
747
887
Sydney, AU
You tried two different sets of airpods and are having the same problem? Maybe it's with your phone? That's not a common problem...

It got worse lately to be honest.. I’m not sure if it’s the phone or what I just know that I’m sick of it and I also can’t be bothered to go to the Apple store and argue about it, they are helpless.
They’ll ask me to update the phone, update the airpods, then they notice I’m up to date and ask me to leave the airpods on charge so they reset (that’s what she told me!!!), then probably they want me to reset my phone and I don’t wanna do it because with this s**t of Catalina it doesn’t sync anymore!

Just over it really.
I’ve been thinking for years to move on, maybe it’s time.
 
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jknight8907

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2004
804
49
Hudson Valley NY
There's an obvious difference in 2C54 and the launch-day noise canceling. It's not the end of the world, but definitely not as powerful of noise canceling as when new. When new, they completely eliminated the HVAC noise in my office. Dead silent, to the point that when I first put them in my initial impulse was that the HVAC system had just shut off. The noise canceling was so powerful that you could 'feel' it in your head.

Now, despite keeping them meticulously clean with the blu-tack stuff, the noise canceling is not so powerful since the firmware upgrade. This wasn't a change over time, it was light-switch difference as soon as the firmware was upgraded. One day silence, the next day, not quite so silent.

I really love the APPs, but if a future update doesn't restore the launch-day noise canceling power, I'll probably at least try the forthcoming Bose earbuds. Once you've experienced max-power noise cancellation, it's hard to go back.
 

BalutFX

macrumors member
Sep 11, 2013
69
42
Snohomish, WA
I did a similar test, bought another pair from the Apple Store that was on 2B588 and walked up and down the street with both pairs before returning them. I couldn't discern which was which. Pretty clear to me that people complaining "ANC is ruined" have something else going on entirely.

People are complaining about the reduced ANC because they (including myself) noticed a dramatic difference in ANC between launch day firmware and 2B588, as well as 2C54 which was later pulled. The ANC reduction started with 2B588. Also, the individual use case and differing sound environments will affect opinions of how well or poor the ANC is performing. Walking up and down the street is much different than riding in an airplane. The post above mentions a similar scenario and I agree, since I noticed it as well flying on an airplane (which I did a lot). The "complaining" is valid and real. Continuing to discount the firmware issue seems, as Spock would say, "illogical".
 
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Tommy Hewitt

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2013
81
84
People are complaining about the reduced ANC because they (including myself) noticed a dramatic difference in ANC between launch day firmware and 2B588

Actually most people only complain about 2C54. And some of them exchanged them for APP with 2B588, claiming that ANC is sooooo much better now (which isn't the case at all).
 
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steve62388

macrumors 68040
Apr 23, 2013
3,090
1,944
Do any shop bought AirPods even have the ‘faulty’ firmware? I bought a pair very recently and it had the prior good version. And they won’t update because that version was pulled.
 

bwinter88

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2012
152
1,912
People are complaining about the reduced ANC because they (including myself) noticed a dramatic difference in ANC between launch day firmware and 2B588, as well as 2C54 which was later pulled. The ANC reduction started with 2B588. Also, the individual use case and differing sound environments will affect opinions of how well or poor the ANC is performing. Walking up and down the street is much different than riding in an airplane. The post above mentions a similar scenario and I agree, since I noticed it as well flying on an airplane (which I did a lot). The "complaining" is valid and real. Continuing to discount the firmware issue seems, as Spock would say, "illogical".
Some people say it started with 2C54, others say it started with 2B588. Some people complain the ANC is "crippled," others say it's only "slightly worse," The RTINGS test claims it's the 2C54 firmware, and detected only a 4dB difference in a narrow frequency band, which is barely enough to notice.

In this Forbes article about noise cancellation in 2B588 "AirPods Pro: Update May Not Have Affected Noise-Canceling After All", an article update by the author states
Update 02/4: Increasingly, readers are contacting me to say they feel their AirPods Pro are working just fine in terms of noise-canceling.

So a plurality of readers disagreed that firmware had anything to do with it. So which is it?

A firmware issue would be consistent. All indicators point elsewhere. This firmware schadenfreude has happened to other ANC headsets at Bose and Sony as well so clearly there is a psychological element. Eartip fit has an enormous say in ANC effectiveness and is notoriously inconsistent from user to user. I have owned my earbuds since early November and haven't noticed any change at all in ANC performance (and yes I fly often too). Does that cancel out your anecdote or simply muddy the waters?

To me the issue is fairly clear. The first time you use the Airpods ANC, it's mind-blowing. Then you get used to it. You start to hear things you didn't hear before, not because they weren't there, but because your brain is more accustomed to the silence. The eartips get dirty. They slide out and don't seal as well as the 1st time. The microphone grilles get a little gunked up. Suddenly it's a few weeks in and the ANC is less impressive. You google the issue and find others complaining of the same thing. Someone points out there was a firmware update recently. And the conspiracy takes off. Nothing will convince you that it's anything but firmware now.

A little story. I've been using the Bose QC20's for a good 5 years now. I fall asleep with them in my ears almost every night. Very shortly into using them, I began to believe that they were less effective at noise-cancelling—could I always hear the refrigerator that loudly through them? I chalked it up to physical damage from heavy use, but it was still acceptable quality to me so I continued using them. Recently I bought a new pair for my girlfriend and had a chance to compare. They were exactly the same. Your brain simply gets accustomed to the silence.
 
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ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,823
10,405
I would normally advise similar, but with the Coronavirus out there, trying demo units in store is too risky. I’m pretty sure Apple have banned it for the time being too.

I’d just buy them & test them extensively for the 14 days.

I’d do the same. Forget in-store anything for the moment.
 

wolfedude88

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2013
357
157
Indiana
I wont say they are horrible now, because they are not, but myself and a coworker both noticed a difference right away. I work in a factory that builds transmissions, so it is loud and one of the biggest reasons why I wanted the ANC. It still works, but like I said we noticed right away it wasn't working as well as it was to begin with. I don't listen to music at work so I cant speak on that, I listen to audiobooks all day when I am at work and it still does a great job and I would recommend these in a heartbeat.

Unfortunately my work is now banning all RF devices, so no more headphones, started last month. Thankfully I had surgery a week before that and have been off since, hoping our union can work something out otherwise I'm going to be miserable when I go back. Well as long as work is happening when I am able to go back.
 

BoxsterRS

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2010
105
24
Received as a gift a pair of Pros 2 weeks ago. They are amazing. I also have QC35I (bass is stronger) but nothing that I really miss.
 
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