- AirPods Pro, launched in October 2019, improve on standard AirPods with better sound, noise cancellation, and the ability to hear background sounds.
- A manufacturing defect affects a small number of AirPods Pro units.
- Some users are experience crackling or static when using AirPods Pro for phone calls or during exercise.
- Inadequate bass response and background noise issues plague some AirPods Pro units.
- Apple’s new service program aims to replace defective AirPods Pros manufactured before October 2020.
AirPods Pro: Apple’s Iconic Wireless Earphones
Unless you don’t get out much, you’ve probably seen small white tubes dangling from earlobes everywhere. Apple’s AirPods remain one of the most popular wearables of all time. Launched in October 2016, the diminutive wireless earbuds offer reasonable sound quality with industry-leading wireless connectivity.
AirPods aren’t like regular Bluetooth wireless headphones. Apple added dedicated processors to help improve and maintain wireless connections. Users can seamlessly switch between devices without fiddling with Bluetooth settings. Controls on Apple’s wireless earphones enable users to launch Siri and access other ecosystem services. These advantages are proprietary and only available on Apple devices.
If you’re not in Apple’s ecosystem, AirPods have little to offer over competing wireless earphones. Android phones, Windows computers, and other devices connect to AirPods with standard Bluetooth technology. While this works well, the connection is more fragile, and switching between devices isn’t as seamless.
AirPods Pro: The Next Generation
Three years after AirPods debut, Apple upped the ante with new, upgraded wireless earphones. AirPods Pro offer a better fit, with additional features for noise cancellation and audio transparency. Priced higher than standard AirPods, the Pro earphones aim to convert runners and other physically active individuals to the AirPods flock. Content creators, journalists, and other media professionals have also embraced Apple’s high-end wireless earphones.
The more complicated a product is, the more that can go wrong. AirPods Pro earphones have more features than the standard model, but apparently, also more defects. While standard AirPods have fared quite well in the wild, their more sophisticated counterparts harbor defects, requiring some units’ replacement.
Defective AirPods Pro earphones may produce static or other undesirable audio artifacts during phone calls or high-momentum exercise, such as running. Other users report diminished bass response and background noises leaking into the audio stream. If your AirPods Pro earphones suffer from these defects, you may be eligible for a free replacement.
Apple Will Replace Defective AirPods Pro Units
Apple products aren’t perfect. I purchased two Macs in the past 18 months, both of which broke due to manufacturing flaws. Despite the defects, Apple charged me over $700 to repair my MacBook Pro. Since the issue affected few users, they handled it as though I had damaged the laptop.
When Apple’s mistakes affect many more customers, the company must take decisive action for the sake of damage control. The costs of bad publicity outweigh replacing defective products.
Apple’s AirPods Pro replacement program seeks to ameliorate manufacturing defects with its iconic wireless earbuds. If your AirPods were manufactured before October 2020 and exhibit specific defects, you may be eligible for a replacement. Apple will only replace defective earphones, not necessarily the complete pair. Also, the charging case is not subject to this service program.
How To Find AirPods Pro Manufacture Date
Apple usually offers an online tool to determine whether a product is eligible for replacement. Users typically enter a serial number to check if their device was part of a defective manufacturing run. Apple doesn’t offer a web app to determine replacement eligibility with this service program. Instead, customers must contact customer service to determine their AirPods replacement status.
If you like puzzles, blogger Cody Henderson has an insightful article on decoding Apple serial numbers. AirPods Pro owners can determine manufacturing dates and other useful information from the serial number. The article also contains a helpful tool for interpreting any Apple product’s serial number.
More Information About AirPods Pro Replacement Program
Apple rarely admits to manufacturing defects, but when they’re too obvious to obfuscate, it actually provides excellent service to affected customers. For more information on Apple’s AirPods Pro replacement program, please visit the Apple Support website.