Apple’s AirPods Pro are a top pick when it comes to true wireless earbuds, but some of the early units sold by Apple began to experience audio problems. To address these issues, Apple created a service program to fix busted buds. Initially, this program was to cover all AirPods Pro sold before October 2020 for a period of two years. Under those conditions, some early AirPods Pro (sold in October 2019) will be about to lose their coverage, but Apple has quietly updated the program and extended its coverage to three years from the date of purchase.
Here are potential audio problems that are covered by the service program:
- Hoarse or steady sounds that get worse in loud environments, with exercise, or when talking on the phone.
- Active noise cancellation (ANC) is not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background noise such as road or airplane noise.
If this describes your situation, Apple will take a look at both the left and right earbuds and determine if (or both) are affected by the problem and will repair or replace them for free.
If you want Apple to check them out, you have to go to one Apple Store or else Apple-Authorized Repair Shop. If none of these options work for you, Apple says you must Contact Apple Support, but it is unclear whether the company will provide a mail-in solution for people who are far away from a physical store, or who may be concerned about being exposed to COVID-19.
If your AirPods Pro were recently purchased and they aren’t giving you any problems, that’s promising. But don’t throw this information away.
Apple’s free replacement process now runs for three years from the date of purchase, and is a worldwide program. The increase from two years to three years suggests that Apple thinks problems can occur after a period of time, and not necessarily immediately. It might not be a bad idea to bookmark this page, or even set a reminder for yourself on the 34-month anniversary of your AirPods Pro purchase, just in case.
While cracking, static, and ANC issues are the only ones addressed by this repair program, they aren’t the only AirPod concerns we’ve run into. Check out this handy guide for all the most common AirPods problems and how to fix them.