Apple Announced New AirPods Pro Free Return Program: Do You Qualify?

Apple launches recall program for free AirPods Pro headphones due to sound issues

Happy anniversary AirPods Pro! Well sorta…

It has been exactly one year since Apple released their flagship premium wireless earbuds to the public. Oh it was a day, full of hilarious memes around the funky design, critics slamming the white eartips, and the steep price of $250 big ones. But the hype paid off, we got what we paid for, well at least for the first few weeks. 

This past year has been a huge disappointment for AirPods Pro users, while Apple delivered on the promise of noise cancellation, transparency mode, and the slim design, it failed to mention how unreliable these features were. 

We’ll jump right into the breaking news. Apple just acknowledged a huge complaint with the AirPods Pro functions - internally. This means there is no software update that will fix these issues. After a year of intermittent reports of crackling and popping and weakened active noise cancellation (ANC), Apple has finally addressed user concerns by launching a new repair program on their website.

Are you experiencing any of the following,

  • Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

  • Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

The good news is, Apple has promised on replacing AirPods Pro headphones that have any of the above sound issues.  

The Apple official statement “Apple has determined that a small percentage of AirPods Pro may experience sound issues. Affected units were manufactured before October 2020.”

Now let’s keep in mind noise cancellation is the headlining feature of AirPods Pro, so for that to be malfunctioning you might wonder, is my set broken? Yes it can be, so send your AirPods Pro in right away if you’re in the affected group!

Note: Apple said AirPods Pro made after October 2020 don’t have the problems.

Owners who experience problems can contact Apple online or make an appointment at an Apple store to get their AirPods Pro replaced for free. Only devices that are confirmed to have the issue will be replaced.

The replacement applies only to the earbuds, and not the charging case. Apple has stated AirPods 1st and 2nd generation are not affected.

A friendly reminder, the program covers affected AirPods Pro for 2 years after the first retail sale of the unit. So if the holidays have you swamped, just get your pair sent in before the 2 year mark. 

Visit the Apple store for more information regarding the program and how to contact support.


  • Dale C.

    I heard they have a new way to test them at the Apple store. They put the pods into a device that checked the low and high frequencies as they bounce off sensors. Takes about 5 minutes and they get the results right there. It’s worth checking mine, but who knows. It’s subjective what you think is acceptable for “noise cancellation.”

  • Brian Warren

    Now Apple mentions this days before my come in…My luck

  • R.J

    AirPods Pro have been absolutely horrible! I’m returning them asap. Especially after this scandal

  • Nate

    Yep, I’m having this issue with mine. I thought they lowered the ANC on purpose just so I would buy another set think mine was broken.

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