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

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

5 minute read

It's the AirPods Pro anniversary today! Well, sort of...

The flagship wireless earbuds from Apple have been available to the general public for exactly one year. A day full of hilarious memes all around the quirky design, critics heaping scorn on the white eartips, and even the steep $250 price tag. Although the hype paid off, for the first few weeks at least we got what we paid for. 

In the past year, AirPods Pro users have been disappointed with Apple's noise cancellation technology, transparency mode, and slim design. However, Apple seems to have missed the point that most of these features are unreliable. 

Let's get right to the breaking news. An internal complaint about the AirPods Pro has just been acknowledged by Apple. As a result, this issue cannot be resolved by software updates. There have been intermittent reports of crackling, popping, and weakened active noise cancellation (ANC) on Apple devices in the past year, but they have finally responded by launching a new repair program.

Are you experiencing any of the following,

  • A crackling or static sound that increases in loud environments, when exercising, or as you speak on the phone

  • Activated Noise Cancellation isn't working properly, for example, when the bass sound disappears, or when background noise such as airplanes or traffic increases

Thankfully, Apple has confirmed they will replace AirPods Pro headphones that exhibit any of these above problems.  

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.”

Remember that noise cancellation is one of the highlights of AirPods Pro, so if that malfunctions, you might wonder, is my set broken? If you are part of the affected group, send in your AirPods Pro as soon as possible!

According to Apple, AirPod Pros made after October 2020 are not affected.

For those who experience problems with their AirPods Pro, Apple offers free replacements at Apple stores and online. The devices that are replaced will only be those that have the issue confirmed.

Only the headphone earbuds are subject to replacement, not the charging case. Apple has confirmed that its AirPods first generation and second generation are not affected.

It is important to remember that the AirPods Pro product repair program covers the product for 2 years after retail sale. Consequently, if you are overwhelmed by the holidays, just send in a pair before the end of the year. 

Learn how to contact Apple support and more about the program at the Apple store.


  • 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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