How to Update Your AirPods Pro’s Firmware: The Complete Guide

Updating AirPods' firmware
Updating AirPods’ firmware

Find out what firmware version you’re running and learn how you can properly update your AirPods Pro to the latest version.

Apple occasionally releases automated firmware updates to improve the AirPods (Gen 1, 2, 3) and AirPods Pro’s functionality and user experience.

However, while the process is automatic, this upgrade may sometimes not function or install correctly. This is frustrating as you may miss out on new features or be stuck dealing with old bugs or glitches. To make things worse, the AirPods online user guide has little information on how this updating process actually works.

If you’re currently experiencing these issues, don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll explain how the upgrade process works and show you how to upgrade your AirPods’ firmware.

Are you ready to get your AirPods up to date? Read on to find out how!

How to Check Your AirPods Pro’s Firmware Version

Your AirPods Pro’s firmware is a critical piece of software that controls its functions. It provides instructions that help your AirPods work and communicate with other devices.

Like most hardware devices, this firmware is written onto the memory of your Apple AirPods (Gen 1, 2, 3) and AirPods Pro during manufacturing.

Firmware updates contain new code to patch bugs and improve the AirPods’ functionality. To see if you need to upgrade, you should first check what firmware version your AirPods Pro are running.

Here’s how to check your AirPods’ firmware:

  1. Connect your AirPods (Gen 1, 2, 3) and AirPods Pro to your iOS device.

    Connecting AirPods to iOS.
    Connecting AirPods to iOS.
  2. Open Settings and tap on Bluetooth.

    Accessing iOS Bluetooth settings.
    Accessing iOS Bluetooth settings.
  3. Under the list of My Devices, tap on the information icon (i) next to your AirPods.

    Tap on the information icon (i).
    Tap on the information icon (i).
  4. You should see the firmware version displayed.

    Showing current AirPods firmware.
    Showing current AirPods firmware.
As of 21 July, 2022, the latest firmware version is 4E71.

How to Update Your AirPods Pro’s Firmware

Thanks to the AirPods’ excellent wireless connectivity, all firmware upgrades are set to install automatically whenever a new update is released.

However, if you find that your AirPods Pro haven’t adapted the latest firmware yet, it helps to know how and when you can trigger this automatic update.

Here are the steps to trigger the automatic update using an iOS device:

  1. Place your AirPods (Gen 1, 2, 3) or AirPods Pro back into the charging case.

    Place AirPods Pro back into the charging case.
    Place AirPods Pro back into the charging case.
  2. Plug your AirPods’ charging case into a power socket using the charging cable. If you’re using a wireless charging pad, make sure it’s connected to a power source.

    Plug your AirPods’ charging case into a power socket.
    Plug your AirPods’ charging case into a power socket.
  3. Place your AirPods’ charging case near your iPhone or iPad. Ensure your iOS device has a working internet connection.

    Place your AirPods’ charging case near your iPhone.
    Place your AirPods’ charging case near your iPhone.
  4. If a new firmware update is available, your AirPods should begin downloading and installing it automatically.
    Do not remove your AirPods from the charging case. Also, don’t move the case away during this process as it may interrupt the download.

Unfortunately, this automatic update is one of several AirPods features that will only work with native Apple devices like your iPhone or iPad.

Thankfully, as per the 12.3 Mac OS Monterey beta update released on 8 February, 2022, users without a compatible iOS device can now update their AirPods Pro’s firmware using a Mac.

To update AirPods Pro’s firmware using a Mac, just follow the same steps as above. Connect your charging case with your AirPods to your Mac using the USB-C to lightning cable. If a new firmware is available, the download should start automatically.

Be aware that your Mac won’t display the current firmware version of the AirPods, as iOS devices do. However, if an update is needed, the same will be triggered automatically.

Experiencing trouble connecting AirPods to your Android device? Try some of the fixes listed in our troubleshooting guide.

Do You Really Need to Keep Your AirPods Pro’s Firmware Updated?

Yes, it is recommended to keep your AirPods updated. That’s because these firmware updates contain new code that modifies the behavior of your AirPods’ internal hardware. They implement significant changes like performance improvements, feature enhancements, and bug fixes.

In addition, they help keep your AirPods (Gen 1, 2, 3) and AirPods Pro compatible with newer devices on the market.

Without these updates to resolve older bugs, your AirPods may not work optimally. Running outdated or incompatible firmware can cause issues such as unbalanced sound, the audio suddenly cutting out, random disconnects, and other glitches with your AirPods.

Did you know that the much-talked-about Spatial Audio feature was introduced in the AirPods Pro in 2020 via a firmware update? The update (called 3A283) also included the automatic switching feature for AirPods 2 and a few Beats models.

What did the AirPods Pro’s newest 4E71 firmware update fix?

Unfortunately, Apple does not publish patch notes with its firmware updates. So, you’ll not find any with the latest 4E71 firmware update released in May 2022.

This makes it challenging to know the list of exact changes.

That said, we can still learn from users who’ve tested the latest AirPods Pro’s firmware.

As per user feedback, significant changes include the AirPods’ ability to now auto-reconnect to non-iCloud devices and the AirPods Pro’s active noise cancellation again working correctly for previously affected users.

Can You Downgrade Your AirPods’ Firmware?

Installing firmware updates can sometimes introduce new bugs and issues on your AirPods.

You may even experience complications during the update process. Like this Reddit user who realized that only one of his AirPods had updated to the latest firmware.

When that happens, rolling back to using an older driver or firmware can help fix some issues. Unfortunately, this is not an option for AirPods, and you can’t downgrade to an older firmware version.

If you’re experiencing problems after a firmware upgrade, it’s best to try and reset or restart your AirPods.

Are your AirPods not resetting correctly? Here’s a guide detailing some quick fixes that may help.
.

As a last resort, you can bring your AirPods (Gen 1,2,3) or AirPods Pro to the Apple Store for servicing.

Conclusion

It would be a dream come true for both Apple and users if the AirPods were perfect from the get-go and never needed an upgrade.

Sadly, in the real world, Apple must sometimes update the AirPods to keep pace with new technologies in the industry. And since there’s no way to force AirPods or AirPods Pro updates manually, you will have to allow the automatic update process.

Now that you know what AirPods firmware releases are and how to update them, we hope you’ll be able to enjoy a better user experience and help others with your newfound knowledge.

Did you find our suggestions helpful? Or was there anything else we could have included about the latest firmware version? Let us know your experience down in the comments below!

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