When the AirPods Pro first launched in 2019, some were beset with sound issues like crackling or faulty active noise canceling. A year later—just as the warranty was about to run out—Apple introduced a free repair program for affected users. That program was set to expire this month, but it now appears that Apple has extended it for another year.
The change was first spotted on Reddit (via MacRumors). At the very, very bottom of Apple’s page, it now says the program will cover affected AirPods Pro for three years. Given that Apple specifies that the affected AirPods Pros were manufactured before October 2020, that would mean the program will now stay in effect through October 2022.
Specifically, the program covers two types of issues. The first is any sort of crackling or static noise that increases in loud environments, with exercise, or during phone calls. The second is if ANC doesn’t work as expected. Some examples Apple provides include wonky bass or an increase in ambient sounds.
If you are hearing crackling noises, Apple first advises making sure you have the latest software on the Apple devices it’s connected to. It also suggests ensuring that there’s no wireless interference and testing if it’s possibly an app-related issue. Then if none of that works, it’s time to make use of the free repair program. You can take the affected buds to Apple (either via a support line or at an Apple Store) or any Apple Authorized Service Provider.
There are a few other stipulations to keep in mind. For starters, your crackling buds have to be eligible for the program. That means no AirPods or AirPods Max. According to MacRumors, the AirPods Pro will also be examined to verify they’re actually affected. Ostensibly, most folks with crackling buds have already made use of the free repair. But, if you have a pair of launch AirPods Pro with sound issues, and for whatever reason, haven’t? You get an extra year to get your butt in gear.