• Apple is replacing defective AirPods Pro models that make crackling or static sounds for free.
  • Some AirPods Pro that were manufactured before October 2020 have sound issues that cannot be fixed, and Apple will replace these units after examining them.
  • Apple is not extending the standard warranty coverage for AirPods Pro, but this program will cover any affected AirPods Pro for two years after the sale of the unit.

In the four years since they launched, Apple’s AirPods have become the most popular accessory the company has to offer and have been among the best selling headphones on the market. Last year, Apple expanded its reach with the debut of the AirPods Pro, which added noise cancellation, water resistance, and a customizable fit with replaceable ear tips for $249. Unfortunately, some of the early AirPods Pro models had a hardware defect.

Not long after the AirPods Pro launched in October 2019, early adopters began complaining about hearing a crackling or staticky sound when wearing the headphones, especially in loud environments. On Friday, Apple acknowledged the issue on its website and announced that it will replace any affected units free of charge.

Apple says that a “small percentage” of AirPods Pro that were manufactured prior to October 2020 might experience sound issues. Here’s what to look out for to see if you are eligible for a free replacement:

  • 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

If your AirPods Pro have any of these problems, you can find a local Authorized Apple Service Provider by heading to the Apple support site and searching in your area, by making an appointment at an Apple retail store, or by contacting Apple Support online or on the phone to see what steps you need to take next. Your AirPods Pro will be examined by a technician, and if they are deemed eligible, one or both will be replaced for free.

It’s worth noting that this program does not extend the warranty of the AirPods Pro, but does cover affected AirPods Pro models for two years after the first retail sale of the unit. In other words, even if your warranty has run out, you can still get a replacement if you experience the issues listed above.

Finally, before you go to all the trouble of calling support or visiting an authorized service provider, it’s worth visiting Apple’s support page for AirPods Pro units making crackling or static sounds. There’s a chance your AirPods aren’t actually defective and that you just don’t have the latest software installed, are too far away from your connected iPhone or iPad, or that an app is causing the problem. If nothing works, it’s time to get a replacement.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.