How To Check If You’re Eligible For A Replacement

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Some AirPods Pro units may experience sound issues, including crackling, static sounds, or active noise cancelation problems, and are eligible for replacement through a service program. Apple may take a while to acknowledge issues with its devices, but when it finally does recognize a mistake, it is generally easy for customers to find a solution. The beleaguered butterfly keyboard that was introduced with the 12-inch MacBook caused problems for years, prompting the company to roll out a service program good for four years after a MacBook’s purchase. Eventually, Apple had to pay a $50 million settlement in a class action lawsuit over the keyboard.


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Apple announced a service program for what it calls “a small percentage” of AirPods Pro units that were manufactured before October 2020. These earbuds may experience a variety of sound issues that can be exaggerated in loud environments. The AirPods Pro pairs that are affected might crackle or produce static noise in loud environments, while exercising, or while talking on the phone. The active noise cancelation might be affected, too. When a noise cancelation or transparency mode is enabled, affected AirPods Pro might experience a loss of bass or an increase in background noise. If a pair of AirPods Pro is eligible and is confirmed to have these issues, it is eligible for replacement.

Related: AirPods: Possible Reasons For Muffled Sound (& Fixes To Try)


Check If Your AirPods Pro Are Eligible

AirPods Pro over gradient background

There are three ways that users can get a replacement pair of AirPods through the service program, and eligibility can be checked without any effort on the user’s part. AirPods Pro owners can either visit an Apple retail store or authorized service provider to see if a pair is eligible and receive a replacement model. At either of these locations, it will be confirmed that a pair has the sound issues and is eligible. One or both of the earbuds will be replaced as needed, but the charging case is unaffected by the issues and will not be replaced. Customers can also initiate mail service through the Apple Support app, website, or phone number.

The AirPods Pro’s sound issues reinvigorate calls for repairable Apple devices. Particularly, the AirPods lineup — aside from the over-ear AirPods Max — are completely unrepairable. The battery is sure to degrade over time, and since there is no method for repair, the truly-wireless headphones are destined to end up in a landfill. Any time there is an issue with a pair of AirPods, the entire unit needs to be replaced. The company can individually replace the left or right buds, as well as the charging case, but repair is not possible for any of these components. So when a problem arises, as in this case, the defective product must be discarded.

Is Your AirPods Pro Serial Number Eligible For Recall?

AirPods Pro serial number on AirPods and iPhone

To get an idea of whether a pair of AirPods is eligible before driving out to a location or calling a representative, AirPods Pro owners can visit Apple‘s check coverage website. By entering the serial number on a pair of AirPods, users can see the support coverage, date of purchase, and manufacture date. With this information, it’s possible to determine whether a pair of AirPods might be eligible for replacement.

If a pair of AirPods Pro is experiencing sound issues and was purchased or manufactured before October 2020, they may be eligible for the service program. To find the serial number on the AirPods Pro, open the charging case and check the underside of the lid. The serial number will be printed there. Alternatively, check the original packaging of the AirPods Pro, where the serial number will be mentioned next to the barcode.

Users can also easily check the serial number on their iPhone or Mac. To do this on an iPhone, place the AirPods Pro in the ears and make sure they’re connected to the iPhone (or iPad). Open the Settings app and tap ‘Bluetooth.’ Locate the AirPods Pro in the list and tap the info (i) button to view the serial number. To check the serial number on a Mac, place the AirPods in the ears and connect them. Click on the Apple menu in the top left corner and select ‘System Settings.’ Scroll down and click on the AirPods Pro to view the serial number.

Source: Apple 1, 2