As an AirPods user, it’s good to always keep the firmware up to date.
This being said, updating your AirPods firmware will result in certain bug-getting fixed, improvements to the software, additional features and more.
But updates don’t happen just like that. With AirPods, there are scenarios where Apple will not install the firmware update on your device if certain criteria are not met.
- The AirPods must be in their charging case.
- You must have the charging case plugged in and charging.
- Any iOS device that’s paired with the AirPods should be nearby.
Once all three conditions are met, you should probably receive the update. It does not happen instantly and is a vague process. But eventually you do get the update automatically.
Over the course of this article, I am going to take you through how to check the current firmware of your AirPods and how to update the AirPods firmware using an iOS device.
How To Update AirPods Firmware
Apple has made the update process for the AirPods an effortless task as it happens automatically but only under specific conditions.
New firmware updates are normally installed over the air when the AirPods are connected to any iOS device. Unfortunately, AirPods can not be manually updated so there’s not much you can do about that.
So let’s take a look at how you can check your AirPods firmware version and take a look at how to update AirPods firmware.
How To Check Your AirPods Firmware Version?
Checking the current firmware version of your AirPods will keep you informed whether your device has been updated to the latest version or if an update is still pending. In order to check your AirPods’ firmware version, follow these steps:
- Start by opening the Settings App on your iPhone or iOS device your AirPods are synced with.
- Now, tap on General and proceed to select About.
- Click on the name of the AirPods to open the details about that particular device.
- Check the version number mentioned under Firmware to confirm if the AirPods have been updated or not.
Since firmware updates for the AirPods do not come quite often, you may have to wait for some time before the update file comes through and the firmware version changes.
Updating Your AirPods and AirPods Pro
The best thing about updating AirPods or the AirPods Pro is that everything happens over the air with little human intervention. These online firmware updates are sent to the AirPods only if certain conditions are met.
You will have to make sure to follow these steps if you want your AirPods updated to the latest firmware.
- Start by placing your AirPods or AirPods pro in their charging case.
- Make sure the AirPods case is plugged in to charge; use the lightning cable to a power adapter or if you’re using the AirPods Pro that comes with a wireless charging case then place it on a Qi compatible charging plate.
- Now, head over to your iPhone and make sure there is strong internet connection. Position the iPhone or iPad over the lid of the charging case and wait. (Make sure that the AirPods have already been paired with the iPhone or iPad you’re about to use.)
Basically, that’s all you will have to do. After a while, any software updates that were released for the AirPods will automatically be downloaded and installed onto your AirPods or AirPods Pro.
At times, if you face issues with updating the AirPods try resetting them and check if they’re charging in their case (case should be fully charged).
At the last WWDC event, Apple released information regarding a new firmware update for the second generation AirPods and AirPods Pro (Version 3A283) which enabled Spatial Audio and Quick Device Switching features on the AirPods Pro.
Any AirPods running on a firmware version other than 3A283 will have to be updated if you want to receive newer features and bug-fixes.
AirPods Firmware Update 3A283
As of last year, Apple has launched the latest firmware update for their AirPods and AirPods Pro. This is a step up in their periodical firmware updates and was launched to fix existing bugs within the AirPods and to introduce new features.
The 3A283 firmware update replaces the build number 2D15 for the AirPods (2nd gen) and the build number 2D27 for the AirPods Pro. 3A283 is currently the fifth firmware update Apple has released for the AirPods lineup.
Spatial Audio is an upgraded way of listening to music or watching movies with your AirPods. This feature mimics 3D soundscape and provides you with a movie theater-like experience. Spatial Audio uses the AirPods built-in accelerometers to track the users head movements and keeps the sound perfectly oriented.
If you’re looking to enable Spatial Audio, follow these steps:
- Start by opening the Control Center (swipe down from the top-right hand corner)
- Long press the volume bar and you’ll see buttons for Spatial Audio and Noise Cancelling.
- Enable Spatial Audio by tapping on the toggle.
- Open the Settings App on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap on Bluetooth and click on the little “i” next to the name of the AirPods.
- Here you’ll see a toggle button for Spatial Audio, tap on it to enable the feature.
Quick Device Switching is another key feature of the new update which takes advantage of the existing iCloud pairing features of the H1 chip-set and increases its autonomy. Basically, you will be able to wear your AirPods and music will automatically play in them if you’re in close proximity to any paired iPhone or iPad.
There are a few steps you must follow in order to activate Quick Device Switching, check them out:
- Start by making sure your AirPods are paired with your iPad or iPhone of your choice.
- Launch the Settings App on your iPhone and tap on the Bluetooth option.
- Click on the “i” located next to the name of the AirPods to open the settings for the AirPods you own.
- If you scroll down on the page, click on Connect to this iPhone and select Automatically.. (It’s located underneath Automatic Ear Detection.)
- When you follow the same steps on two or more of your iPhones or iPads, the AirPods will automatically connect with any iPhone that’s well within range.
For Example, if you’re watching Netflix on your iPad with the AirPods connected and suddenly switch over to your iPhone to listen to some music, the audio coming out of the AirPods will be the music from the iPhone.
Apart from Spatial Audio and Quick Device Switching, Apple has also released a few other updates in the latest AirPods firmware, these are:
- Low battery notifications were introduced with the latest firmware update. Here pop-ups will appear on the iPhones screen notifying you when the battery is low and it’s time to charge your AirPods.
- Audio Sharing has not been improved to support Apple TV 4K. Two people can connect their AirPods to a single device and each listener receives their own volume control option.
- Headphone Accommodations allow you to adjust the audio levels in case of any hearing differences. Here you will be able to create an audio profile that’s best suited for your hearing troubles.
Troubleshooting Your AirPods (Update Failure)
If you’re facing issues with your AirPods or AirPods Pro while trying to update the firmware, then you can try these four simple steps which will help reset your AirPods to their original state.
- Start by placing your AirPods in the charging case and close the lid. Wait for roughly 30 seconds and reopen the lid of the case.
- On your iPhone or iPad, head to the Settings App and click on Bluetooth. Now tap on the little “i” next to the name of the AirPods. Proceed to tap on Forget this device and tap once again to confirm the selection.
- While your AirPods case lid is open, press and hold the Setup button located at the back of the case. Hold it down for about 15 seconds until the status light turns amber and starts blinking rapidly.
- Finally, reconnect your iPhone or iPad with your AirPods by following the instructions laid out on the iPhone or iPad. Once your AirPods have been repaired with your iPhone, follow the steps listed above under “Updating Your AirPods and AirPods Pro”.
Can I force update my AirPods?
No, you will not be able to force update or manually update your AirPods. This task is an autonomous task that’s carried out over the air. Your AirPods will receive any pending updates automatically. They have to be in their charging case, the case needs to be plugged in and your iPhone or iPad has to be nearby for the update to happen.
What Firmware version should my AirPods be?
Currently, the latest firmware version for Apple AirPods is 3.7.2 or 3A283. If your AirPods are running on an older version then it’s time for an update. To check the firmware version for your AirPods, open the Settings App, tap on General and then click on About to find out your AirPods current firmware version.
Which devices support Spatial Audio?
As of now, there are only a handful of Apple devices that support Spatial Audio. These are:
- iPad Air (3rd gen and later)
- iPad Pro 12.9” (3rd gen and later)
- iPhone 7 and later models
- iPad Pro 11”
- iPad (6th gen and later)
- iPad Mini (5th gen)
Firmware updates don’t come frequently and at times may occur only once a year. Though these updates happen automatically, it’s best to keep an eye on what version your AirPods are running and if there has been any updated firmware released recently.
Updating your AirPods firmware will fix any underlying issues and introduce new features that can enhance your overall experience.