Apple recently released a firmware update for their AirPods wireless headphones. It was a silent update, meaning that in all likelihood, your AirPods have already updated and you didn’t even know or have to do anything. If you want to check to make sure that you’re running the latest version, here is what you have to do.
You can find your AirPods firmware version number buried in your iPhone’s General settings. First of all, make sure your AirPods are connected. Tap on Settings, and then tap on About at the top of the next page. If you scroll down this page and your AirPods are connected, you will see an entry labelled as “AirPods” with an arrowhead in the right side indicating a deeper page with more info. Tapping on this will present you with some info about your AirPods: Manufacturer (Apple Inc… duh!), Model Number, Serial Number, Firmware Version, and Hardware Version. As of this writing, they are up to version 3.5.1, which I believe was the first update to them. The other entries on this page are somewhat interesting, if you’re into that sort of thing. All Apple devices have a model number, and you can see here that AirPods are A1523. (Comparatively, here’s a list of all the iPhone, iPad, and iPod model numbers.) This screen also suggests that there will be minor hardware revisions produced before major new upgrades are introduced, based on how the Hardware Version number includes more than a single, whole number. In all likelihood, for something like a fix for a minor speaker issue, not bringing any new hardware or features, people with those models will probably have version 1.1.0 or something like that. For now, this early in the AirPods life cycle, we have version 1.0.0.
If, by any chance, your AirPods info indicates you are still on version 3.5.0 and it hasn’t updated yet, you can try to coax them… but not really. They automatically will update when both ear buds are in the charging case, and presumably, the case has sufficient charge to power the update. When I first checked, mine had not updated yet. But I just left them in their case and checked back in a while, and they were on 3.5.1. There’s nothing to do to force them to update.
As for what the update actually provides, there isn’t a lot of information about that. Some people have suggested that before the update, the charging case was draining too quickly while charging the AirPods, or it was reporting incorrect charge remaining. After the update, some feel this has been corrected. Some people have also suggested that it improves the quality of some calls, specifically FaceTime audio. Most likely, it only contains minor connectivity bug fixes. I assume that if there were any great new feature made available, Apple would let us know!
If you’ve updated and discovered that it has fixed a previous annoyance or problem, let me know in the comments!