New AirPods Max firmware update throttles ANC levels
The firmware update behind the issues was released in May of this year.
Since then, users of AirPods Max have been reporting issues with the ANC feature. The most common? That the ANC feature “doesn’t seem to be working as well as it once did.”
That’s a problem for Apple’s flagship headphones. It was enough of a problem for Rtings to re-test the ANC performance on their testing rig.
ANC on AirPods Max isn’t working as well after update
They found that the ANC was less performant, saying, “system blocks out a bit less noise between the mid-bass to high-bass range than the previous firmware.”
As Rtings notes, this is the frequency range of everyday noises you’d want ANC to block out, like bus or plane engines.
They also found that the firmware “slightly changed the level of isolation” in the mid and treble ranges. That’s where AC units or background conversations sit.
AirPods Max isn’t the only ANC-equipped pair of AirPods, nor are they the only pair affected.
Now, we’re not going to get into conspiracy theories. The 2nd generation AirPods Pro use a new firmware branch, which is currently on version 5A377.
What is clear is that Apple broke something in the latest firmware for 1st generation AirPods Pro and AirPods Max units.
Now that media attention is on the issue, Apple will likely fix the ANC with new firmware. The only question is how long it will take.
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