AirPods is a complicated piece of hardware with sophisticated software. Apple constantly improves this software, delivering to users new features (AirPods Pro in one of these updates received spatial audio support), bug fixes, and other improvements. If you want to make good use of your AirPods, be sure to update AirPods firmware regularly.
In this article, we gathered all the information you need to know about updating AirPods.
How to Update AirPods Software?
Updating AirPods software is a tricky process. Unfortunately, there is no visible button to check for AirPods updates. Your smartphone does this process in the background, ensuring a seamless experience without interruption. Although such an implementation is convenient, it may significantly confuse a user. Especially when they learn about a new firmware available.
There are several things you need to know about updating AirPods firmware. Here they are.
- You can only update AirPods firmware on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Although you can connect AirPods to Windows or Android, these devices cannot update AirPods. They simply have no access to Apple’s servers, and there is currently no third-party software that can do so. This is one of the reasons why you probably should not buy AirPods solely for Windows or Android. Luckily, many solid alternatives often offer even more for less.
- All AirPods support over-the-air firmware updates. You can update the original AirPods, AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and whatever comes in the future. Just be aware that some features may require newer iOS, iPadOS, or macOS versions. When you want to update AirPods, always install the latest OS updates available.
- Before installing AirPods updates, check what firmware is currently installed. Perhaps, your device has already downloaded and installed all available updates. To check the AirPods firmware version, go to Settings – Bluetooth and tap the small button with the letter i. Scroll down and check the About section. Look for the Version field.
How to Update Firmware on AirPods?
As mentioned before, there is no universal option to force AirPods updates. Still, there are a few things you can do to initiate this procedure.
- Make sure your AirPods are sufficiently charged. Put both AirPods in a charging case and connect them to a power source. This can be either a wireless charger or a Lightning cable. The rule applies to all AirPods model. You cannot update AirPods Pro (or any other model) if there is a low battery level.
- When a battery is sufficiently charged (at least 50% in each earbud), connect your AirPods to your iPhone to initiate the AirPods update procedure. Use the headphones as you usually do. The update will happen in the background automatically.
- Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi. Although AirPods firmware update is usually tiny, Apple’s operating systems never download updates via cellular networks.
- Next, make sure the battery-saving mode is disabled. iPhone significantly reduces background activity when the battery saving mode initiates. This may also cause the AirPods update to fail.
- Make sure you have the latest iOS, iPadOS, or macOS installed. Again, some firmware updates require newer OS versions. For example, Apple’s AirPods spatial audio works only in iOS 14 and newer. The seamless switching between devices also requires the newest iOS.
- If you cannot update AirPods and nothing above works, another thing you can try is to reset AirPods.
Done. Now your AirPods should be up to date with the latest firmware version installed. We can only hope Apple will make installing updates for AirPods less confusing in the future. Adding the “Update AirPods” button would be an awesome addition.