I love my AirPods Pro. Their convenience, sound, comfort and ability to be everything from a brilliant pair of headphones to a stellar phone headset make them one of Apple’s best-ever products.
Yes, there are cheaper alternatives out there, but they don’t offer the same convenience delivered by that H1 chip.
There’s just one problem with AirPods Pro, and I think it’s quite a significant one.
<Sigh> I’ve been here before
I’ve long had issues with the quality control of Apple gear.
Over the years, I’ve experienced iPhones with dust under the screen, iMacs with dreadfully uneven backlighting, bent iPads (on delivery – no, really), and, yes, terrible MacBook keyboards.
Unfortunately, I think I can now add AirPods Pro to that list, and I’m not alone.
During my long term review of the AirPods Pro, I called out what has become known as the ‘rattling effect’.
What’s the problem with AirPods Pro?
The AirPods Pro rattling effect is an odd problem to describe, because it typically happens when you either:
- run; or
I’m not joking. In fact, it’s most prevalent when you cough or clear your throat while the AirPods are in your ears and noise cancelling is turned on.
If you have the issue, when you cough, one or both of your AirPods Pro will sound like they’re momentarily distorting. That’s how I hear it, anyway, but most people seem to liken it to a rattle, and I kinda get where they’re coming from.
The odd thing is that they’re not actually distorting. In fact, the issue doesn’t appear to impact the performance of the AirPods Pro at all, whether it be the sound or their ability to cancel outside noise. They perform just as well in both regards; the noise seems to be completely passive and more likely related to the build quality.
It’s incredibly odd, but rather irritating. And I’ve experienced it while running, too. In that instance, the issue exhibits itself as an ever-present rattle with every thud of your feet.
Is it widespread?
I think it probably is, and like so many of these Apple issues, the AirPods Pro rattling problem is probably more widespread than people realise.
The first piece of evidence is the huge thread concerning it on their support forum. The second is a typically vague reference to it in an official Apple support document.
I asked for my first pair of AirPods Pro to be replaced because of the issue and, tellingly, there was absolutely no pushback from Apple. They just did it, immediately, when I explained the problem.
I’ve had my replacement pair for a couple of months now, and… yes… the rattle is returning. It’s not as obvious as before, but it’s definitely there.
What’s the fix for the AirPods Pro rattle?
There isn’t one, bar getting yours replaced. I, therefore, suggest that you conduct the cough test and, if you notice any form of odd rattle-like noise when doing so, get in touch with Apple. I’ll be doing so once again with my replacement pair.
It’s important we continue to raise awareness of these Apple QC issues on forums, blogs and with their own support department. This stuff isn’t cheap, which is why I’ve worked hard to replace any defective unit I’ve bought from Apple; it simply isn’t good enough from a company which prides itself on ‘premium’ product design.
I’m curious, though: have you experienced the same issue with your AirPods Pro?