Since they were first introduced in December of 2016, AirPods have become one of Apple’s most successful recent creations. The earbuds are renowned for their good sound quality, versatile functionality, and comfort.
If you are experiencing static noise when listening to audio or making calls with your AirPods, this could be a result of outdated software on your Apple device. Alternatively, there could be an issue with the wireless connection between the AirPods and the source device.
Static noise can be very detrimental to your experience when using AirPods.
If the problem persists, it can make it difficult to hear the other person during a phone call or lower the sound quality when listening to music.
There are several potential causes for static noise when using AirPods, and thankfully the problem can usually be fixed by following simple steps.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the likely reasons for the static, and how you can try to rectify the issue.
Static Noise from AirPods
Hearing strange noises when using your AirPods, such as crackling or static sounds, can be very frustrating. For music lovers, sound quality is important if they are to fully enjoy the songs they play through AirPods.
Additionally, these unwanted sounds can make it hard to hear others during voice calls.
The good news is that in the majority of cases, static noise coming from your AirPods doesn’t indicate a serious problem that cannot be repaired.
If the sound is very distorted, or the volume of your AirPods has noticeably reduced, it may be due to physical damage to the speaker.
A build-up of dirt or ear wax is the most likely culprit for sound issues with AirPods, but this is unlikely to cause static or crackling sounds.
These noises rather indicate that there is an issue with the wireless aspects of the AirPods, such as their Bluetooth connectivity, or their compatibility with your chosen device.
Apple’s commitment to ensuring that its products work efficiently is why millions of people choose them worldwide.
- Static noise is not supposed to be coming from your AirPods, so it’s important to get to the root of the issue.
The first thing you can do to determine why the AirPods have static noise is to pair them with a new device to see if the problem remains. This will allow you to rule out whether the static is caused by the AirPods’ connection to your usual device, whether it is an iPhone, iPad, or any other device.
It would also be useful to monitor when the AirPods are making static sounds.
Is it only when you are making phone calls, or when you are listening to music? Or perhaps the noise only occurs when you are using your AirPods while moving around.
These questions need to be answered in order to troubleshoot the issue and fix it.
- Connectivity issues are the most common cause of static when using AirPods. Fixing these issues is usually straightforward, and I’ll explain in detail how you can do this in the sections below.
Why Are My AirPods Crackling?
Static and crackling sounds usually occur as a result of a pairing issue between your AirPods, and your phone or another device.
When the AirPods are not paired to the device correctly, this results in unwanted noise in the output signal, which can be very annoying especially if it continues to happen.
AirPods are connected to a device with Bluetooth pairing.
While this connectivity is generally very reliable, there is a chance that it could be faulty, which would cause the audio to sound crackly or unclear.
Due to AirPods being an Apple product, they naturally work best with other Apple devices, like iPads, iPhones, or iPod Touch. However, they can also be used with Android or other operating systems, with more limited functionality.
- To get to the bottom of why your AirPods are producing a crackling noise, you need to figure out whether the actual speaker of the earbud is damaged.
If only one of your AirPods is producing crackling, this may signify that the problem lies with the components in that AirPod.
If the crackling sound is coming through both AirPods, then it’s more likely to be caused by a connection issue.
You may therefore need to unpair the AirPods with your phone, tablet, or computer, and re-establish the pairing to solve this issue.
You can find simple instructions on how to reset the connection between your AirPods and your device later in this guide.
Why Do AirPods Keep Cutting Out?
As I’ve explained earlier in this guide, AirPods use Bluetooth connectivity to pair with another device. This is what makes their wireless design and operation possible.
If your AirPods keep cutting out, it is likely due to one of two reasons.
The first is that the Bluetooth signal is being interrupted, which may be due to you exceeding the maximum operating distance between the AirPods and the other device.
1st generation AirPods include a W1 chip, which is joined by Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Their maximum operating range is 180ft, but ideally, they should be used within 120ft of the device.
The more recently released AirPods Pro includes a newly updated H1 chip, which offers various benefits compared to the previous W1 chip. They also use Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, rather than the earlier 4.0.
This results in the operating range of AirPods Pro being up to 800ft, which is considerably further than the first generation.
If you are using your AirPods at a distance that exceeds the maximum operating range, this is likely to result in them cutting out frequently when the Bluetooth connection is interrupted.
How to Reset Your AirPods
The charging case that comes with all of Apple’s AirPods, barring the over-ear AirPods Max, is essential to their operation. This case is used not only to charge the AirPods, but also to reset them, or to pair them with a new device.
Static noise coming from your AirPods indicated that there could be a problem with the connection between them and a device.
Using the charging case, you can unpair your AirPods from your phone, tablet, or another device, then re-establish the connection. To do this on an Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad, follow these instructions:
- Place your AirPods inside their charging case
- Close the lid
- Allow 30 seconds to pass
- Open the charging case lid
- Open the settings menu on your Apple device
- Open the Bluetooth tab
- Locate the Airpods in the menu of paired devices
- Click the (i) icon next to the AirPods
- Tap “Forget this device”
- Tap one more time to confirm
- Keeping the lid open, hold down the button on the rear of the case
- Press the button for around 15 seconds until the light turns white
- Reconnect your AirPods to the device
If you follow the above steps, hopefully, that will rectify any issues that your AirPods had when connecting to your phone, tablet, or computer.
Here’s a helpful YouTube video that shows you how to complete this step.
On Android or other devices, the process will be similar. You simply need to forget the AirPods and reconnect them using the same instructions regarding the charging case.
You can then test the audio in your AirPods once they have been re-connected to the device.
If the static has disappeared, you know that it was caused by a faulty connection between the AirPods and the device.
If the static remains after following these steps, then this means that the problem is probably more serious. AirPods are often sold with a warranty, so check whether yours are still under warranty for repair by Apple.
Apple is generally very good at fixing faulty products that are under warranty, or in some cases, they may simply replace them.
Either way, it’s a good idea to get them looked at by a professional rather than trying to tamper with the components yourself, as this may invalidate the warranty and cause further damage.
Hopefully, the tips in this guide will help you solve the issue of having static in your AirPods so that you can get back to enjoying clear sound quality when listening to music or making phone calls.
Why do my AirPods make a rattling sound?
If your AirPods are making a rattling sound, you should try using them with a different app on your phone or tablet. Apple states that these sounds can sometimes be due to a bug in a certain application, rather than a fault with the AirPods.
Why is my AirPods hissing?
Hissing and high-pitched sounds coming from your AirPods are likely to be a result of dirt buildup on the microphone. This can easily be solved by cleaning the small microphone grilled with a soft brush, gently.
How do you install new firmware on AirPods?
Apple has designed AirPods so that firmware is automatically updated when they are in their charging case, connected to a power source, and connected to an iOS device.
Can Reset AirPods Be Tracked?
I have written a separate article on this subject. You can read it here.