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Apple Silently Updates AirPods Firmware to 3.5.1

Apple has silently updated the AirPods firmware from version 3.3.1 to 3.5.1. We’re not sure what changed, but an Apple source told AppleInsider that it features minor bug fixes.

First, check to see if you need the firmware update. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone and go to Settings > General > About > AirPods. If the AirPods item doesn’t appear, open the AirPods charging case until the charge status alert appears at the bottom of the screen and then check again. Under Settings > General > About > AirPods, your firmware version should be listed. If you still don’t see the AirPods item, make sure they’re connected in Settings > Bluetooth.

If the firmware is old, plug a Lightning cable connected to a power source into the AirPods charging case to charge them while they’re connected to the iPhone. Wait a few minutes, and then check the firmware version again — the update should happen automatically.

Unfortunately, the firmware update has done nothing to fix the VoIP issues Julio Ojeda-Zapata and I experienced during testing, including the awful jackhammer noise when trying to use the AirPods for a Slack call in iOS (see “Apple’s Wireless AirPods Were Worth the Wait,” 20 December 2016).


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Comments about Apple Silently Updates AirPods Firmware to 3.5.1

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Chris Pepper  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-02-01 13:00
I see 3.5.1 on mine, which is good. I wonder if this will fix the issue where on most (all?) phone (not VoIP) calls, the AirPods disconnect shortly after the beginning of the call. I reconnect and they work correctly. Listening to podcasts is fine, so it might be different codecs or using the microphones. I was going to try to exchange mine, but perhaps they are fixed!
David Redfearn  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2017-02-01 18:25
Settings->General->About->AirPods doesn't show anything. About shows only my iPhone. I get the battery popup and the airPods work fine - but I can't see the Firmware information.


Edit: I had to go into Settings Bluetooth which show the airPods as disconnected. Opening the case and taping the airPod menu changed that to Connected and then Settings->About shows the airPods. I am at 3.5.1, but I just got them yesterday, so maybe they came that way.