Apple has updated the firmware in the second-and third-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max to version 4C165. Previous firmware updates have both resolved and caused problems. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t publish release notes for AirPod firmware, so there’s no way to know what it might do. The update should roll in automatically, but try these steps if you want to encourage it to install sooner.
First, check to see if you need the firmware update. Make sure your AirPods are in their case and connected to your iPhone. Then go to Settings > General > About > AirPods, where you can see your firmware version. If it reads 4C165, your AirPods have already been updated.
(If the AirPods menu item doesn’t appear, open the AirPods charging case, wait until the charge status alert appears at the bottom of the screen, and then check again. If you still don’t see the AirPods menu item in the Settings app, try selecting them in the Control Center media controls. If all else fails, make sure they’re connected in Settings > Bluetooth.)
Once you’re certain your AirPods are connected, you can close the case and put it in your pocket or keep it near your iPhone. There’s nothing more to do except wait. I wasn’t paying close attention to when mine finally updated, but within 20 minutes, the Settings app was showing the new firmware version.
Let us know in the comments if firmware version 4C165 fixes or causes any problems with your AirPods.