Apple released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro back on December 16th. The firmware was updated from 2B588 to 2C54. Soon after the update was pushed by Apple, a number of users claimed the AirPods Pro update had adversely affected the earbuds’ noise cancelation feature. Apple has since pulled the 2C54 update.
The reports led users to ask tech review site RTINGS.com to reevaluate their previous testing of the AirPods Pro with the new firmware installed.
RTINGS has published its findings and it does confirm that the 2C54 firmware worsens the AirPods Pro active noise canceling feature (the publication incorrectly refers to the firmware as version 2C45, not 2C54):
Update 01/10/2020: After updating to Firmware 2C45, we retested the headphones and our results showed a fairly significant drop in isolation performance, primarily in the bass-range. This means that with ANC turned on, these headphones won’t do nearly as good a job blocking out the low engine rumbles of planes or buses as they did before this update. This review reflects these changes.
There were a few good things to come out of the firmware update though, as the 2C54 Firmware appears to improve performance in frequency response and bass accuracy.
Since Apple pulled the 2C54 firmware, it is likely working on a fix for the above issues. If you’d like to tell what firmware your AirPods Pro is using, go to: “Settings” -> “General” -> “About” -> “AirPods Pro.”