Anyone with AirPods Pro will want the just-released firmware update for these in-ear headphones. The same update is also available for AirPods Max. This is a much-anticipated upgrade adding support for the Find My application, making the headphones much easier to locate.
The AirPods update process is indirect, but we can steer you through it.
AirPods firmware update enables Find My tracking
AirPods aren’t a “set it and forget it” product. Apple periodically releases firmware updates. Generally, we don’t know what’s changed because Apple doesn’t make release notes available for this type of update. And the company didn’t bother to announce this one either, but it’s such a big deal it wasn’t hard to figure out what’s new in version 4A400.
The AirPods firmware update enables the previously promised Find My network capability. This allows users to open the Find My app and use Bluetooth to locate missing AirPods with near/far notifications. And iPhones can alert the user if an AirPod is left behind.
But all these features are only coming to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. The original AirPods and AirPods 2 do not get all of these capabilities, though AirPods 2 did get a firmware update Tuesday as well.
How to update AirPods Pro to 4A400
AirPods updates happen on the down-low. You can’t tell them to update. And Apple’s wireless earbuds don’t make it easy for you to know if a new firmware version has been installed.
The best you can do to request an update is put your AirPods Pro in their case, with the case getting power. And the iPhone that they are paired with needs to be close by. Then wait.
Realistically, this is a problem only for people who get antsy about controlling firmware updates, and who want the latest as soon as they can get it. For everyone else, just keep using your AirPods. The update will happen without you having to do a thing.
Find out if new AirPods Pro firmware is installed
You can find out if/when this new AirPods firmware has been installed only by digging around in the Settings app. To do this, you need an active connection to the headphones, so open the lid of the charging case. Or put the earbuds on. Whichever you prefer.
Go to Settings > General > About, and tap on AirPods Pro or AirPods. If Firmware Version says 4A400, you’re golden.
This is the same process you’d go through to check the firmware on your original AirPods.
Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article first published on November 14, 2019, and updated periodically since then with successive new AirPods firmware versions.