How to get the latest AirPods Pro firmware update

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How to get the latest AirPods Pro firmware update
There’s a firmware update out for AirPods Pro and AirPods 2. Here’s how to get it.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Anyone with AirPods Pro will want the just-released firmware update for these in-ear headphones. The same update is also available for the AirPods 2. Exactly what it offers isn’t clear, but there’s hope it makes changes to automatic audio switching.

The AirPods update process is indirect, but we can steer you through it.

Spatial Audio brings better 3D sound

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. This latest iteration, version 3E751, is no exception.

But some users are looking for changes in the automatic audio switching feature that debuted in the 3A283 AirPods Pro and AirPods 2 firmware update released in September 2020. It allows the wireless earbuds to connect automatically to the device being used at the time, rather than the user having to manually switch from iPhone to iPad to Mac. But the feature shows up regularly in Apple’s support forums.

There’s no firmware update for the original AirPods out on Wednesday.

How to update AirPods Pro/AirPods 2 to 3E751

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 or AirPods 2 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/AirPods 2 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 these 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 3E751, 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 November 14, 2019.