AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max get new beta firmware


Deal alert: This is the best price we've ever seen for AirPods Max.
There's a new beta firmware you can try for your AirPods
Photo: Akhil Yerabati/Unsplash CC

Apple is rolling out a new beta firmware for the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and the AirPods Max with improvements to Automatic Switching.

The firmware carries the build number 5A5282d and version number 5.0.

New AirPods beta firmware

Apart from enhancements to Automatic Switching, the beta firmware contains bug fixes and stability improvements. Apple does not explicitly specify how the firmware improves Automatic Switching, though.

The latest beta build is available for the second- and third-gen AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. This is the first time Apple has seeded a beta firmware for the regular AirPods and the premium over-the-ear headphones. Previous beta builds were only available for AirPods Pro.

The first-gen AirPods are not supported, presumably because they have reached their end of life in terms of software support.

Apple seeded the first beta firmware for the AirPods in July 2021. Since then, it has rolled out a couple of new builds to developers prior to public releases.

iOS 16 will introduce a new Personalized Spatial Audio feature for AirPods. You will be able to use your iPhone’s TrueDepth camera system to create your own customized Spatial Audio profile.

How to install the AirPods beta firmware

You can follow our guide on how to get the latest beta firmware on your AirPods. To get the new AirPods beta firmware, you’ll also need to join the Apple Developer Program, which costs $99 a year. Additionally, Apple says you must have a Mac running macOS Ventura, an iPhone with iOS 16 and Xcode 14 beta.

Note: The beta firmware can take up to 24 hours to install on your AirPods once you follow the installation instructions. Your AirPods will remain on the beta channel and receive all future beta releases over the air. Once Apple releases a stable update, your AirPods will automatically switch to that.

If ypu’re not interested in the beta, here’s how to check your AirPods firmware version, and force an update if they’re not running the latest software.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.