AirPods aren’t cheap because almost nothing with the Apple name behind it is. So when you get your brand-new pair of AirPods, you want them to work well for you, without a hitch.
Bluetooth is getting better and better as each new, successive upgrade comes out.
However, it is still a notorious communication protocol when it comes to interference. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth both share the problem, but Bluetooth probably takes the lead on interference issues.
How to Eliminate Cracking, Static, Buzzing, or Cracking Sounds on Apple AirPods
There are a lot of different things that you can do to try and tweak different aspects of your device (assuming it’s an iPhone/iPad), your earbuds, connection, and settings.
Sometimes, the issues may be nothing more than the necessity of having both your earbuds and your Apple device up to date.
Then there was the known problem with the Apple AirPods Pro, which had issues directly related to the Active Noise Cancelling feature.
You can find the service program for that issue here.
According to Apple’s Service Bulletin, and this only applies to the Apple AirPods Pro, you can do one of three things:
- Make an appointment at a physical, Apple Retail Store (often difficult to find).
- Contact Customer Support via Apple Support.
- Locate and use an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
The reason that you have to acquire Apple service through one of these three venues is because there is nothing that you can do from your end.
The Apple AirPods Pro will have to go to a certified technician for repair.
Active Noise Cancellation or Apple’s Transparency Mode
Sometimes, one or both of these two are known for causing the problem, and you can eliminate the background noise by turning these features off.
- Make sure that your Apple AirPods are connected to your Apple device.
- Locate your Control Panel (swipe down from the upper left or up from the bottom on older iPhones).
- Select and hold the volume control bar.
- Select “Noise Control” when it appears.
- Select the “Off” button in the center.
Sometimes, this is enough to solve the problem, even though this means that you cannot use the “Noise Control” feature while you have your Apple AirPods in.
Place the AirPods Back in Their Case
This is essentially a soft reset for your Apple AirPods, and it’s generally the first thing that you should try and do, especially if you’re experiencing this for the first time.
Let them sit in the case for about five minutes, and you can charge them while you wait if you want.
When you pull them back out, they should automatically pair with your Apple device again, assuming that you paired them to it already, and you can give them a try.
If the static sound is still crackling in the background, move on to the next potential fix.
Locate and Eliminate Potential Interference
As we discussed briefly above, Bluetooth is often vulnerable to interference, especially if it has to travel through multiple objects to travel from your Apple device to your AirPods.
Make sure that you keep your iPhone or other Apple Device on you or as close to your AirPods as possible while listening.
Sometimes, fixing the connection or interference amounts to turning off the Bluetooth feature on your Apple device and then turning it back on.
It works when you do it for Wi-Fi because both technologies are sort of hand-in-hand when it comes to similar problems.
Bluetooth also interferes with Bluetooth, so the number of Bluetooth devices that you have in the room with you can be seriously detrimental.
This is especially true if you have a smart home setup that is primarily using Bluetooth communication protocols.
One of the best things that you can do is either remove yourself from the area or start turning off all of your other Bluetooth devices until the interference stops.
Reset Your Apple AirPods
Going with this method means that you will have to go through the setup process as far as pairing the Apple AirPods with your Apple device once again.
But if the crackling and popping sounds of static will not go away, it’s worth a shot no matter what.
- Press and hold the setup button on your Apple AirPods case for 15 seconds.
- Wait for the LED to flash white, followed by amber, and then flash white again.
- Remove the AirPods from the case.
- Pair them with your Apple device again.
Once you have them paired up again, the problem should go away, if it was a simple matter of doing a hard reset on the earbuds.
If not, the next thing that you need to check for is whether your Apple device is updated.
Updating Your Apple Device
You don’t have to worry much about keeping your Apple AirPods updated as they will automatically update so long as they are connected to your primary Apple Device.
When it comes to iPhones, iPads, Macs, MacBooks, and everything else Apple, updates can either be manual or automatic.
- On your Apple device, go to the Settings app.
- Select “General”.
- Select “Software Update”.
- Your device will automatically detect if there is an available update.
- Update your Apple device.
- Reconnect your Apple AirPods, so they will update as well.
For your AirPods to function to the best of their capability, all of your devices need to run on the latest software available for them.
All Things Considered
By far, the most common fixes for Apple AirPods that are giving you a lot of static, buzzing, or cracking noises, involve dealing with the Bluetooth aspect of the connection between the AirPods and your device.
Aside from the hiatus created when the Apple AirPods Pro came out, immediately defective with the cracking and buzzing noises in the background, it’s usually a quick fix to get your AirPods back in order.
Worse case scenario means giving Apple a call, however, the problem should be fixed by one of the methods above.
I’ve been working with technology in one way or the other all my life. After graduating from university, I worked as a sales consultant for Verizon for a few years. Now I am a technical support engineer by day and write articles on my own blog here in my spare time to help others if they have any issues with their devices.