Today, Apple released a fresh batch of firmware updates for its range of AirPods, including AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. The AirPods firmware updates are automatically delivered to your headphones when they are in close proximity to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and are charging. This update is then transmitted via Wi-Fi to the AirPods, without the need for any manual intervention.
If you don’t have an Apple device, updating the firmware on your AirPods can be a challenge. Although the headphones receive firmware updates over-the-air, without an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, there’s no way to install them.
For those using AirPods without an Apple device, Apple has recently added a rescue option in its support document for AirPods firmware updates.
Apple recommends that users without an Apple device nearby should visit an Apple Store and ask for assistance to update their AirPods firmware. Apple Store employees can use an iPhone, iPad, or other Apple devices to update the firmware for customers.
This guidance appears to be aimed at individuals who are utilizing AirPods with non-Apple devices like Windows or Android, but it could also be useful for Apple users whose AirPods are not updating to the latest firmware version. Although it’s doubtful that there are many users in this category, it’s apparent that the number is significant enough for Apple to include this information in their updated support document.
While it may be inconvenient to visit a physical Apple retail location just to update firmware, it’s likely that the majority of AirPods owners have access to an Apple device. On the other hand, Android and PC users are out of luck when it comes to installing firmware updates since there is no AirPods management app available for those platforms. However, Apple does offer a Beats app for Android devices which does allow for firmware updates.
Apple has also made a clarification in the updated support document, stating that the firmware updates are automatically installed while the AirPods are charging and in proximity to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac connected to Wi-Fi.
The AirPods firmware update process can frustrate users, as it does not allow for manual installation or forced updates. Additionally, Apple does not provide comprehensive release notes for firmware updates.
The new firmware 5E133 is now available for all AirPods models, including AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. This update brings bug fixes and various improvements to enhance the performance of wireless earbuds.
How to update your AirPods:
Alternatively, you can also check your AirPods firmware version by following these steps (assuming you have an Apple device):
- Open the Settings app on your Apple device.
- Tap on “Bluetooth.”
- Find your AirPods in the list of connected devices and tap on the “i” button next to them.
- Scroll down to the “Firmware Version” section.
- The number listed here is your AirPods firmware version, tap on it and install it.