Russian roulette with Airpod Pro Firmware, thoughts and Woes

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Hardware & Accessories

Firmware with Apple seems to be like playing Russian Roulette with your product. From all the posts I read, some have ruined noise cancelation, some have made it better. Apple gives no guidance in this area because you can't refuse the updates, and they won't tell you what's in them. If I hadn't gotten a YouTube notification that the Airpods Pro and 2nd gen had just been updated, I would not have known. Since this latest update I have noticed a definite change in the sound while on phone calls and FaceTime Audio. I haven't tried with any other services, but Voiceover to my ear appears to lose much of its bass frequencies when on a call. Calls are clear, but again the lower frequencies seem to have been Equalized out somehow. This could be in my head. I do not consider this to be an improvement though. It feels harsh to my ear. Just wondering if anyone else can confirm or deny my perceptions, or has any tips about protecting yourself or downgrading from Apple's firmware?

New Features:
This update without any fanfare has apparently added spacial audio, which equates to virtual surround, so don't think I would go backwards if I could. It would be great if there was an easy way to test this feature and compare the difference.

The two features I would like to see in future airpods, which I never expect to see by the way, are multiple device pairing, and ability to mute the microphone from the Airpod. Although I did read something about auto switching between devices. Not sure how that works.
Please share your comments here about firmware changes to Airpods.

Reginald George CATIS
Assistive Technology Specialist, Washington Services for the Blind
reggeorge@gmail.com

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Comments

Submitted by Remy on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

It seems my airpods pro updated to the latest firmware and, at least while listening to music and using voiceover normally, I haven't noticed any degredation. I am however very disappointed that my iPad PRO 9.7 inch appears to be incompatible with spacial audio, a feature I was really looking forward to. I never imagined the pro which I only got a few years ago would be limited so quickly. My iPhone XR supports it, but having the surround experience while watching something on a larger screen is something I was very excited about.