9 Ways to Improve Your AirPods Pro Sound Quality

Apple’s AirPods Pro earbuds have been well-received since their release. Most would say that they’re worthy competitors to other wireless headphones at similar prices. However, some AirPods Pro users have reported disappointing bass, weak noise cancellation, or overall poor sound quality while using them.

That’s why we’re here to show you how to improve the sound of your AirPods Pro, so you can get the most out of your earbuds. We’ll look at the best ways to boost the bass, edit the EQ, and improve the noise cancellation of AirPods Pro.

As a bonus, some of these tips work for regular AirPods as well.

1. Update Your AirPods

The first way to improve the sound on your AirPods Pro is to make sure they’re updated. Apple releases firmware updates for the AirPods on occasion to tweak their equalizer and improve their sound quality. You might never have noticed this, as the AirPods are set up to update automatically in the background.

However, you can also set up your AirPods to check for and install these firmware updates manually. Here’s how to update your AirPods Pro firmware:

  1. Make sure your AirPods Pro are in their charging case.
  2. Plug in or wirelessly charge the case.
  3. Make sure your iPhone is connected to the internet.
  4. Keep your AirPods Pro within close range or connected to your iPhone.

Your AirPods Pro will update automatically. Depending on the update, their sound should improve.

2. Toggle the Noise Control Settings

Surprisingly, one of the best ways to improve the sound quality of your AirPods Pro may be to turn off Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This doesn’t necessarily mean you should turn on Transparency mode—you may want to keep all audio processing off for the best sound.

While this sounds counter-intuitive, as you’d think noise cancellation would improve the sound, that isn’t always true. The process of active noise cancellation (ANC) can actually reduce the audio quality, due to the intense sound processing going on behind the scenes.

Part of the reason for this is because Apple’s Adaptive EQ technology inside the AirPods Pro automatically adapts the EQ of these earbuds 200 times per second to provide the best noise cancellation experience. But all these minute changes can create a warbling or fluttering effect with high-end sounds if you listen while moving around.

At other times, ANC seems to improve the equalization of the AirPods Pro by boosting the bass. Apple has a habit of changing this all the time with new AirPods Pro firmware updates, so the best thing you can do is experiment with ANC, Transparency, and Off settings on your own AirPods.

Now that you know this, here’s how to toggle the Noise Control settings on your AirPods Pro:

  1. Open Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner on your iPhone. Or, if your iPhone has a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  2. Long-press the volume bar, which should show an AirPods Pro icon.
  3. Tap Noise Control and select one of the three options.

Alternatively, you can long-press the force sensor on your AirPods Pro (found on their stem) to switch between Noise Control modes, but you need to enable Off as an option first. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the i button next to your AirPods Pro.
  3. Under Press and Hold AirPods, tap Left and enable the Off option. Now repeat this step for the Right AirPod.

If you’re in doubt about which option sounds the best, the safest bet is usually to turn Noise Control off to eliminate any unnecessary processing of the sound.

3. Take the Ear Tip Fit Test

If your AirPods Pro still sound iffy, it could be a result of the included ear tips not sealing your ears well enough. Luckily, there’s a quick way to find out which size (small, medium, or large) is best for you.

Apple provides a software-based Ear Tip Fit Test on your devices. This lets you know which ear tip size best keeps sound from leaking in or out of your ears.

To find the Ear Tip Fit Test:

  1. Connect your AirPods Pro to your iPhone.
  2. Open Settings and select Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the i button next to your AirPods Pro.
  4. Scroll down to tap Ear Tip Fit Test, then follow the onscreen steps.
  5. If an Ear Tip doesn’t give a good seal, switch to a different size and try again. You may need to a different size on each ear.

During the test, you’ll hear some music playing. As we mentioned, this is all part of a test to see what produces the best sound. Hopefully, you’ll now have a good idea as to which ear tip size suits you the best.

4. Modify the EQ for Your AirPods Pro

Everyone’s ears, preferences, and levels of hearing loss are different. So what might sound great to someone else, could sound terrible to you. For this reason, Apple includes Headphone Accommodations that let you customize the equalizer (EQ) for your AirPods Pro.

These settings are particularly useful for anybody with substantial hearing loss, but they can also be great for anyone looking for a good way to boost the bass, the high end, or the mids of their AirPods Pro. You can even take a hearing test to perfectly match the AirPods Pro EQ to your hearing.

Here’s how to edit your AirPods EQ on an iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility.
  2. Scroll down and tap Audio/Visual.
  3. Tap Headphone Accommodations and enable the toggle at the top of the screen.
  4. Now, you can choose between three preset options that optimize the sound for Balanced Tone, Vocal Range, or Brightness.
  5. Alternatively, tap Custom Audio Setup to complete a short hearing test and customize your AirPods Pro EQ based on the results. After completing the test, choose Audiogram from the EQ options.

If you struggled to choose between the comparisons with Apple’s hearing test, you might want to install Mimi Hearing Test (Free) to run a more detailed hearing test instead. Then link it with your Health app and choose those Audiogram results from the Headphone Accommodation settings for perfectly customized EQ in your AirPods Pro.

5. Disable or Edit Spatial Audio

Apple’s Spatial Audio feature creates the effect of sounds coming from all around you: above, below, in front, and behind, as well as the classic left and right directions you get with stereo audio. Apple utilizes Dolby Atmos mixes in streaming apps to achieve this, but it can also the Spatialize Stereo feature to create the same 3D effect with stereo sources.

Unfortunately, though, not everything sounds better with Spatial Audio. Some songs feel more distant, lose their punch, or just get muddy when played back with Spatial Audio.

What’s more, Apple’s dynamic head tracking feature pans sounds when you turn your head so they always sound like they’re coming from your device screen. This is excellent when you’re watching a movie, but kind of terrible for listening to music—especially if your iPhone is in your pocked and you turn your head while walking around.

So, you may want to experiment with disabling both of these features—Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking—to improve the sound of your AirPods Pro.

To disable Spatial Audio:

  1. Open Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner on your iPhone. Or, if your iPhone has a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  2. Long-press the volume bar, which should show an AirPods Pro icon.
  3. Toggle the Spatial Audio or Spatialize Stereo button that appears in the bottom-right corner.
  4. To keep Spatial Audio but disable Dynamic Head Tracking, choose the Fixed option.

6. Modify the EQ for Your Music App

Depending on the music streaming service you use, you can adjust the equalizer settings to vastly improve sound quality of your AirPods Pro. Here’s how to do so with two of the most popular music streaming apps: Spotify and Apple Music.

To modify the equalizer in Spotify:

  1. Open Spotify.
  2. From the Home tab, tap the Settings icon.
  3. Select Playback > Equalizer.
  4. Test out the presets to see what sounds best to you, most people recommend Bass Booster for AirPods Pro users.
  5. Alternatively, you can adjust the EQ manually by dragging the sliders at the top of the screen.

To modify the EQ in Apple Music:

  1. Go to the Settings app on your phone.
  2. Scroll down to Music.
  3. Select EQ from the list.
  4. Choose the EQ setting you want. For example, pick Increase Bass if you want to boost the bass in your AirPods Pro.

After doing this, you should have been able to boost the bass in your AirPods Pro, or make whatever changes you needed to improve the sound quality—everyone’s ears and tastes are different after all.

7. Increase the Sound Quality

Did you know that you might not be getting the best music quality possible from your music streaming app? Thankfully, it’s easy to change these settings, depending on which service you use.

For now, we’ll only cover how to do this in Spotify and Apple Music, since those are the most popular music streaming apps. Keep in mind that there are streaming services like Tidal and Amazon Music HD that provide super hi-fi music for audiophiles, though.

Here’s how to improve audio quality in Spotify Premium:

  1. Open Spotify and tap the Settings icon.
  2. Choose Audio Quality.
  3. Select High or Very High for each type of streaming and downloading.

In Apple Music, choose your music quality by following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Music.
  2. Under Audio, tap Audio Quality.
  3. From the Mobile Data Streaming option, select High Quality. Note, you can also enable Lossless Audio, but this isn’t supported by AirPods Pro so it won’t affect the sound quality when listening through them.

After this setting change, your music should sound much clearer. However, you should note that this could have a negative impact on the amount of data Spotify uses, or Apple Music, for that matter. 160kbps (High quality) or 320kbps (Very high quality) is a big data difference compared to 96kbps (Normal quality). Consider changing this only when on Wi-Fi if you need to save data.

8. Charge Your AirPods

While this may seem obvious, we often forget that our earbuds are low on battery after listening to them for a long time. When any audio device is low on battery, the sound tends to deteriorate. Make sure your AirPods Pro are charged up if the sound quality is dicey.

Speaking of which, here’s a quick tip for wireless charging: you can simply tap your finger on the AirPods Pro case to check the battery status. If it shows amber, it’s still charging. If it shows green, it’s fully charged.

To more easily keep track of your AirPods Pro battery level in the future, you can add them the Battery widget to your Home Screen:

  1. Tap and hold in a blank space on the Home Screen.
  2. Tap the add (+) button in the corner.
  3. Scroll through the available widgets and select Battery.
  4. Choose the size widget you want to use, then tap Add Widget and position it on your Home Screen.
  5. Whenever your AirPods Pro are on, just view find that widget to check their battery level.

Now you can more easily keep track of the battery on your AirPods to avoid low-power situations and preserve their sound. Low battery could also be a reason the microphone isn’t working in your AirPods.

9. Buy Memory Foam Ear Tips

Apple’s silicone ear tips for the AirPods Pro work just fine. But if you’re looking for a better fit, or improved bass response, memory foam ear tips might be a good choice for you.

Memory foam, the material commonly used in mattresses, has a soft, fluffy build that adjusts to your ear and remembers its shape to provide maximum comfort. And while there are tons of memory foam ear tips for AirPods Pro that you can buy, we recommend these LICHIFIT memory foam ear tips.

Hopefully, swapping out for some foam ear tips will fix lackluster sound on your AirPods Pro.

Make Your AirPods Pro Sound Their Best

The methods we listed above should allow you to boost the bass or tweak the equalizer to improve the sound of your AirPods Pro. It’s always important to get the best sound out of your headphones, especially if you paid a pretty penny for them.

That’s not all you can do to make your experience better. If you’re a new AirPods Pro owner, make sure you learn all the best tips for using them.

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