Why Are AirPods / AirPods Pro Buzzing? (Easy Solution!)

Author: James Potts | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

AirPods, and their high-end counterpart, AirPods Pro, are great pieces of tech that have proved themselves to be more than just a fashion statement. They boast incredible sound quality, and tremendous ease of use (especially with an iPhone), and come readily equipped with features like Active Noise Cancellation to improve the user experience.

But they’re not always perfect, and certain issues can arise that reduce their appeal. We’ve already covered what to do if you hear a static sound when you use your AirPods, what to do if your AirPods sound muffled, and solutions for if your AirPods keep pausing.

Now let’s take a look at the causes and cures for a buzzing sound coming from your AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Why Your AirPods are Buzzing & How to Fix Them

Trying to figure out the root cause of an issue like this can be a longwinded and overwhelming feat, so to save you the hassle, I’ve compiled a list of the most likely reasons for this buzzing sound to be affecting your listening experience on your AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Software/Firmware Update

Before trying anything else listed in this article, the first thing you should do is check to see if there are any available updates for iOS.

These software updates will include firmware updates for your AirPods too, and if the buzzing noise is caused by some kind of bug or error in the code, it may have already been patched and just need installing.

Do this first to rule it out – it could save you a lot of time!

Dirty Speakers

First off, take a good look at your AirPods. Are they dirty? Even slightly?

If yes, then you may have found the cause of your buzzing issues. A buildup of dirt and debris in and around your AirPods speakers can cause tiny vibrations within the soundwaves that disrupt them and sound like an annoying buzzing.

This is most often the cause of buzzing or rattling sounds when using headphones!

How to Fix it

This is an easy one – clean them! But don’t rush in there with a scrubbing brush and cleaning spray. AirPods are durable, not indestructible! You don’t want to cause any unnecessary damage by being careless or using the wrong tools.

You’ll need a lint-free, microfiber cloth, isopropyl alcohol, some toothpicks, and some cotton swabs.

  • Use a dry swab to remove earwax and dirt from the AirPods. Focus on the mesh speakers, as this is where debris will affect the sound the most.
  • Dampen a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and dab the mesh grilles to remove any remaining debris.
  • Remove the silicone tip from AirPods Pro and wipe thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol to remove wax.
  • Carefully use a toothpick to remove any stubborn grime from edges, corners, and grilles.
  • Let your AirPods dry completely before returning them to their case.

Bluetooth Connection

The second most common reason behind skips/pauses in audio playback, and crackling or buzzing, is your Bluetooth connection.

The Bluetooth connection between your device and your AirPods is the only way they can communicate with each other, and the 2.4 GHz frequency on which Bluetooth operates can get very crowded, very quickly.

If you notice this buzzing sound is prevalent when you’re in a busy place with lots of people using wireless devices, and lots of WiFi connections around, your Bluetooth connection is likely to suffer.

Sometimes, the Bluetooth connection is not established properly from the start, and you may suffer from a lack of responsiveness as well as audio issues.

How to Fix it

The first thing you can try in this instance is to simply toggle your device’s Bluetooth off and on again, to force your AirPods to reconnect with your device. Nine times out of ten, this will solve any audio and responsiveness issues.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to reset your AirPods and re-pair them with your device. Let’s take a look at the steps for doing that.

Reset your AirPods

  • Put your AirPods in the charging case and close the lid
  • Wait for approx. 30 seconds
  • Open the lid
  • On your device, open Settings > Bluetooth
  • Select the Information (i) next to your AirPods
  • Tap Forget This Device and confirm
  • Keep the lid of the charging case open and hold the Setup button on the back of the case for approx. 15 seconds
  • The status light on the case will flash amber then white

Re-Pair your AirPods

  • Place your AirPods in the charging case and keep the lid open
  • Move the case close to your device
  • A dialogue box will appear on the screen and prompt you to pair your AirPods with your device
  • Follow the steps and test your AirPods

Defective AirPods Pro

There is a chance that you may have a pair of defective AirPods Pros. Apple has acknowledged that a small percentage of AirPods Pros manufactured before October 2020 may experience a crackling sound during audio playback.

While this issue actually refers to a crackling sound, as definitions are open to interpretation it is hard to say if what you’re experiencing is crackling or buzzing, and what Apple would categorize it as.

If you’ve got this buzzing issue on AirPods Pro, and they were made before October 2020, it’s definitely worth checking out Apple’s AirPods Pro Service Program to see if you can get a repair or replacement.

One AirPod Buzzing?

Some users have reported experiencing a buzzing sound in just one AirPod. While this may be remedied with the fixes listed above, it’s more likely that this is due to a problem with noise cancellation.

How to Fix it

  • Open Settings > Accessibility
  • Select your AirPods and open Audio Accessibility Options
  • Find Background Sounds and toggle them on
  • Set the background sound to Rain and set the volume slider to zero

This should activate a specific noise cancellation program that will equalize any imbalances between your AirPods.

Final Thoughts

As always with AirPods, there is no single definite answer to the problem! But there does seem to be a most likely cause, and that is outdated firmware. It’s so important to run software updates when you can so you don’t have to suffer with these frustrating issues.

And if it’s not a software issue, you can solve a lot of audio quality problems by keeping on top of your cleaning. Clean AirPods are good-sounding AirPods!

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About James Potts

James is an amateur guitarist and home-recording enthusiast. He loves all things music related - writing songs, playing in a band, and finding the best ways to listen to it. It all interests him, from the history of acoustic guitars, to the latest Bluetooth headphones, to his (ever-growing) collection of vinyl records.

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