Tech

AirPod Buzzing in One Ear: Causes and Solutions

The rapid advancement of technology has brought us remarkable products, and among the most iconic are Apple’s AirPods. These wireless earbuds have revolutionized the way we experience audio, offering unparalleled convenience and quality. However, like any technology, AirPods are not without their quirks and issues. One of the most common problems users encounter is the frustrating phenomenon of “AirPod buzzing in one ear.”

If you’ve experienced this issue, you’re not alone. Many AirPod users have reported hearing a buzzing or static noise in one ear, seemingly for no apparent reason. The purpose of this comprehensive guide is to explore the various causes of this problem and provide you with effective solutions to resolve it. We will delve into the intricacies of this issue, from manufacturer defects to Bluetooth interference, outdated software, and even potential hardware damage.

Reasons for AirPods Buzzing in One Ear

Manufacturer Defect

Some of the AirPods Pro manufactured and released before October 2020 are defective. Users experienced hearing static noises on PC, Mac, iPhone, or any other device whenever they used these damaged earbuds in loud environments. This issue caused Apple to do a massive AirPods Pro recall, as the defect was acknowledged by the company.

If you were one of the unfortunate users who purchased AirPods Pro before the October 2020 cutoff, there’s a significant chance that the crackling noise is a result of this internal component issue. The primary focus of this recall was on the “Active Noise Cancellation” feature. In cases where your AirPods fit the criteria for replacement, Apple’s authorized service providers will replace the earbuds without hassle. The charging case, however, remains unaffected as the issue is predominantly related to the earbuds.

Bluetooth Interference

Bluetooth is the technology that enables devices like AirPods to connect to other devices wirelessly. However, this same technology that brings convenience can also be the reason behind your AirPods making static noise in one ear. Bluetooth operates on a frequency of 2.4GHz, the same frequency used by many household devices, including phones, Wi-Fi routers, and even microwave ovens.

When you use your AirPods in close proximity to devices that operate on the same frequency, they can interfere with each other’s signals. As a result, your AirPods become susceptible to static. This interference can also occur when you’re using your wireless AirPods away from your phone. The distance between the earbuds and the phone can weaken the Bluetooth connection, causing your AirPods to produce static noise in one ear.

To mitigate this interference, there are several steps you can take:

Turn Off Other Bluetooth Accessories: If you have other Bluetooth devices paired with your smartphone, turning them off can remove signal interference. These devices will not be able to interfere with the Bluetooth signal from your AirPods if they are turned off.

Stay Within the Bluetooth Range: Bluetooth signals typically reach 33 feet before they start showing signs of a poor connection. To ensure that your AirPods do not crackle as you use them, keep your smartphone as close to you as possible.

Re-pair Your AirPods to Your Phone: Unpairing and re-pairing Bluetooth devices is an old yet effective trick. Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1. Go to “Settings.”
  • Step 2. Navigate to “Bluetooth.”
  • Step 3. Look for your AirPods under the “My Devices.”
  • Step 4. Tap the “Information” icon (“i”) beside your AirPods’ name.
  • Step 5. Hit “Forget this Device.”
  • Step 6. Repair your AirPods with your iPhone.

Outdated Software

airpod buzzing in one ear

iPhone software issues can also cause crackling noises on your AirPods. If your AirPods are connected to an iPhone with outdated software, there may be bugs that contribute to the noise issue. In more serious cases, outdated software can even result in compatibility issues and signal interference, further worsening your wireless earbuds’ audio problems.

To address this problem, consider updating your iPhone’s software. Your AirPods will automatically update their firmware. Here are the steps to update your iPhone’s software:

  • Navigate to “Settings > General > Software Update.”
  • Tap the available software update.
  • Hit “Install Now” or “Download.”

If your iPhone displays “Download” instead of “Install Now,” tap it to get the update, input your password, and tap “Install Now.”

Damaged Speaker

While AirPods are undeniably sturdy, they may still experience hardware damage. One reason why one of your AirPods sounds static is a damaged speaker. This issue likely occurs if you have been using your AirPods for a long time or if they’ve been crushed by something heavy.

Despite the durability of AirPods, years of use can cause them to slowly degrade. As a result, they may start sounding too quiet, muffled, or static. If you suspect this is the issue, it’s important to address it.

How to Fix AirPods Static Noise in One Ear

Bring Your AirPods to an Authorized Service Provider

The most reliable way to address AirPods Pro producing static noise in one ear is to bring them to an authorized Apple dealer or contact Apple Support. However, please note that this solution is only applicable to AirPods Pro bought before October 2020.

The authorized service provider will initially examine your AirPods Pro to determine if they qualify for their replacement service. If your wireless earbuds fall under the criteria for replacement, they will be replaced without any hassle. Importantly, only the earbuds will be replaced, and you will keep your old charging case. This is because the static noise issue is primarily related to the earbuds and has nothing to do with the charging case.

Get Rid of Bluetooth Interference

Eliminating Bluetooth interferences is crucial to fix AirPods making static noise. Here are the three methods to minimize interference and strengthen the Bluetooth connection between your AirPods and your smartphone:

Turn Off Other Bluetooth Accessories: If you have other Bluetooth devices paired with your smartphone, turning them off can help eliminate signal interference. With these devices turned off, they won’t compete for the Bluetooth signal with your AirPods.

Stay Within the Bluetooth Range: Bluetooth signals are typically effective up to 33 feet, after which they may exhibit signs of a poor connection. To ensure that your AirPods maintain a stable connection, keep your smartphone as close to you as possible.

Re-pair Your AirPods to Your Phone: Unpairing and re-pairing Bluetooth devices can be an effective method to eliminate noise issues. Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1. Go to “Settings.”
  • Step 2. Navigate to “Bluetooth.”
  • Step 3. Find your AirPods under the “My Devices” section.
  • Step 4. Tap the “Information” icon (“i”) next to your AirPods’ name.
  • Step 5. Choose “Forget this Device.”
  • Step 6. Reconnect your AirPods with your iPhone.

Restart Your AirPods & iPhone

Staticy AirPods can also be fixed with a simple device restart. Follow these steps to restart both your AirPods and your iPhone:

Restart Your AirPods

  • Place the AirPods inside the charging case.
  • Open the lid.
  • Press and hold the Setup button behind the charging case for 15 seconds.
  • Reconnect your AirPods with your iPhone.

Restart Your iPhone

Below are the steps to restart your iPhone:

  • For iPhone X & Later Models: Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons until the “Power Off Slider” appears. Drag the slider to the right and wait a few minutes before turning your iPhone back on. Long-press the Power button until the Apple logo appears.
  • For iPhone 6, 7, 8, or SE: Press and hold the Power button until the “Power Off Slider” shows. Wait for a few minutes before turning your iPhone back on. Long-press the Power button until the Apple logo appears.

This solution can also be applied when your AirPods are connected but have no sound.

Update Your Software

Outdated software and firmware can have bugs that cause your AirPods to create crackling noises. You can get rid of these bugs by updating your phone’s software and AirPods’ firmware.

Fortunately, AirPods automatically update their firmware, so you only need to take care of your iPhone’s software. Here’s how to update your iPhone’s software:

  • Navigate to “Settings > General > Software Update.”
  • Tap the available software update.
  • Hit “Install Now” or “Download.”

If your iPhone displays “Download” instead of “Install Now,” tap it to get the update, input your password, and tap “Install Now.”

Keeping your software up to date is essential for addressing compatibility issues and bugs that may lead to static noise in your AirPods.

Consider Getting New AirPods

If you have tried all the solutions mentioned above but to no avail, the only thing left for you to do is to consider purchasing a new set of AirPods. AirPods typically last for 2 to 3 years before their quality begins to degrade.

Unfortunately, this quality degradation is inevitable, no matter how well you take care of your AirPods. When buying a new pair of AirPods, make sure to get them from a reputable dealer to ensure they are original and free from defects.

Can Dirt Buildup Cause Static Noise on AirPods?

It’s important to address another concern many AirPods users have: can dirt buildup cause static noise on AirPods? The short answer is no. Dirt and debris can cause issues with your wireless earbuds, such as reduced volume, a glitchy microphone, or problems with the noise cancellation feature. However, it is unlikely for dirt to cause static noise in AirPods.

Static noise in one ear usually occurs due to software, firmware, hardware, and connection issues, as we discussed earlier. Dirt and debris can do no more than clog your earbuds, and they will not interfere with signals.

How Long Do AirPods Last?

AirPods typically last for 2 to 3 years before you need to consider replacing them. The primary reason for this limited lifespan is the earbuds’ batteries, which are lithium-ion. Over time, these batteries degrade due to consistent usage and charging.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your AirPods. Avoiding draining and overcharging your AirPods can significantly prolong their life. Additionally, keeping them away from moisture and extreme temperatures can also help ensure a longer lifespan.

Can Static Noise Damage Headphones?

It’s a common concern: can static noise damage headphones? The answer is no, static noise itself will not physically damage headphones, as they may naturally produce it sometimes. However, persistent crackling noises made by your headphones can be an indicator of underlying physical damage.

If left unaddressed, this damage can worsen and eventually ruin your device. For this reason, it’s essential not to overlook crackling noises made by your headphones. First, check their Bluetooth connectivity. If there’s no connectivity issue, look for physical damage, as it may be distorting your headphones’ sound.

Conclusion

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the reasons why AirPods might produce static noise in one ear and provided you with practical solutions to address this issue. From manufacturer defects to Bluetooth interference, outdated software, and potential hardware damage, we’ve covered it all. Remember, the key to maintaining your AirPods’ audio quality lies in troubleshooting and addressing these issues promptly.

Whether you choose to take advantage of Apple’s replacement service, optimize your Bluetooth settings, update your software, or consider investing in new AirPods, this article has armed you with the knowledge to ensure your audio experience remains pristine.

If you’ve been frustrated by the phenomenon of AirPod buzzing in one ear, rest assured that solutions are within reach. Take the steps outlined here, and your AirPods will be back to delivering the exceptional audio quality you’ve come to expect from Apple’s iconic product.

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