Apple’s successful AirPods Pro earbuds have been well-received so far. 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’ve gathered ways to improve the sound of your AirPods Pro so you can get the most out of your new earbuds. Let’s look at the best ways to improve sound quality on your buds. As a bonus, some of these tips work for the regular AirPods as well, if not for most other headphones.
1. Update Your AirPods
The first way to improve the sound on your AirPods Pro is to make sure they’re updated. Apple releases updates for the AirPods on occasion to improve their sound quality. You might never have noticed this, as the AirPods are set up to update automatically.
However, you can also set up your AirPods to check for updates manually. Here’s how to update your AirPods Pro:
- Make sure your AirPods Pro are in their charging case.
- Plug in or wirelessly charge the case.
- Make sure your iPhone is connected to the internet.
- Keep your AirPods Pro within close range or connected to your iPhone.
Your AirPods Pro should now update automatically. Depending on the update, their sound should improve.
2. Turn ANC Off
Surprisingly, one of the best ways to improve the sound quality of your AirPods Pro is to turn off Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This doesn’t mean you should turn on Transparency mode—you want to keep the mode completely off.
While this sounds counter-intuitive, as you’d think noise cancellation improves sound, that isn’t exactly true. The process of active noise cancellation actually reduces bass due to the intense sound processing going on behind the scenes.
Now that you know this, here’s how to turn ANC off on your AirPods Pro:
- Open Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner on the iPhone X and later, or an iPad with iOS 12 or later.
- On an iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead.
- Long-press the volume bar showing the AirPods Pro inside.
- Select Off, which is the mode in the middle.
Alternatively, you can long-press the force sensor on your AirPods (found on their stem) to switch between modes.
Now, without ANC distorting your music, you can enjoy a much more punchy, balanced, and unprocessed 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:
- Connect your AirPods Pro to your phone.
- Open Settings and select Bluetooth.
- Select AirPods Pro.
- Scroll down to Ear Tip Fit Test and walk through the steps.
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 Equalizer
Depending on the music streaming service you use, you can adjust the EQ settings to vastly improve sound quality and create a much punchier sound. Here’s how to do so with two of the most popular music streaming apps: Spotify and Apple Music.
To modify the EQ in Spotify:
- Open Spotify.
- On the Home tab, tap the Settings icon.
- Select Playback.
- Scroll down to Equalizer.
- Play with the presets and see what sounds best to you. If you like, you can instead adjust the EQ manually.
- For more bass, select Bass Booster, or raise the 60hz meter to your preference.
To modify the EQ in Apple Music:
- Go to the Settings app on your phone.
- Scroll down to Music.
- Select EQ from the list.
- Choose the EQ setting you want. For example, pick Bass Booster if you still have trouble with the bass.
With this, the sound and bass quality should now be much fuller than what you heard before—all thanks to this tiny EQ adjustment.
5. 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 look at how to do this in Spotify Premium, since Apple Music doesn’t have a quality selection function yet. 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:
- Open Spotify and tap the Settings icon.
- Choose Music Quality.
- Select High or Very High.
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 . 160kbps (High quality) or 320kbps (Very high quality) is a big data difference compared to 96 kbps (Normal quality). Consider changing this only when on Wi-Fi if you need to save data.
6. Charge Your AirPods
While this may seem obvious, we often forget that our earbuds are low on battery after listening to them for so long. When any audio device is low on battery, the sound tends to deteriorate. Make sure your AirPods 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 case to check its battery status. If it glows red, it’s still charging. If it glows green, it’s fully charged.
To more easily keep track of your AirPods Pro battery level in the future, you can add them to your Today View:
- Swipe from left to right on the home screen to access the Widgets page.
- Scroll down to Edit.
- Tap on the green plus sign next to Batteries.
- Select Done.
- Whenever your AirPods Pro are on, just swipe over to check on 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.
7. Buy Memory Foam Ear Tips
Apple’s included 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 provide a good boost to enhance 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 the experience better. If you’re a new AirPods Pro owner, make sure to review our tips to get more out of your AirPods .