An Old Favorite is Alive Again

Back in March of 2019, I purchased the airpod pro, partly for the softer earplugs but mainly for the promise of noise cancellation. I work in an office that doesn’t have a door, so all the noises of the house—conversations and TV shows—distract me from my writing. Playing music helps, but that plus the noise cancellation made these earbuds the most-used of any that I have ever used. I ran them down and recharged them, often multiple times a day.

Then, about six months ago, I noticed that it was difficult to get one of the earpieces recharged. Unless I paid a lot of attention and confirmed that the status light blinked when I inserted an earpiece, that it likely wouldn’t charge. Many times I put them in my ears and discovered that only one side was playing because the other had never charged.

Last month, it got worse. No matter what I tried, the left side would never charge. I even purchased a USB to firewire adapter so that I could play my Mac music through an old wired set of headphones that had come with the iPhone that I had never previously used.

Apple support is always worth a shot, so I fired up the chat (after peering at the case to find the serial number) and tried all the usual remedies from the Apple Support FAQs. By this time, the airpod pros were long out of support and when the guy on the chat finally gave up and offered to sell me a new single earpiece (not cheap) I declined and considered buying the Airpod Pro version 2, or even the Airpod Max, if I could scare up the cash.

But I had to try one last thing.

I played the single right earpiece several times until the case couldn’t charge it anymore. I wanted to run the batteries down all the way, just in case the reboot would fix something. I kept at it for two days, even after the airpods couldn’t get up enough juice to connect to my iPhone over bluetooth anymore. I’d open the case to get the status light to blink on for a bit, and then do it again a few minutes later.

On the third day, I put the airpods and case back on the charging puck and let them charge to full.

To my surprise and great relief, both ears came up perfectly. In addition, I don’t see that difficultly getting them to charge like I’d suffered through the past half year. It’s like they’re a whole new set if airpod pros (other than the scars and scuffs of being used hard for three years).

Power off and power back on. It’s amazing how often that’s the solution.