AirPods Max Active Noise Cancelation Confirmed to Be Less Effective After Latest Firmware Update

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Apple’s $550 over-ear AirPods Max headphones are less effective at blocking out outside noise when using Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) following their latest firmware update, according to results from a detailed audio test.

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A recent update to testing by RTings.com reveals that the ‌AirPods Max‌ ANC “blocks out a bit less noise between the mid-bass to high-bass range” after the 4E71 firmware update, which was released in May. “When it comes to the mid and treble ranges, this firmware update has slightly changed the level of isolation, but it’s a relatively minor difference,” RTings.com said following its test.

The decrease in ANC effectiveness was highlighted in an article by The Verge last month following months of discussion and complaints from ‌AirPods Max‌ users on Reddit and other discussion forums.

It’s unclear why Apple adjusted the ANC performance in the latest update or if it plans to restore ANC effectiveness in a future update. Apple occasionally updates the firmware on ‌AirPods Max‌ and other AirPods models to deploy new features, fix bugs, and tweak performance.

Apple has been providing developers with beta versions of AirPods firmware since WWDC earlier this year, with the most recent beta version having been released earlier this month, but there’s no word on whether there are any changes to ANC performance in the update.

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