DL; DR: Apple has confirmed that some Airports Pro units experience noise problems in loud environments, resulting in static, crackling or strange noise-canceling behaviors. In response, Apple has introduced an Airports Pro service plan where owners of false earrings can get a replacement for free.
That’s Apple Service Plan Explains that this problem affects a small percentage of Airports Pro units manufactured before October 2020. Owners of the wrong pair of earrings may experience cracking or constant sounds, which may increase during exercise, on the phone or in a loud environment. There may be other problems with active noise cancellation of earphones, including unexpected loss of bass or sudden increase in background noise.
Apple Corps has said it will not use airplanes made after October 2020.
When frustrated, the good news is that the affected AirPorts Pro can be exchanged for free at the Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. Apple explains that employees will test the earrings to determine if one or both are affected, before arranging a free replacement. The Airbots case is not affected by the problem and does not need to be replaced.
Apple’s Airports Pro was released in October 2019, which means that anyone who buys earrings in the first year of availability can suffer from this problem. Airports Pro owners have been complaining for months about cracking, static and odd noise cancellation behaviors, and now Apple is acknowledging the problem and doing the right thing.
If you have a couple of affected Airbots Pros, you have two years from the date of the original sale to access Apple’s alternative plan.