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AirPods Pro

Apple releases vital security update for AirPods and Beats users

Apple has released a new firmware version for its AirPods and Beats headphones. Usually, these provide minor technical updates you’d probably never notice – but this time, Apple says the firmware update tackles a security vulnerability that could potentially allow hackers to tap up your audio.

What’s the problem?

Here’s the issue as described by Apple: “When your headphones are seeking a connection request to one of your previously paired devices, an attacker in Bluetooth range might be able to spoof the intended source device and gain access to your headphones.” That doesn’t sound great.

Which models are affected?

The security update is available for AirPods (2nd generation and later), AirPods Pro (all models), AirPods Max, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Fit Pro. Although there’s no indication that anyone has been targeted using this vulnerability yet, we still recommend updating for peace of mind against bad actors.

How to update

Strangely, there’s no way to trigger a firmware update for your AirPods – the process is completely automated. That said, you can set the stage for an update to ensure it happens ASAP. Updates take place when AirPods are charging and in Bluetooth range of a paired iPhone or iPad that’s connected to Wi-Fi. Make sure all of the above is true, and leave it for an hour or so if possible to do its thing.

To check if it worked, head to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the i button next to your AirPods. Your current firmware will be listed at the bottom next to Version. This latest update will either be numbered 6A326 or 6F8, depending on which exact model you have. If you see a different version number, you’re still running the old firmware.

You can also take AirPods or Beats to an Apple Store to be updated, although that service is primarily aimed at Android users who don’t have iPhones to do it themselves.