How to Update your AirPods Max

It took me way too long to figure this out. It's a fucking shitshow that Apple doesn't offer a clear update-prompt to install the latest firmware to the AirPods Max.

I usually wouldn't mind updating stuff immediately, but according to Rambo, this fixes the one major issue I wrote about in my review of the Max: weird battery life. In my review, I wrote:

The battery life is all over the place. I don't know if I have a faulty unit or some software-issue, but my Max can't hold a charge overnight. And from other reviews, I know this to be a non-issue.

I charge them in the mornings and use them throughout the day. In the evening, they are around 70%. And yet, when I wake up, they are at approximately 20% in the mornings. It's only recently that I did a factory-reset which seems to have fixed the issue? I still have to dig deeper. Fortunately, these have fast charging.

So how do you update them? Most blogs tell you to connect them to your iPhone, put them back into that stupid case and connect them to a charger. I tried every version of that, but it never worked. Instead, I managed to update doing this:

  1. Connect the AirPods Max to your phone.
  2. Play music for a few seconds; about 30 should be enough.
  3. Pause the music.
  4. Put the AirPods into the case, count to 5 and take them out again. Do not wear them.
  5. Wait for approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Put them back into the case.
  7. Success!

If you are on a Mac, you can follow this process by opening up Console.app, connecting your iPhone to your Mac and in the upper-right corner filtering for EAUpdaterService. (via AirBuddy)

In Console.app, you will see the Update Progress in percentage. Right after they start, you want to remove the AirPods from the case — why I suggest counting to 5.

Around 100%, something weird seems to happen, however, and the update doesn't continue. This appears to be fixable by putting the AirPods back into the case. This doesn't always seem to be needed, though.

If you don't have a Mac, this is unfortunately, way more trial and error. Try restarting (hold both buttons until the little light flashes amber) or resetting (hold both buttons until the little light flashes amber than white).

To check if it worked, go to Bluetooth in your iPhone-settings, press on the little (i) next to your AirPods-name and scroll down to check for 3C39.

Good luck!