AirPods Max how lawsuit is behind reduced noise cancellation

AirPods Max: how lawsuit is behind reduced noise cancellation

You may have already noticed: the AirPods Max have reduced active noise cancellation. In May of 2022, an update for the headphones appeared that effectively reduced that noise cancellation significantly. Apple held its jaws shut at the time and is still not really letting anything be heard now.

What’s going on? Well, possibly this is because of an ongoing lawsuit. Since parties are not allowed to make statements about this during such a lawsuit, technically the company is not allowed to say anything about it either. Nothing substantive about the lawsuit then, but a hint about the restriction would have been nice.

AirPods Max noise cancellation limited

These things simply do not go unnoticed. Listeners notice it, experts notice it. It comes to light sometime, especially when people start asking questions or providing evidence via social media. If there is something going on, as a company you do well to be transparent about it.

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RTings confirms that Apple has nerfed the effectiveness of noise cancellation on AirPods Max with firmware 4E71. This is the iPhone throttling saga all over again. There may be a good reason; if so, SAY SOMETHING!

Else there needs to be a class action.

– Quinn Nelson (@SnazzyQ) October 22, 2022

By the way, this story has been going on for quite a while. You probably forgot, but a patent troll by the name of Jawbone Innovations sued Apple for alleged patent infringement. That happened in September 2021. Right, that’s more than a year ago. So that’s how long the issue has been going on.

Lawsuit is ongoing

The troll bought up audio-related patents from Jawbone at the time, possibly putting it in its rights. That is still unclear, as the lawsuit is still pending. In the meantime, Apple is probably trying to limit the damage by adjusting the noise cancellation on the AirPods Max thus.

In addition to the AirPods Max, other products have received similar updates. For example, the iPhone 13 has to make do without active noise cancellation for the microphone. Also, the 2021 AirPods Pro have a modified algorithm for noise cancellation. The wait now is for Apple to release some news about this.

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