AirPods single replacements ship with new, incompatible firmware

True Wireless Stereo or TWS earbuds like the Apple AirPods are convenient and handy when you don't want to bother with wires but they also have their downsides exactly because of that. It's easy enough to lose one or both or hove one suddenly break while the other remains intact. Fortunately, Apple offers replacements for even just a single AirPod. Unfortunately, the single replacements it has been shipping apparently can't work with an older AirPod because of a mismatch in the firmware the new ones are running.

Not many accessory makers would cover a single replacement for a single earbud. AirPods owners definitely have a good thing going for them as Apple will ship replacements for in-warranty pieces. Especially during these days when you sometimes need to keep your music or your calls to yourself.

Unfortunately, there's a bit of a hiccup with the replacements Apple has been sending the past two weeks. Apparently, they are running a new firmware version 2D3 while the existing AirPods left in users' possession are running a different version. The way AirPods work is that both pieces need to be running the exact same firmware version, which means the two can't work together at this point.

You might be thinking that the fix would just be to upgrade the older AirPod's firmware. That would be correct except for the fact that Apple has not yet released 2D3 to the public so there's nothing to upgrade to. Making matters worse, Apple support staff don't know when that new firmware will even be released.

Aside from the annoyance, there seems to also be some oddities about the firmware situation. Most affected AirPods seem to come from 2nd gen models, with only a few AirPods Pro buds in the mix. It also seems to happen most with the right-side AirPods as replacement left AirPods reportedly run the correct, older firmware.