Ever since the original EarPods, Apple has included small holes or vents on the outside of their signature earbuds. And that continues today with the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and even AirPods Max. So why are these vents necessary? Well, you can experience the importance of these openings for yourself by listening to a song with your standard AirPods, while covering the vents with your fingers. You’ll notice the sound quality change immediately. There’ll hardly be any bass, and it’ll sound like your music is paying from a cheap cellphone speaker.
Importance of AirPods Vents
That’s because the vents that you’re covering no longer have access to air flow. Which builds up pressure in the AirPods’ acoustic chamber and prevents the speaker from vibrating. Removing its ability to produce low-frequency sound. This is why, if AirPods are never cleaned, a buildup of earwax can cause noticeable issues.
For example, many users complain about muffled sound or music playing louder outside of their AirPods. These symptoms are signs that earwax buildup has completely blocked the speaker grill. So, music only has one way to escape the acoustic chamber; through the outside vent. Resulting in very quiet playback inside your ear, but noticeable playback coming from the air vent. This can usually be solved by using a cotton swap to thoroughly clean your AirPod’s speaker grill.
But there’ve also been cases of the reverse happening. Where debris and earwax has blocked the air vent and caused sound quality to suffer. Similar to covering the vents with your fingers. That’s actually the reason why Apple changed their location and design on the third generation AirPods. Instead of the vents being recessed and in a spot that you often touch with your fingers, they made it flush with the AirPods’s body, and moved it to the top. So, it’s less likely to accumulate debris that can block airflow. So, while the vents on pods deliver better sound quality and deeper bass, they can cause issues if the earbuds aren’t cleaned regularly.