Recall that when your AirPods are charging and close to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac that is connected to Wi-Fi, software updates for your AirPods are immediately sent to you. You cannot force your AirPods to upgrade, and you cannot manually update them using a non-Apple device.
In light of this, Apple has added a tip to its help page for AirPods firmware updates for anyone who might be utilising AirPods independently of an Apple product. You can schedule a firmware update appointment at an Apple Store or with an Apple Authorized Service Provider if you don’t have an Apple device nearby, according to Apple.
This advice may apply to Apple users whose AirPods become stuck on previous firmware versions as well as those who use AirPods with Android or Windows devices. Even though there are presumably not many of those people, Apple apparently felt the need to include this in their support article today.
AirPods’ firmware changes are a headache, even when they don’t involve this specific edge situation. Once more, you cannot force your AirPods to update or even manually install updates. Additionally, Apple does not include any kind of thorough release notes for AirPods firmware updates.