Apple has announced a Service Program for AirPods Pro that exhibit sound issues such as crackling/cracking sounds or similar issues.
My AirPods Pro, which I purchased in December 2019, developed this issue in early May and due to the ongoing pandemic and associated lockdowns, finding an appointment at an Apple Authorized Service Center was ridiculously difficult. Thankfully, I managed to get one in October 2020. Although both the AirPods Pro had the issue, Apple only replaced one of them and somehow “fixed” the other one.
Apple says that the program covers affected AirPods Pro for 2 years after the first retail sale of the unit, so I’m glad I can get them replaced again if the issue comes back. There have been far too many of these issues I’ve seen on Twitter, so I’m guessing it won’t be long before I have to run to the ASC again.