On the day of the iOS 16 push, Apple released a new support document with release notes for the standard AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max firmware updates. Apple says the page will outline the new features and changes included in the AirPods firmware update.
The latest firmware versions for Apple AirPods are
AirPods Pro: 4E71
AirPods (2nd and 3rd generation): 4E71
AirPods Max: 4E71
AirPods (1st generation): 6.8.8
However, the support document doesn’t say much, at least the 4E71 version only mentions “bug fixes and other improvements” without any specific details.
On iPhones updated to iOS 16, users can open the “Settings” app, navigate to “General” → “About” → “AirPods”, and select “AirPods”. “AirPods” and then clicking on “Firmware Versions” to find a link to the AirPods firmware update support document. This support documentation is similar to the support documentation Apple maintained for the AirTag firmware update earlier this year.
Firmware updates will be available periodically when AirPods are charged and within Bluetooth range of iPhone, plus iPads with iPadOS 16.1 (released in October) or later, and Macs with macOS Ventura will also be able to update AirPods firmware automatically.