For the past several months it has seemed like my 3rd gen Airpods have been dying. My other headphones confirmed I did not have rapid hearing loss, so I figured it was just another case of disappointedly disposable technology. Last night I got out a toothpick, q-tips, and an unused toothbrush. I also have a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol in the workshop for cleaning disc brake rotors on my bikes.
I was shocked a thorough cleaning worked. The bass response returned, and I could drop the volume by 25%. Apparently I just need to make this part of my routine in taking care of the things in my life that see daily use.