I have had the ear popping issues as well! For a short time I had the internet turned off my phone and only used it as a telephone, and the popping miraculously stopped. Now the internet is back on and the popping is worse than ever. For this reason, I think it may be radiation related, from the wifi. This is obviously scary to me, wondering what sort of damage it could be causing between my ears!
I too have had a wierd issue where the noise cancelling fades in an out an drives me crazy. I almost feel like I get vertigo when it does it. I wish I could just turn the feature off! Im trying to get rid of it by turning on the hearing aid feature and hoping that it turns off that 3rd microphone an thus the noise cancelling feature.