Switch Noise-Control Modes on AirPods Pro

Your AirPods Pro earphones allow you to control how much noise filters past and into your ear when listening to music or making calls. The mode you choose depends on whether you want to shut out external noise or allow some to be heard while not drowning out what is coming through the AirPods.

AirPods Pro Noise Control Mode

AirPods Pro have two active noise-control modes available: Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode.

Active Noise Cancellation – With this mode activated, a tiny outward-facing microphone detects external noise. The AirPods then works to counter this with anti-noise, hopefully cancelling the sounds before you hear them. There is also a inward-facing mic, which does the same unwanted internal sounds.

Transparency Mode – Transparency mode lets outside sound in, so you can hear what’s going on around you, while letting you continue to listen to music or a call. This is often a safer choice when in busy areas with potential dangers such as traffic.

Both Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode work best when your AirPods Pro fit your ears tightly.

airpods pro

Switching Between Noise Control Modes

The easiest way to switch between modes is by using the button on the AirPods themselves, but you can also switch modes on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac.

When you’re wearing both AirPods, press and hold the force sensor on either AirPod to switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode. You will hear a chime when the mode switches.

If you want to use Active Noise Cancellation with only one AirPod, use your iPhone or iPad to go to Settings > Accessibility and turn on Noise Cancellation with One AirPod. Then press and hold the force sensor on that Airpod to switch between modes.

To change the noise control mode on your iPhone, open the Control Centre and then touch and hold the volume control to see more controls. You can then choose Noise Cancellation, Transparency or Off.

iphone noise control

You can also switch between modes in the iPhone settings. Open Settings > Bluetooth, and then tap the info icon next to your AirPods Pro in the connected device list. You will then see the buttons to switch between modes.

If you are listening to audio through your Apple Watch, you can tap the AirPlay icon to see the mode control buttons for Noise Cancellation, Transparency and Off.

If your AirPods are connected to your Mac or Macbook for audio, you can switch modes by clicking the volume control in the menu bar.

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Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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