This article explains how to control the noise cancellation feature on Apple's AirPods Pro wireless earbuds. Bear in mind that iOS devices need to be running iOS 13.2 in order to support ‌AirPods Pro‌. You can check that your device is updated by launching the Settings app and going to General -> Software Update.

AirPods Pro

How Active Noise Cancellation Works on AirPods Pro

‌AirPods Pro‌ are Apple's first in-ear headphones with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which is designed to adapt to the shape of your ear and block out the outside world so you can focus on what you're listening to.

When ANC is active, an outward-facing microphone on each earbud detects external sound, which is then countered by corresponding inverted audio frequencies to cancel the sound before it reaches your ears.

Unlike previous generation AirPods, ‌AirPods Pro‌ also come with three sizes of silicone tips for a customizable fit. These tips help to form a seal appropriate for optimizing the ANC feature, so make sure you've chosen the right size for your ears.

AirPods Pro

How to Control Noise Cancellation on AirPods Pro

There are three methods you can use to control the Noise Cancellation feature on ‌AirPods Pro‌. The first method involves using the Force sensors on the AirPods themselves with default settings, while the second and third methods are accessed via onscreen menus on the connected iOS device.

Method 1:

  1. Allow your AirPods to connect to your iPhone or iPad in the usual way, by opening the case next to your device and inserting the buds in your ears.
  2. Press and hold either AirPod Pro stem to cycle between Noise Cancellation and Transparency, the latter of which lets outside sound in.
  3. You'll hear a tone when switching between the two functions.

AirPods Pro
If you want, you can customize the press-and-hold gesture on the ‌AirPods Pro‌ earbuds, and even use it to turn off the noise control features completely. Click here to learn how.

Method 2:

  1. Allow your AirPods to connect to your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ in the usual way, by opening the case next to your device and inserting the buds in your ears.
  2. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device.
  3. Tap Bluetooth.
    How to activate noise cancelation airpods pro

  4. Under My Devices, tap the information icon (the circled "i") next to ‌AirPods Pro‌ in the list.
  5. Under Noise Control, tap Noise Cancellation, Off, or Transparency, depending on your preference.

Method 3:

  1. Allow your AirPods to connect to your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ in the usual way, by opening the case next to your device and inserting the buds in your ears.
  2. Open Control Center on your iOS device: On an ‌iPad‌ with a Home button, double-tap the Home button; on ‌iPhone‌ 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen; and on a 2018 iPad Pro or ‌iPhone‌ X and later, swipe down from the upper right of the screen.
    airpods pro noise control

  3. Press and hold the Control Center volume bar (a pair of earbuds will be visible inside of it to indicate the ‌AirPods Pro‌ are connected.)
  4. Use the strip of buttons at the bottom of the screen to switch between Noise Cancellation, Off, or Transparency, depending on your preference.

How to Control Noise Cancellation on Mac

If you've got your AirPods connected to a Mac running macOS Catalina, you can also control noise cancelling mode from the volume icon in the menu bar. Simply hover over your ‌AirPods Pro‌ in the Output Device list to reveal a submenu, where you can click Transparency, Noise Cancellation, and Off.

Did you know that ‌AirPods Pro‌ feature an Ear Tip Fit Test to help you choose the right size of eartips for your ears? Click here to learn how it works.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

djcerla Avatar
35 months ago
Shocking how good noise cancellation is on these buds... shocking! This will be an extremely successful product.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Khedron Avatar
35 months ago
Seems pretty desperate for macrumours to make separate articles for every single AirPods Pro setting
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...