This article explains how to control the Transparency 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

What is the Transparency Feature on AirPods Pro?

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

In contrast, Transparency mode allows you to simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around you – whether that's to hear traffic during a run or an important train announcement during the morning commute.

Transparency mode relies on an pressure-equalizing vent system in the AirPods and advanced software to leave just the right amount of noise cancellation active and ensure that your own voice sounds natural while audio continues to play perfectly.

AirPods Pro lifestyle apple

How to Control Transparency Mode on AirPods Pro

There are three ways of controlling Transparency mode 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, depending on your preference.
  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 (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 Transparency Mode on Mac

If you've got your ‌AirPods‌ connected to a Mac running macOS Catalina, you can also control Transparency 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

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