Apple's AirPods Max over-ear headphones include a single noise control button atop the right-hand earcup that allows you to cycle between Active Noise Cancelation mode, Transparency mode, or turn off both modes. Noise Cancellation blocks out external sounds, while Transparency lets in sounds from the outside world.

airpods max digital crown
Depending on how and when you use your ‌AirPods Max‌, you may prefer one mode over the other. If you wear ‌AirPods Max‌ on a sit-down commute, for example, you might use Noise Cancellation exclusively, in which case you may want to customize the noise control button to just turn Noise Cancellation on and off, instead of having to always cycle through the different modes using several presses.

Fortunately, iOS 14 and later has options built in that allow you to customize what the noise button does on ‌AirPods Max‌. The following steps show you how to change it to control only the modes you use.

  1. Make sure the ‌AirPods Max‌ headphones are connected to your iOS device.
  2. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  3. Tap Bluetooth.
  4. Tap the Info (i) button next to the name of your Airpods Max headphones.
  5. Under "Button Cycles Between," select what you want to cycle through with each press of the noise control button. The available options are Noise Cancellation, Transparency, and Off (turns off noise cancellation and transparency). A tick appears beside each currently selected option.

The changes you make should take immediate effect, so that the next time you press the noise control button, you'll get your ‌AirPods Max‌ in just the mode you want them to be in.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Related Stories

airpods max on head

How to Control the Transparency Feature on AirPods Max

Monday January 11, 2021 5:10 pm PST by
This article explains how to control the Transparency feature on Apple's AirPods Max headphones. Bear in mind that iOS devices need to be running iOS 14.3 or later in order to support ‌AirPods Max. You can check that your device is updated by launching the Settings app and going to General -> Software Update. What is the Transparency Feature on AirPods Max? ‌AirPods Max are Apple's first...
airpods max on head

How to Control the Active Noise Cancellation Feature on AirPods Max

Wednesday January 13, 2021 12:46 pm PST by
This article explains how to control the Active Noise Cancellation feature on Apple's AirPods Max headphones. Bear in mind that iOS devices need to be running iOS 14.3 or later in order to support ‌AirPods Max. You can check that your device is updated by launching the Settings app and going to General -> Software Update. What is the Active Noise Cancellation Feature on AirPods Max?...
airpods max in blue

How to Set Up and Connect Your New AirPods Max

Thursday December 17, 2020 4:19 pm PST by
Apple in December 2020 debuted AirPods Max, a pair of wireless over-ear headphones that share many of the features of AirPods Pro, but in a more premium package. If you've just received a pair of Apple's new headphones, you'll be raring to use them to listen to music, take phone calls, use Siri, and more. Keep reading to learn how to set up and connect them to your devices. Update Your...
airpods max listening

How to Get AirPods Max to Announce Your Calls

Tuesday January 5, 2021 9:13 am PST by
If you receive a call on your iPhone (or an Apple Watch with cellular) when your AirPods Max are connected, you'll notice the ringing tone interrupt whatever it is you're listening to. To find out who's calling, normally you'd have to take out your ‌iPhone‌ or look at your Apple Watch, but you can actually make your ‌AirPods‌ Max (or any connected headphones) announce who it is,...
airpods audio switching

How to Stop AirPods From Automatically Switching to Other Devices

Friday April 2, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple in 2020 issued an update for AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and some Beats-branded headphones that allows them to automatically switch between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac depending on which device you want to listen to. Say you're listening to another device with your ‌AirPods‌ but you want to listen to your ‌iPhone‌ instead. If you start playing music, a podcast, or other...
airpods max digital crown

How to Reverse the Digital Crown Volume Controls on AirPods Max

Friday December 11, 2020 10:58 am PST by
For the controls on its AirPods Max over-ear headphones, Apple took a leaf out of its Apple Watch design manual and added a rotatable Digital Crown on the top of the right-hand earcup. The larger Digital Crown on the AirPods Max is used to control the volume of the headphones' output, but depending on your muscle memory and sense of direction, it's easy to accidentally turn the volume level ...
airpods max pairing

How to Reset AirPods Max to Factory Settings

Tuesday December 15, 2020 4:04 am PST by
With the first wave of AirPods Max orders now arriving into the hands of customers, as always there are bound to be a few hiccups encountered when trying to connect and use the over-ear headphones with different devices for the first time. If you're experiencing issues, the first thing you should do before anything else is reset the headphones and see if that resolves the problem. If that...
airpods max headphones cups

AirPods Max Noise Cancelation in Only One Side? Here's How to Fix It

Wednesday December 30, 2020 4:04 am PST by
After using AirPods Max for a while now, some users have reported experiencing an issue with the headphones that occurs when switching them between active noise cancelation and transparency modes. Pressing the noise control button on the right ear cup is meant to toggle AirPods Max between the two modes seamlessly, but sometimes only one of the ear cups will switch modes in response,...
apple airpods max listening experience

How to Use Apple's Live Listen Feature With AirPods Max

Monday January 11, 2021 5:03 pm PST by
Since 2014, Apple has included a little-known feature in iOS called Live Listen that allows an iPhone or iPad to serve as a remote microphone for an MFI-compatible hearing aid. In iOS 14 and later, Live Listen supports AirPods Max, Apple's premium luxury headphones, making it possible to use your iOS device as a directional mic and have the audio it picks up relayed to your ears. As an...
xbox series x controller microsoft

How to Pair a PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X Controller With iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

Monday May 10, 2021 1:07 pm PDT by
With the release of iOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5, Apple users can now connect their PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers to an iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Keep reading to learn how it works. Since iOS 13 and tvOS 13, users have been able to connect popular console controllers to an iPhone or Apple TV to play Apple Arcade games and other iOS games, instead of having to spend extra money on...