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

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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.

airpods max headphones cups
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, leaving one cup in ANC and the other in Transparency.

One MacRumors staff member has also run into the problem, which seems to be intermittent. Hopefully Apple can nix the bug in a future software update, but until then, if you're experiencing the issue, follow these steps to reboot your ‌AirPods Max‌.

How to Reset AirPods Max

  1. Before you reboot your ‌AirPods Max‌, make sure they have some charge by plugging them into a charging point via the supplied USB-C to Lightning Cable.
  2. Press and hold the Noise Control button and the Digital Crown until the LED status light at the bottom of the right-hand earcup flashes amber.

airpods max digital crown

After rebooting your ‌AirPods Max‌, the issue should be fixed on this occasion and you'll get ANC or Transparency mode in both cups when you press the noise control button. If the problem recurs at a later time, simply repeat the same steps.

If the problem is more persistent, you may want to try entirely resetting your ‌AirPods Max‌ by using the same steps as above but holding the Noise Control for a longer 15-second timeframe. Once the status light flashes amber and then changes to white, they've been reset and you can reconnect them to your device by going through the setup process. If even that doesn't do the trick, it's probably time to contact Apple Support.

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

Top Rated Comments

Quu Avatar
3 weeks ago


$550 headphones. problems already.
Leave Audio to the Pro's. Like Sony, Denon, Pioneer , sennheiser.

The Apple car will be just as bad.

Concentrate on your core business. otherwise LEMONS when you spread yourself thin.

Macrumors 2027 post:
"AirCar Max Stuck in reverse? Here's How to Fix It".
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IIGS User Avatar
3 weeks ago
For $550 that **** should work from go. No issues, period.

People expect quality when they pay a premium price.

Just like the display issues and keyboard issues we've seen with MBP's over the past few years. Typically, Apple denies any issue in "Ford Pinto" fashion and waits until the masses are gathering at the moat demanding action. Then maybe a refund, or extended warranty.

At this price point, every possible contingency should have been tested and engineered out of the product, People shouldn't have to look for work arounds on niche websites....
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AlexESP Avatar
3 weeks ago


$550 headphones. problems already.
Leave Audio to the Pro's. Like Sony, Denon, Pioneer , sennheiser.

The Apple car will be just as bad.

Concentrate on your core business. otherwise LEMONS when you spread yourself thin.

Do you really believe what you’ve written? One minor issue has been found in a product that, despite being niche, has sold tens of thousands of units at least, and you conclude that this is a proof that Apple is not capable of making other products. This is kind of Forbes clickbait: “Apple has a huge problem with iPhone 12 battery”. Oh, and audio has been a core Apple business for many many years. But anyway, phones were not, and you see how it went.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
patent10021 Avatar
3 weeks ago
You're cupping it wrong.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freeangel1 Avatar
3 weeks ago
$550 headphones. problems already.
Leave Audio to the Pro's. Like Sony, Denon, Pioneer , sennheiser.

The Apple car will be just as bad.

Concentrate on your core business. otherwise LEMONS when you spread yourself thin.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aluminum213 Avatar
3 weeks ago
It just works...
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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