AirPods Pro and AirPods Max Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode

AirPods Pro and AirPods Max have three noise-control modes: Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode and Off. You can switch between them to choose how much of your surroundings you want to hear.

What are Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode?

With Active Noise Cancellation, an outward-facing microphone or microphones detect external sounds, which your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max then counter with anti-noise, cancelling the external sounds before you hear them. An inward-facing microphone listens inside your ear for unwanted internal sounds, which your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max also counter with anti-noise.

Transparency mode lets outside sound in, so you can hear what's going on around you. Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode work best when your AirPods Pro fit well.

Switch between noise-control modes

You can switch between noise-control modes directly from your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, or you can use your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac. When you switch between modes, you hear a chime.

When using iOS, iPadOS, watchOS or macOS to switch between noise-control modes, you’ll see Active Noise Cancellation available as Noise Cancellation.

AirPods Max

When you're wearing your AirPods Max, press the noise control button to switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode. You can customise which modes to switch between (Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode and Off) in Settings.

Noise control button

 

AirPods Pro

Press and hold the force sensor on the stem of an AirPod until you hear a chime.
AirPod force sensor

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 can customise which modes to switch between (Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode and Off) in Settings.

To use Active Noise Cancellation with one AirPod only, 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 to switch between Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode and Off. 

iOS or iPadOS device

     

Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes

  1. Open Control Centre on your iOS or iPadOS device.
  2. While wearing your AirPods Max or both AirPods, touch and hold the volume slider until you see the additional controls.
  3. Tap the Noise Cancellation icon  in the bottom left-hand corner.
  4. Tap Noise Cancellation, Transparency or Off.

Bluetooth settings

You can also switch between noise-control modes in Settings:

  1. On your iOS or iPadOS device, go to Settings > Bluetooth. 
  2. Tap the Info button  next to your AirPods in the list of devices.
  3. Tap Noise Cancellation, Transparency or Off.

Watch

  1. When you're listening to audio through your watch, tap the AirPlay icon .
    Apple Watch AirPlay icon
  2. Tap Noise Cancellation, Transparency or Off.
    Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes on Apple Watch

Mac

  1. With your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max connected to your Mac, click the volume control  in the menu bar on your Mac.*
  2. Choose your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, then choose Noise Cancellation, Transparency or Off.
    Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes on Mac

* If you can't see the volume control in the menu bar, find out how to add it.

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