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How to turn on noise canceling on AirPods

Make use of the noise canceling technology your AirPods have to offer.

Published onJune 11, 2024

If you’ve been wondering about how to turn on noise canceling on your Apple AirPods Pro, there are a few different ways to go about it, from a hands-free option to doing it on your phone. Whether you like talking to Siri or you just want to turn on noise canceling while you’re on the go without fumbling around on a phone screen, here are all the ways you can turn on noise canceling on AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, as well as other ways to use noise control features.

How to turn on noise canceling on AirPods Pro

A hand holds the right earbud of the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) to show off the stem.
Lil Katz / SoundGuys
Pressing on the sensor on the stem will switch between noise canceling and transparency.

The AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) are some of the best noise canceling earbuds on the market. If you want to tune out the noise around you and focus on your music, podcast, or audiobook, all you have to do is turn on noise canceling.

Thankfully, there’s only one step to turn on the noise canceling using just one earbud. On your AirPods Pro, press and hold the sensor on the stem of one of the earbuds until you hear a chime. This will switch between noise canceling and transparency mode. You can’t turn off noise control entirely with this method, but the other methods will help you out with that.

How to turn on noise canceling on AirPods Max

Close-up of the digital crown at the top of the Apple AirPods Max right ear cup.
The digital crown is used for playback controls, volume, and Siri, while the noise control button on the other side is for noise canceling and transparency mode.

The other model of AirPods that has noise canceling is the AirPods Max, which has excellent noise canceling and transparency for when you want to block out the world or hear it all.

To turn on noise canceling from your AirPods Max, press the button on the right ear cup toward the front, and you’ll toggle between noise canceling and transparency mode. This is the flat silver button opposite the digital crown.

How to turn on noise canceling from Siri

For those who prefer a hands-free solution to everything, you’re in luck. You can do just about any command with Siri, including toggling noise controls.

Turning on noise canceling using Siri is as easy as any other Siri command. Just say, “Hey Siri, turn on noise canceling,” and you’re set. If you want to turn it off or turn on transparency, just ask for that, and your wish will be granted.

How to turn on noise canceling on AirPods from an iOS device

Maybe you tend to fumble around with controls on your earbuds and prefer just to use your phone. All iOS and iPadOS devices have access to the noise control settings for AirPods Pro and Max, so you can easily toggle noise canceling on or off or turn on transparency mode.

From an iPhone or iPad, you can also turn noise canceling on easily. If your device is connected to your AirPods, you can find noise control settings in the Control Center of your device. If you press and hold the volume slider in the Control Center, it will open up more settings. In the bottom left of the screen, you’ll see a button for turning on noise canceling or transparency mode.

How to turn off noise control on AirPods

Turning off noise control on your AirPods isn’t a default control, so you’ll have to set it yourself from your AirPods settings in the Bluetooth settings menu on your iOS device. In the noise control section, “off” will be unchecked by default. If you toggle that on, when you press the stem of your AirPods to cycle through noise control settings, “off” will be an additional option.

You can also turn off noise control from the Control Center on your iOS device, as mentioned before, or from Siri by saying, “Hey Siri, turn off noise canceling.”

Frequently asked questions about turning off noise canceling on AirPods

Firstly, noise canceling can only cancel out sounds that are consistent droning noises, like HVAC systems and airplane cabin noise. This only works to a certain extent and doesn’t work on incidental noises like loud bangs and crashes. If you find that your noise canceling sounds worse than before, try readjusting the fit of your earbuds or headphones since you might have sound leaking in that interferes with the noise canceling. It could also be a settings issue that you can solve with software or a hardware issue that you can bring up to the manufacturer.

No, only AirPods Pro and AirPods Max offer noise cancelation. The standard AirPods do not have ANC.

If your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max aren’t turning on noise cancelation, consider these common issues:

  • Firmware not updated: Ensure your device and AirPods are updated to the latest firmware.
  • Incorrect Fit: Ensure the ear tips are properly sealed for AirPods Pro.
  • Settings: Double-check the noise control settings either on your connected device or by squeezing the force sensor on the AirPods Pro stem.

If you’ve tried these and are still having issues, it may be time to contact Apple Support.

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