How to turn noise cancellation on or off on AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max

Technology is developing at an incredible speed in this futuristic world and so are the tech giants. Today we will talk about noise cancellation technology and how to activate noise cancellation in AirPods.

As urbanization grows, noise reaches its destructive peaks. So, this is a serious problem for anyone who wants to enjoy melodious music or watch their favorite movies with headphones in noisy environments such as public transport, workplace and other similar places.

This leaves the user with only one option: to increase the volume of the device, which is dangerous for his ears. This can be the only cause of damage to the cells and membranes in the cochlea.

To solve this problem, noise reduction technology has emerged.

About noise reduction technology

Simply put, the name suggests that the noise cancellation technology will cut out unnecessary background noise. This allows users to hear media without any interference while protecting their ears. Noise reduction technology can be divided into three types: active noise cancellation, passive noise cancellation and adaptive noise cancellation.

  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) – uses anti-wave technology that generates the exact opposite sound wave to the sound wave of background noise. This will reduce the noise.
  • Passive Noise Reduction – The effect of passive noise reduction is the result of external factors such as the perfect foam for the headphones. This allows a seal to form between your ear and the headphones.
  • Adaptive Noise Cancellation – Like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Adaptive Noise Cancellation uses technology to reduce background noise. However, the difference is that Adaptive uses advanced algorithms to listen and adjust for background noise and for near-perfect noise reduction to give you the best performance of all three types.

Now let’s take a look at the noise canceling feature of the Apple AirPods.

Apple AirPods (3rd generation)

Apple users using the 2nd generation AirPods got a fantastic upgrade with the Apple AirPods 3. A notable list of updates includes an IPX4 rating, a MagSafe charging case and support for features such as surround sound.

Talking about the noise cancellation feature on Apple AirPods 3, Apple disappointed its geeky users by not including the active noise cancellation feature in their new product.

They have enabled noise cancellation, but this is passive noise cancellation and therefore depends on each user’s ear shape and how well these AirPods fit in the ear.

Apple AirPods Pro / Max

After the launch of AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, people were very excited to get their hands on them. It was enough to tell the wild frenzy of Apple’s user community on AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. AirPods Pro are headphones, while AirPods Max are headphones.

One of the main differences between both products compared to their predecessors is active noise cancellation, which was not present in previous versions of AirPods.

The ANC feature on Apple AirPods works effectively and can mute background sounds to prevent user distraction. In addition, the ventilation system also reduces wind noise during a voice call, according to Apple.

How do I turn on/off noise cancellation on AirPods Pro and AirPods Max?

Users can change AirPods Pro and AirPods Max operating modes: noise reduction mode, transparency mode, and off. This can be done in many ways. One way is to use a physical switch or sensor on the AirPods themselves, and other ways are different by using different Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, MacBook and others.

Switch between modes using the AirPods sensor

For AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro are in-ear headphones with a sleek and stylish design that appeal to millennials. Therefore, Apple tried to design AirPods Pro so that there is no room for any buttons on the device. Apple used a multi-purpose button force sensor to perform various tasks.

But the question to ask is how to activate noise cancellation on AirPods. The answer is simple. It’s a simple process that looks like this:

  • Press and hold the force sensor until you hear a sound.
  • When wearing both AirPods, users must press and hold the sensor to switch between noise reduction mode and transparency mode.
  • Many people are used to wearing only one AirPods while working to concentrate on work and music, so if you’re one of them, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to set it up.
    • Go to your iPhone or iPad settings
    • Press the Availability button
    • Enable noise cancellation with one AirPod
    • Ready! Now you can enjoy noise cancellation wearing just one AirPod.

For AirPods Max

AirPods Max is the top product from the AirPods line. Moreover, AirPods Max are the only AirPods in the headphone category. Looking at its price, it’s obvious that it comes with active noise cancellation, but many users have questions about activating noise cancellation on the AirPods Max. Below are the easy steps to enable ANC on your AirPods Max:

  • Just connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPod
  • Press the noise control button on the right to toggle between transparency mode and noise reduction mode
  • The gong confirms the change.

Switch between modes using other Apple devices

Users can also choose to turn on noise canceling mode on their Apple smart devices such as iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac. All other alternatives are also quite simple, allowing any naive user to enjoy the latest features of AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

Using iPhone / iPad

There are different ways to switch between modes with your iPhone or iPad.

# 1. From the control center

  • Put in one or both AirPods and make sure they are connected to your Apple device.
  • Open Control Center on your iOS or iPad OS device.
  • While wearing AirPods Max or both AirPods Pro devices, press and hold the volume button on your iPhone or iPad until you see additional controls.
  • Tap the noise reduction icon in the lower left corner of the screen.

  • Once noise cancellation is turned on, you may be asked how to turn off noise cancellation on AirPods. So the shutdown procedure is also the same. Only in the last step the user has to click the disable button instead of clicking the noise reduction.

# 2. From settings

  • Another way to turn on noise reduction on your iPhone or iPad is through the device settings.
  • Make sure AirPods Pro or AirPods Max are connected to your devices.
  • Then open the settings and go to the Bluetooth section.

  • Here you can find the name of your AirPods in the linked list. Now click on the info button next to the name where the next activity will open.
  • Below the noise control is a button to turn on noise reduction, and you can turn it on with a simple tap.

Using Apple Watch

According to one report, one in ten iPhone users also use an Apple Watch. This shows a great indicator of the loyalty of Apple customers in the Apple ecosystem.

That’s all because Apple provides the convenience and benefits of using its products with basic iPhones.

Turning AirPods noise cancellation on and off from their Apple Watch is one notable example. Below are the steps you need to follow to enable/disable the noise canceling function:

  • Make sure your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max are connected to your iPhone and that your iPhone is connected to your Apple Watch.
  • Tap the AirPlay icon while listening to audio through the watch.
  • You will then be presented with three options. To turn on noise cancellation, tap Noise Cancellation under Noise Control.
  • To disable it, the same process will be repeated, then in the last step, click the disable button.

Using a Mac computer

Many people around the world are part of the Apple ecosystem in one way or another, and that number is growing rapidly every day. So, Apple has included in the MacBook the option to control their AirPods from their Macs. Users should follow these steps to enable or disable the noise cancellation feature on their MacBook.

  • Make sure your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max are connected while wearing them in your ears.
  • Users can turn on the noise reduction function in 2 ways.
    • Open the menu bar 🢂 Click the volume button 🢂 Click the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max icon 🢂 Choose a noise reduction method.

  • Another method is to select the Apple menu 🢂 System Preferences 🢂 Click Bluetooth 🢂 Click Options next to AirPods 🢂 Select Noise Reduction.

Using Apple TV

Apple is the largest company in the world, worth about 3 trillion dollars. This is just because of the exact product line and the compatibility between all of them. Apple TV is also part of this amazing ecosystem.

Most Apple TV users are unaware that they can control AirPods Pro and AirPods Max using Apple TV. They have questions in their mind about how to activate noise cancellation on AirPods with Apple TV and the solution to that question is given in the steps below.

  • Pair and connect Apple AirPods Pro or AirPods Max to Apple TV.
  • Open Control Center by pressing and holding the TV button on the Siri remote until Control Center appears on the screen 🢂 Select the AirPods button 🢂 Select the noise reduction switch.
  • Likewise, by simply selecting off, the user can disable the noise cancellation function by pressing the off button.


The third-generation Apple AirPods do not come with active noise cancellation. In turn, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are equipped with active noise reduction. ANC can be easily turned on or off with Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPad Touch, Apple Watch, MacBook and Apple TV.

What’s more, in this noisy world, this state-of-the-art noise reduction technology is a must for any True Wireless Stereo (TWS) device.

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