How to Use Noise Cancellation and Transparency with AirPods Pro


Apple’s new AirPods Pro feature active noise cancellation and transparency. Active noise cancellation blocks external noise, while transparency allows external noise to allow the users to listen to sounds around them. These features work on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. Here is how you can use these new features.

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Use AirPods Pro Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode

Using AirPods Pro

As long as your AirPods Pro are connected to any device, the easiest way of using these features is via the force sensor.

  • If you are wearing both AirPods, press and hold the force sensor on either one of them to switch between active noise cancellation and transparency mode.
  • If you are only wearing one AirPod, pressing and holding the force sensor will only enable/disable transparency mode.

AirPods Pro Force Sensor 2

Using iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

Using an iOS or iPadOS device, there are a few ways of enabling or disabling these options.

  1. The first method is to go Settings > Bluetooth and tap on the 'i' next to your AirPods Pro. You will see the below settings screen. Under Noise Control, you can switch to noise cancellation, transparency or just turn it off.AirPods Pro Settings
  2. Alternatively, you can swipe down and open Control Center. Long press on the volume control and you will see additional options.iOS Control CenterIn this screen, you can change the volume, and enable disable noise cancellation and transparency.
    AirPods Pro Control Center iOS iPadOS

Using Apple Watch

From an Apple Watch, you have to open the Control Center and tap the AirPlay icon. You can also tap the AirPlay icon in the music or podcast app.

Apple Watch Control Center

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Select your AirPods Pro from the list of connected audio devices.Apple Watch Audio

You will be taken to the noise control screen, from where you can switch between the different options.Apple Watch Noise Control Cancellation

Using macOS on MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro

If you are using a Mac, click on the volume icon and you should see your AirPods Pro as one of the output devices. Click on it and you will see the Noise Control options:

Mac AirPods Pro Noise Cancellation

You can also see the battery status of your AirPods from here.

If you don't see your AirPods Pro in this list, they might not be connected to your Mac. You have to manually connect to them by clicking on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, going to your AirPods Pro and clicking Connect.

Mac AirPods Pro

If you don't see the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, you can enable it by going to System Preferences > Bluetooth and enabling 'Show Bluetooth in menu bar'.

If you still haven't bought yours yet, check out our AirPods Pro review roundup. It should help you decide whether you should make the jump or not.