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In Smart Gadgets Last updated: September 25, 2023
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Technology is evolving at an incredible pace in this futuristic world, and so do the tech giants. Today, we will discuss Noise cancellation technology and how to activate noise cancellation on AirPods.

With the increase in urbanization, noise also hits its devastating highs. So, this is a severe issue for anyone who wants to enjoy melodious music or watch their favorite movies wearing earphones in noisy environments such as public transport, their workplace, and other such places.

Due to this, a user is only left with one option: to increase the volume of devices, which is dangerous for their ears. It can be the sole reason for the destruction of cells and membranes in the cochlea of the ear.

To solve this issue, noise cancellation technology has come into the picture.

About Noise Cancellation Technology

In simple terms, the name suggests that Noise Cancellation technology will cut off the unnecessary noise from the background. Due to this, users can hear media without any disturbance, along with the safety of their ears. Noise Cancellation technology can be derived into three types: Active noise cancellation, Passive noise cancellation, and Adaptive noise cancellation.

  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) – It uses anti-wave technology, which generates the exact opposite sound wave of the sound wave of noise in the background. This will nullify the noise. 
  • Passive Noise Cancellation – Passive Noise cancellation effect is due to external factors like perfect foam for the headphones. Due to this, a seal can be formed between the ear and headphones. 
  • Adaptive Noise Cancellation – Like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Adaptive Noise Cancellation also uses technology to nullify the background noises. Still, the difference comes in Adaptive is that it uses advanced algorithms to hear and adapt the background noises and apply the near-perfect noise cancellation for providing the best performance among all three types.

Let’s now look at the Noise Cancellation feature in Apple AirPods devices.

Apple AirPods (3rd Generation)

The Apple users using 2nd Generation AirPods got a fantastic upgrade with Apple AirPods 3. The significant upgrade list comprises an IPX4 rating, a MagSafe charging case, and supports features like spatial audio. 

Apple AirPods 3rd Generation

While talking about the Noise Cancellation feature in Apple AirPods 3, Apple disappointed their geeky users by not giving Active Noise Cancellation feature in their new product.

They provided noise cancellation, but it is Passive Noise Cancellation, and that’s why it depends on the shape of every user’s ear and how well these AirPods fit in their ear.

Apple AirPods Pro/Max

After the launch of AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, people were really excited to get their hands on them. This was enough to tell the wild craze of the Apple users’ community for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. AirPods Pro is an in-ear type of earphone, whereas AirPods Max is an over-ear type. 

Apple AirPods Max

One of the main differentiators of both products compared to their predecessors is Active Noise Cancellation, which one cannot see in its previous versions of AirPods.

The ANC feature of Apple AirPods works effectively and can mute the background noises to prevent users from distraction. Apart from that, the vent system also reduces wind noise when you’re on a voice call, according to Apple.

How to Enable/Disable Noise Cancellation on AirPods Pro and AirPods Max?

Users can toggle between AirPods Pro and AirPods Max modes: Noise Cancellation Mode, Transparency Mode, and Off. These can be done using multiple ways. One way is to use a physical switch or sensor on the AirPods itself, and other ways are different using various Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

Toggling between modes using AirPods sensor

For AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro is an in-ear earphone with a sleek and classy design that attracts millennials. So, Apple tried to design AirPods Pro so that there is no space for any button on the device. Apple has used a multi-function force sensor in buttons to perform different tasks.

But the question to ask is how to activate noise cancellation on AirPods. The answer is simple. It’s a simple process as follows:

AirPods Pro Force Sensor
  • Press and hold the Force Sensor until you hear a chime.
  • While wearing both the AirPods, users have to press and hold the sensor toggle between Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode.
  • Many people are used to wearing only one AirPods during their work to concentrate on both the work and music, so if you are one of them, you have to do a couple of more steps to set it up.
    • Go to the settings of your iPhone or iPad
    • Click on the Accessibility button
    • Turn On Noise Cancellation with One AirPods
    • Done! Now you can enjoy the Noise Cancellation feature wearing only a single AirPod.

For AirPods Max

AirPods Max is a top-notch product of the AirPods lineup. Moreover, AirPods Max is the only AirPods of over-ear category. Looking at its cost, it is evident that it comes with Active Noise Cancellation, but many users have questions about how to activate noise cancellation on AirPods Max. Below are the simple steps to start ANC in AirPods Max:

  • Just connect the AirPods with iPhone or iPods
  • Click on the Noise Control Button on the right to switch between Transparency Mode and Noise Cancellation Mode
  • A chime confirms the change.
AirPods Max Button

Toggling between modes using other Apple devices

Users can also opt for enabling noise cancellation mode from their Apple smart devices such as iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac. All the other alternatives are also pretty simple so that any naive users can benefit from the latest feature of AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

Using iPhone/iPad

There are different ways to toggle between modes using your iPhone or iPad.

 #1. From Control Center

  • Wear one or both AirPods and make sure they are connected to your Apple device.
  • Open Control Center on your iOS or iPad OS device.
  • When wearing AirPods Max or both AirPods Pro, press and hold the volume button of your iPhone or iPad until you see additional controls.
  • Tap the Noise Cancellation icon in the lower-left corner of the screen.
Using iPhone
  • After putting noise cancellation on, one might get a question about how to turn off noise cancellation on AirPods. So, the process to turn it off is also the same. Just in the last step, the user has to click on the off button instead of clicking on noise cancellation.

#2. From Settings

  • The second way to turn on Noise Cancellation from your iPhone or iPad is from the device’s settings.
  • Make sure AirPods Pro or AirPods Max is connected to your devices.
  • Then open settings and go to the Bluetooth section.
From Settings
  • Here, you can find your AirPods’ name in the connected list. Now, click on the info button beside the name, where another activity will open up.
  • Under the Noise Control, one can find the toggle button of Noise Cancellation, and by just tapping on it, one can get it enabled.

Using Apple Watch

According to one report, one in every ten iPhone users also uses an Apple watch. This shows the excellent attachment rate of Apple customers in the Apple Ecosystem. 

This is all because Apple gives the comfort and benefits of using their products along with their primary iPhones.

Enabling and Disabling Noise Cancellation of AirPods from their Apple Watch is one of its outstanding examples. Below are the steps to follow to toggle the on-off Noise Cancellation feature:

  • Ensure AirPods Pro or AirPods Max is connected to your iPhone and iPhone is connected with Apple Watch.
  • Tap the AirPlay icon while listening to audio through your watch.
    Apple Watch On
  • Then three options will be popped up. To Turn on Noise Cancellation, tap on Noise Cancellation under the Noise Control Label.
    Apple Watch Off
  • To turn it off, the same process will be repeated and then in the last step, click on the off button.

Using Mac

Plenty of people worldwide are part of Apple’s ecosystem in one or the other way, and this number is rapidly growing every passing day. So, Apple has included the option in MacBook to control their AirPods from their Macs. Users should follow the following steps to enable or disable Noise Cancellation from their MacBook.

  • Make sure AirPods Pro or AirPods Max is connected by wearing it in your ears.
  • Users can enable the noise cancellation feature in 2 ways.
    • Open the Menu bar 🢂 Click on the volume button 🢂 Click on the AirPods Pro icon or the AirPods Max icon 🢂 Choose Noise Cancellation mode.
Using Mac
  • Another method is to select the Apple menu 🢂 System Preferences 🢂 Click Bluetooth 🢂 Click Options next to AirPods 🢂 Select Noise Cancellation.

Using Apple TV

Apple is the world’s largest company, worth around $3 trillion. This is only because of the precise product lineup and compatibility among all of them. Apple TV is also part of this remarkable ecosystem. 

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

  • Pair and connect your Apple AirPods Pro or AirPods Max with your Apple TV.
  • Open Control Center by pressing and holding the  TV button on the Siri Remote until Control Center appears to screen 🢂 Select the AirPods button 🢂 Select the Noise Cancellation toggle button.
  • Similarly, just by selecting off, the user can get the Noise Cancellation feature off by pressing the off button.


Apple’s AirPods 3rd generation does not come with any Active Noise Cancellation. In contrast, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max come with Active Noise Cancellation. ANC can be easily enabled or disabled by using Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPad Touch, Apple Watch, MacBook, and Apple TV.

Furthermore, in this noisy world, this cutting-edge technology of Noise Cancellation is a must for any True Wireless Stereo (TWS) device.

Check out these Tools to Remove iCloud Activation Lock.

  • Dhruv Parmar
    Dhruv is a senior content writer at Geekflare with proficiency in every niche. He mainly focuses on technology, product reviews, crypto, blockchain, and how-to articles. Other than these niches, he also likes to write about freelancing,… read more
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