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What AirPods Have Noise Cancelling

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Noise cancelling technology is particularly useful as it helps reduce the outside sound and improves the quality of your audio output. Apple has taken advantage of this in some of its products, and the AirPods are one of them. But what exactly does noise cancelling mean, and how does it work in the AirPods?

Active Noise Cancellation is available in AirPods Pro (1st, 2nd, and Generation) and AirPods Max. These two versions of AirPods have three noise control modes, allowing you to choose how much outside sound you want to hear.

Read on to learn about Noise Cancellation in AirPods and how it benefits you.

What is Noise Cancelling and What AirPods Have It

One limitation earbuds and headphones have always had is a lack of noise cancellation. The external noises are always amplified when using earbuds and headphones. This is due to the way these wearables have been designed. But that has been changing with the advent of smart earbuds like AirPods.

What is Noise Cancelling

Noise cancellation technology is pretty much standard in some headphones. The tech works by analyzing the external noise and then counteracting it with an equal signal. The effectiveness of this method can be quite impressive, especially if you are in a noisy setting.

In AirPods, they call it Active Noise Cancellation. It uses an outward-facing microphone that detects external sounds. AirPods 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. Then AirPods counter with anti-noise, cancelling the internal sounds before you hear them.

The main advantage of AirPods is that they are designed to be able to cancel out ambient noise. They do this through two mics located on the outside portion of the buds. This eliminates background noises in a very effective manner and makes it difficult for anyone else to hear what you’re listening to.

So, AirPods take noise-cancelling technology to the next level by incorporating it into their design. They use this technology to cancel out external sounds, usually done with headphones or earbuds. And they can do this while using minimal power.

What AirPods Have Noise Cancelling

The Active Noise Cancelling feature is now available for AirPods Pro (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations) and AirPods Max. You have to enable the noise-control feature on the AirPods themselves, Apple Watch, iPhone or iPad, and Mac.

The feature is available alongside the other modes: Transparency mode and Off. You can easily switch between these modes, depending on how much of your surroundings you want to hear.

You can toggle between the noise-control modes on your AirPods Pros by pressing and holding the force sensor on the AirPod stem until you hear a chime. The good news is you can use the Noise Cancellation feature on one AirPod at a time.

You can activate it on your iPhone or iPad. Open the Settings icon, tap on “Accessibility” followed by AirPods and turn on Noise Cancellation with One AirPod.

How to Turn On Noise Cancelling on AirPods

For the AirPod Max headphone, there is a small button on one ear cup which you need to press to switch between the modes.

You can also customize these settings on your iPhone or iPad. Open your iPhone or iPad Control Center and tap on the Noise Control icon. Choose from the three available modes: Off, Transparency, or Noise Cancellation.

It’s also straightforward in Apple Watch. With the AirPods connected and the Watch playing audio, tap on the AirPlay icon in the lower-right corner. Choose the audio source with Noise Cancellation, Transparency, or Off to adjust how much outside sound you hear in your AirPods.

For your Mac, simply head to the menu bar and click the volume control icon. Click your AirPods and switch on the Noise Cancellation mode or any other two modes. You can also go through the Bluetooth settings. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth. Select your AirPods and adjust the Noise Cancellation mode.

Active Noise Cancellation vs Transparency Mode

As mentioned before, AirPods come with three different audio modes: Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Transparency Mode, and Off. While the last option is self-explanatory, the first two are a bit more complicated.

Active Noise Cancellation is the ability to block out external sound using anti-noise technology. This is an ideal option for situations where you need to remain focused and undistracted, such as in a busy office or on an airplane.

On the other hand, Transparency Mode allows you to hear outside sounds, such as your surroundings, conversations with others, and traffic. This is a great choice for situations where you still need to be aware of your environment, such as when walking to class or on a jog.

While these two options sound somehow similar, they serve very different purposes. So the key is experimenting with both and deciding which works best for your specific needs. Whether you opt for ANC or Transparency Mode, you can be sure that the AirPods Pro will deliver high-quality sound and incredible comfort.

There is also the Adaptive Transparency feature, which allows you to customize your experience by automatically adjusting the levels of sound filtering. With Adaptive Transparency, you can achieve just the right level of noise reduction. This is a great option for situations where you must be highly aware of your surroundings, such as when walking or jogging on busy city streets.

However, this option is only available on AirPods Pro (2nd or 3rd generation) when paired with the latest iOS or iPadOS. So if you have these advanced AirPods and are looking for a way to enjoy even more control over your listening experience, definitely give Adaptive Transparency a try.


Noise cancellation has become an essential feature for many people who must remain focused even in noisy environments. It’s available on various headphones and earbuds, including AirPods Pro (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations) and AirPod Max. With this feature turned on these devices, you can enjoy high-quality audio without being disturbed by outside noise.

About the author

Shamim Hasan

I am the founder of Globo Gears, 27 years old, and a passionate content creator. After completing my master's degree, I am now a full-time blogger. Traveling and exploring natural beauties are my hobbies.

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