How to tell if noise cancellation is working on your AirPods | Pro or Max

Not a long ago, no one was familiar with the Airpods or earbuds but now at this time probably no one is unfamiliar from the word  Airpods.

With this rise in the name of earbuds Apple AirPods have Crossed the line by far and seems to be heard everywhere like a household device.

Active Noise Cancellation is one of the standout features of AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro Max. 

This feature is helpful and a result of advanced technological achievements. The feature helps in getting boosted sound for good audio experience by blocking ambient outer sound. 

But what if you want to make sure that your AirPods noise cancellation feature is properly functioning. We will discuss different ways for this here.

First of all you should be sure that your AirPods are properly Fit and there is no interference of the outer effects with the inner effects. Then you can perform Physical check for Audio cues, get help from physical indicators, apply transparency mode and check your Apple device settings. Let’s check all options in details.

Related: How to reset AIrpods Pro from previous owner?

How to turn on noise cancellation on Airpods?

It is quite easy:

  • Get your airpods out of the case 
  • Put airpods in your ears because it is important to do this. Without this you will not be able to hear chime like sound to ensure that your noise cancellation is working
  • Now press the sensor for some time unless you hear a chime-like sound. The sensor is located on the stem of your AirPod. You can do it by using only one Airpod.
enabling noise cancellation on airpods
  • Another way to enable noise cancelling is to access the Noise cancelling feature on your IOS device. You will have to open Control center on iPhone then hold down the Volume slider there. You will see some options and you have to tap on noise control and then tap on the enable noise cancellation / disable noise cancellation to enable or disable it.
noise cancellation feature on IOS
  • You can switch between noise cancellation and transparency mode on this settings tab.
switching noise cancellatio

Ways to know if noise cancellation is working or not on Airpods or Airpods Pro

The simplest method for checking, if noise cancellation is active or not on your Airpods, is to use Apple device settings. You can easily do this if you have connected your Airpods with your iPhone.

Noise Cancellation on AirPods

Check for Audio Cues

You can make an easy guess using this method. What you will have to do is: 

  •  Play an audio source outside so that there can be some noise around you
  • Now enable noise cancellation either by using the sensor on AirPods or by using your IOS device settings
  • Put your AirPods in your ears and notice if noise cancellation is working properly or not
  • If you have enabled the transparency mode then you will have to switch it to noise cancellation mode.

Use Apple device settings

You will find the noise control option on your device if your airpods are properly connected with your IOS device. 

You can do it on iPhone, iPad or any other Apple device.

For example you have connected airpods with your iPhone then you can do this by:

  • Open control center on your iPhone
  • Press long volume slider icon unless you see noise control options
  • You have to make sure that noise cancellation is on. If it is off or transparency mode is on then you should tap on noise cancellation to activate it.

Transparency mode

Keep in mind that the transparency mode is different than Noise cancellation mode.

In the case when transparency mode is enabled you will be able to hear outer sound easily because in this mode the outer sound will pass through the Airpods.

This mode is found in Airpods pro and airpods pro max.

If transparency mode is enabled then it is clear that noise cancellation is not working.

How to fix “Noise Cancellation not working” on Airpods?

What we have discussed above will give you the reasons why noise cancellation is not working.

The first reason is that you have not enabled this mode properly and you can fix this issue by going through any of the 2 ways:

  • Activate noise cancellation using the sensor on your Airpods. If the sensor is not working properly then you can try the other way.
  • Activate it using the noise control option on your IOS device.

But if the problem persists even after enabling the noise cancellation feature then it is clear that the problem is internal to the Airpods due to failure of the inner technology which helps in reducing the outer noise.

Another problem can be that your Airpods may no longer be properly packed and there is any leakage of sound waves due to improper fit.

What is the difference between noise cancellation and transparency mode on AirPods?

Some people think that both the noise cancellation and transparency mode are the same but this is not right.
In noise cancellation your airpods generate sound waves which interfere in the way of outer noise waves and cancel their effect. As a result noise is reduced to a noticeable level.
You can get rid of noisy environment and enjoy your listening using this feature.
While on the other side if you don’t want to isolate yourself from the outer environment and even want to enjoy your music then you can enable transparency mode. 
In this mode your airpods make use of inner microphones to pick up outer sound and play through inner speakers. 


To conclude, you will notice much difference in the ambient sound when noise cancellation is on. You can also make sure if noise cancellation works properly or not by switching between noise cancellation and transparency mood and by hearing slight hiss when the feature is turned on.