Apple Blog

what it is and how it works

Since their launch in late 2019, Apple’s AirPods Pro have stood out for a particular feature that many users have long been asking for: noise cancellation. In this article we tell you everything you need to know about this functionality, both the technology that makes it up and how to activate it.

What is noise cancellation

You may have been reading this word for some time, but you don’t know what it is. In summary, you could say that a headset has noise cancellation when for physical or internal technological reasons it is able to isolate outside noise from the sound it is reproducing, thus helping to make the user’s immersion better.

what it is and how it works
what it is and how it works

We found two types of noise cancellation, the first of which is passive cancellation , which is mainly due to the shape of the headphones and could be said to be innate in them, since no internal technology is needed to facilitate it. The very design and materials used at the time of construction favour the existence of noise isolation. Normally this is given in headphones or earphones, as is the case with the AirPods Pro, but not with the rest of the AirPods.

On the other hand we have the active cancellation , which can combine or not the factors of passive cancellation with a careful technology that allows to isolate the noise. This is generally achieved by an external microphone that receives the sound from the environment, transforming it into an opposite sound wave that generates silence. In a headset it is understood that it works better because to this active cancellation is added the passive one.

Noise Cancellation on AirPods Pro

We’ve summarized what active noise cancellation is and this is precisely the technology Apple uses in the AirPods Pro. The in-ear design of these headphones can be a factor in improving isolation because it blocks out the ears, allowing less outside noise to enter. In addition, there are several sizes of earpads that fit in our ears. In any case this would not be a sufficient passive cancellation to take it into account.

The greatest asset of the AirPods Pro lives inside them, because they are one of the few of this style that are able to go by constantly adjusting the sound according to the noise it detects outside. This detection occurs thanks to a microphone facing outwards and which makes the internal components of the headset capable of emitting an anti-noise signal of the same amplitude to cancel it out.

So far we’ve seen these Apple Earphones perform the ultimate in active noise cancellation, but there’s still one more microphone inside. This one also checks if there is any unwanted sound and is able to cancel it out with another anti-noise signal. In fact this whole noise cancellation process is adjusted 200 times per second to avoid distraction when this mode is active.

It would be absurd to say that, despite this meticulous technology, the AirPods Pro have the best noise cancellation on the market. It is clear that due to its design there will be much more powerful headphones in this sense, however it is very important to take into account that it is one of the best cancellations in this type of headphones in-ear. Although everyone has a different hearing level, they are able to adapt as much as possible to favour an immersion in music, video or whatever sound is playing.

Enable Noise Cancellation for AirPods Pro

iPhone and iPad

Once you have the AirPods properly connected to your device, you will find up to three different ways to activate noise cancellation. The first and easiest way is to press the haptic button on the headset’s pins, although if you don’t differentiate between modes it can be a bit confusing. So the best way to do this is to open the Control Centre , go to the volume adjustment part and click on it to find the different sound modes of the AirPods Pro. Also from Settings> Blueetoth you can press on the AirPods to access more settings, including noise cancellation.


If you connect your AirPod Pro to a Mac, you will need to go to System Settings> Sound , or go to the toolbar if you have these settings there. Then, by clicking on the AirPods Pro you can toggle between the different sound modes. If you go to System Preferences> Bluetooth and click on “options” in the headset you will find a number of settings including the ability to select the noise control for the haptic button. If you find this more convenient you can simply check the option for ambient sound and noise cancellation so that every time you use this control the AirPods will vary between these options.

Apple TV

These Apple media playback devices also support AirPod Pro and its many options. In this case you must ensure that they are connected from Settings> Controls & Devices> Bluetooth. Once you have done this you can switch between the sound modes via the haptic button on the headphones.

Other devices

Both the AirPod Pro and its noise cancellation modes are compatible with other devices such as mobile phones and tablets Android or PCs with Windows . On these devices, you could lose the options to change modes from the settings, as well as find your own animations, but on each of them you can activate and deactivate the noise cancellation thanks to the same haptic button that you can use on Apple devices.

And you, have you tried the noise cancellation on the AirPods Pro? What did you think? You can leave your impressions in the comment box.

Similar Posts