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Complete Guide on How to Turn on Noise Cancelling on Airpods

Active Noise Cancellation is one of the key features of AirPods Pro that makes them superior to AirPods. There is no doubt that AirPods Pro is the better option if you use ANC frequently. The Active Noise Cancellation on long flights is intended only for those who want to study or listen to music/videos during their flight. However, we can appreciate how irritating it is when the Active Noise Cancellation stops working. In order to assist you in resolving this issue, we have compiled a list of solutions.


Make sure your AirPods Pro is authentic/original before attempting to restore the Noise Cancellation feature. If you bought it from an Apple Store or Apple’s official online store, you have nothing to worry about; your AirPods Pro is 100% authentic. Alternatively, if you purchased your device from a third-party retailer (non-Apple), ensure it is authentic.

Complete Guide on How to Turn on Noise Cancelling on Airpods

According to personal experience and online reviews, Noise Cancellation does not work with counterfeit or fake AirPods Pros. As long as you are certain you have a genuine AirPods Pro device, you should proceed to the section below in order to fix glitches that prevent them from switching to Noise Cancellation mode.

Also Need To Know: How to Turn Off Apple Watch: Step-by-Step Guide 

Note: The AirPods Pro is the only generation/model of AirPods which supports Active Noise Cancellation (at the present time).

How to Turn on Noise Cancelling on Airpods?

The Active Noise Cancellation feature is enabled by default on the AirPods Pro when both AirPods are inserted into the ear. When you attempt to activate Noise Cancellation by pressing the Force Sensor on the AirPods Pro or by using the Control Center, you will receive an error message stating that both AirPods must be inserted in your ears in order to activate this feature. That seems odd, doesn’t it?


However, there is a workaround that allows people to use Noise Cancellation with just one AirPod. It is particularly useful for the following purposes:


  • A person who has lost or misplaced an AirPods Pro
  • Hearing-impaired individuals or individuals with single-sided deafness (hearing loss in only one ear)


The following are the steps to configure your AirPods so that Noise Cancellation can be activated with just one (active) AirPod.


Note: (AirPods Pro noise cancelation can only be modified to work with one AirPod on iOS devices like iPhone and iPad.)


Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and select Accessibility.


Step 2: Select AirPods from the ‘Physical and Motor’ section.


Step 3: Enable ‘Noise Cancellation with One AirPod.’


By tapping and holding the Force Sensor on your AirPods Pro, you will now be able to activate Noise Cancellation. If Noise Cancellation is not working on either AirPod or both AirPods, even when the ‘Noise Cancellation with One AirPod’ option is selected, please follow the steps below.

Re-Enable Noise Cancellation

Noise Cancellation can be disabled, waited for some seconds, and then turned back on if you are still able to hear background noise. The Force Sensor is located on the stem of either AirPod. When you tap and hold it, you will hear a chime. If you do not hear a chime after tapping and holding the Force Sensor, tap and hold it again.


As an alternative, you need to follow the steps below.

Re-Enable Noise Cancellation on iPhone or iPad

Step 1: Launch the Control Center and long-press the icon for AirPods volume.


Step 2: Select Off under the Noise Control icon.


Step 3: Select Noise Cancellation after waiting for a few seconds.

Re-Enable Noise Cancellation on Mac

The first step in using AirPods is to connect them to your Mac. The second step is to ensure that the volume icon is permanently displayed in the menu bar of your Mac.


Step 1: Select Sound in the System Preferences window.


Step 2: Select ‘Show volume in menu bar’ from the drop-down list.


The next step is to disable and re-enable Noise Cancellation.


Step 3: From the menu bar, select the volume icon.


Step 4: Select Off from the menu that appears when you hover your cursor over your AirPods.


Step 5: After a few seconds, reactivate the Noise Cancellation feature.

Modify Force Sensor Settings

When using iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or other devices, can you switch to Noise Cancellation, but not when using AirPods Pro? Make sure that the Force Sensor settings are correct.


When you long-press the Force Sensor on both AirPods, you should be able to switch to Noise Cancellation mode.

Modify AirPods Force Sensor Settings on iPhone & iPad

Step 1: Open the Settings application and select Bluetooth.


Step 2: To find out more about your AirPods, tap the information icon.


Step 3: Make sure Noise Control is selected in the ‘Press and Hold AirPods’ section.


Tap on an object on one or both AirPods if something else is selected to modify the Force Sensor settings.


Step 4: Tap the AirPod that is not set to Noise Control and select the Noise Control option.


Step 5: Ensure that the Noise Cancellation option is also selected under the Noise Control menu.

Modify AirPods Force Sensor Settings on Mac

Make sure the AirPods are connected to your Mac, and follow the steps below.


Step 1: Select Bluetooth from the System Preferences menu.


Step 2: Select your AirPods and then tap the Options button.


Step 3: Select Noise Control from both the ‘Press & Hold Left AirPod’ and the ‘Press & Hold Right AirPod’ settings. Furthermore, ensure that Noise Cancellation is enabled for the ‘Noise Control Toggles’ option.


Step 4: Click the Done button to save your changes.

Clean Airpods

There is no need to wash your AirPods with water or any other liquid. There is no need to purchase anything special other than a microfiber cloth that is clean, dry, and lint-free. Furthermore, it is not necessary to clean the entire AirPods; only the inward-facing microphones of the AirPods Pro require cleaning. The reason is as follows.


As part of the AirPods Pro, the outward-facing microphone works in conjunction with the inward-facing microphone to counter external background noise as well as internal sounds with anti-noise. There is a risk that Noise Cancellation will not function if dirt, debris, or earwax accumulates on the inward-facing microphone on the AirPods Pro (see image below).


To remove any particles or dirt from the microphone, use a clean, dry, and lint-free cloth. When there is earbud wax stuck on the cloth, dampen it slightly with fresh water and wipe it off. After cleaning the microphone, use a dry cloth to wipe it down.

Update Device

AirPod’s performance is somewhat influenced by your device’s operating system, even though it may appear unrelated. For Active Noise Cancellation to work properly, Apple strongly recommends that the connected device (iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iPod touch) be running the most recent version of its operating system.

Apply to the Airpods Pro Service Program

In Apple’s opinion, some AirPods Pro units – particularly those manufactured before October 2020 – are faulty and likely to exhibit sound-related issues, such as crackling and static sounds, loss of bass, and ineffective or non-functional Active Noise Cancellation features.


Therefore, Apple launched the ‘AirPods Pro Service Program,’ which offers free repairs or replacements for AirPods Pro units that are damaged. Therefore, if your AirPods Pro is still not switching to Noise Cancellation after trying all the troubleshooting solutions discussed above, you should follow one of the following steps:


  • Find an Apple Retail Store near you.
  • Find and book an appointment with a qualified Apple service provider.
  • Get in touch with Apple Support.


The faulty AirPod (left, right, or both) will be repaired or replaced if your AirPods Pro is diagnosed as one of the affected units.


Note: Under the service program, the charging case for the AirPods Pro is ineligible for servicing or replacement.

Final Words

If you use one of these troubleshooting methods, we are confident that Noise Cancellation will be restored to your AirPods Pro. The most likely cause of the problem is a counterfeit or damaged device if the problem persists. If you require any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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