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How to Fix if AirPods Noise Cancellation Not Working?

How to Fix if AirPods Noise Cancellation Not Working?.

The active noise cancellation on your AirPods should block out background sounds and ambient noise. Wireless headphones use both outward and inward microphones to detect and counteract unwanted sounds.

Read : 3 Wireless Earbud Alternatives to Apple’s AirPods

Noise canceling is easy to activate and use on supported AirPods. However, there are times when the function does not work properly. We will explain why the noise reduction function is malfunctioning, and six ways to return this function to normal.

Note. As of this guide’s publication, only the Apple AirPods Pro and AirPods Max support Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The AirPods 3 does not support ANC, although it does have some design similarity to the AirPods Pro. Hence, the troubleshooting fixes below are applicable to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

1. Check AirPods Settings

Noise canceling will not work on AirPods Pro when using only one AirPods. To activate the noise canceling function, you must have both earbuds (left and right) in your ears. If you want to use noise cancellation with one AirPod, turn it on in your iPhone or iPad’s settings menu. Here’s how to do it:

Open the Settings app on your iPhone/iPad and select Accessibility.Select AirPods under Physical & Motor.Enable noise cancellation with one AirPod.

You should now be able to turn on noise canceling with an AirPod in one ear. This is a handy feature for AirPods users with hearing loss or hearing loss in one ear.

2. Re-Enable Noise Cancellation

If your AirPods aren’t blocking background noise, switch to a different noise canceling mode and return to noise canceling mode. You can switch noise canceling modes right from your AirPods.

For AirPods Pro: Place both AirPods in your ears, press and hold the force sensor on one (left or right) AirPods. This will turn on or activate the transparency mode. Then press and hold the force sensor again to return to noise canceling mode.

With your AirPods Max on, press the noise control button on your headphones to switch between noise reduction and transparency modes.

You can also remotely switch AirPods between noise canceling and transparency modes on Apple devices. Connect both AirPods to your ears and follow these steps:

Enable AirPods noise cancellation on iOS devices

Connect AirPods to your iPhone/iPad and follow these steps:

Go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the info icon next to your AirPods. Tap the info icon next to your AirPods. Under Noise Control, select Off. or Transparency to disable noise reduction.Wait a few seconds and select Noise Reduction to turn noise reduction back on.

You can also toggle the noise canceling mode of your AirPods in your device’s Control Center.

If your iPhone has a notch, swipe down from the top right corner of the screen. Follow the same steps to open iPad Control Center. On an iPhone with a home button (and iPod touch), swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

After that, touch and hold the volume slider, touch the “Noise control” icon and select “Noise reduction”.

If noise cancellation isn’t working, choose Off to disable noise cancellation and choose Noise Cancellation again.

Enable AirPods noise cancellation on Mac

Connect your AirPods to your Mac and follow these steps.

Select the AirPods icon in the menu bar and choose Noise Cancellation under your AirPods. Skip to step 2 if the AirPods icon is not in your Mac’s menu bar.

Open the Mac Control Center and expand the Sound menu.

Expand the AirPods menu to view noise control modes. Select “Off” to disable active noise cancellation. Reselect “Noise Cancelling” and check if your AirPods are blocking background noise.

Turn on AirPods noise cancellation on Apple Watch

Here’s how to turn AirPods noise cancellation on Apple Watch back on:

Tap the AirPlay icon in the lower right corner of your music player.Tap Off to disable Active Noise Cancellation. Wait a few seconds and tap Noise Cancelling to turn Active Noise Cancelling back on.

3. Readjust AirPods Pro for Good Fit

Your AirPods provide the best sound quality and noise cancellation when they fit snugly in your ears. Make sure your AirPods Pro eartips fit securely and comfortably into your ear canals. If AirPods Pro’s noise canceling system doesn’t work well with the pre-installed medium-sized ear tips, try other ear tips.

In the AirPods Pro box, you will find two extra ear tips (small [S] and large [L]). Try both ear tips on your AirPods and use the one that fits best. Adjust and reinsert your AirPods into your ears a few times to see if you get a good fit.

Run the “Ear Plug Fit Test” on your iPhone if you’re unsure of the fit. Insert both AirPods into your ears and follow these steps:

Go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the info icon next to your AirPods.Select Earbud Fit Test and tap Continue to continue.

Press the Play button and hold both AirPods in your ears while the test sound plays. Use eartips if both left and right eartips are Good Seal.Click Done to close the Eartip Fit Results page. Or click the “Play” button again to repeat the test.

Noise canceling may not work properly with the same ear tips on all AirPods. Depending on the shape of your earlobes, you may need to use different ear tips on both AirPods. For more information, see this Apple Support document on choosing your AirPods Pro ear tips.

4. Clean the AirPods

Cleaning your AirPods not only makes them louder, but it can also solve performance issues and prevent long-term damage. However, you don’t have to clean the entire AirPods to fix noise canceling issues. Just focus on the grid located at the top of the AirPods Pro. See image below.

Beneath the mesh is an outward-facing microphone that detects and blocks external sounds in noise canceling mode. Foreign material on the mesh will prevent the microphone from filtering ambient noise. This might be why your AirPods Pro noise cancellation isn’t working.

Inspect the surface of the mesh and wipe off any dust, wax, or debris with a dry cotton swab. Then use a soft-bristled brush to remove stubborn dirt or earwax stuck to the mesh. Do not use sharp objects, abrasive materials, or any liquid solutions, not even water, to clean the microphone mesh. For more tips, see Apple’s official AirPods cleaning guide.

5. Update the Paired Device

Updating your iPhone, iPad, or Mac software to the latest version can fix audio issues with AirPods.

Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install the latest version of iOS or iPadOS available for your iPhone or iPad.

To update your Mac, go to System Preferences > Software Update and select Update Now or Update Now.


If AirPods noise canceling doesn’t work on Apple Watch only, updating your watch’s operating system may fix the problem. Learn how to update your Apple Watch with or without an iPhone.

6. Sign Up for AirPods Service Repair

According to Apple, a small percentage of AirPods Pro released before October 2020 are defective and may cause audio issues. Faulty devices may make crackling or static sounds during phone calls or in noisy environments. Failure of active noise cancellation and loss of bass are other noticeable consequences of the defect.

Contact Apple Support to make sure your AirPods Pro are eligible for the service program. Better yet, visit any Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Store.

Block Out the Noise

Updating the firmware of your AirPods is another troubleshooting solution worth trying. Firmware updates often come with performance improvements and bug fixes. If this doesn’t solve the problem, reset your AirPods to factory settings and reconnect them to your device.

How to Fix if AirPods Noise Cancellation Not Working?

How to Fix if AirPods Noise Cancellation Not Working?

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