Noise Cancellation vs Transparency on AirPods (What’s The Difference?)

by | Nov 13, 2023

AirPods Pro, Pro 2, and Max all offer settings that let you customize the amount of sound your AirPods let in. These two settings are known as Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode.

Both of these offer slightly different listening experiences, allowing you to customize your AirPods to your environment. This guide will teach you the difference between Noise Cancellation vs Transparency mode.

Noise Cancellation vs Transparency Mode

Noise cancellation and transparency mode are two distinct features found in AirPods Pro and AirPods Max that cater to different listening preferences and situations. Here’s a detailed explanation of each mode:

Related Reading: Check out our guide on how to turn Noise Cancellation on and off.

Noise Cancellation Mode

This feature uses advanced algorithms and external microphones to analyze and counteract environmental noise.

By generating anti-noise waves that effectively cancel out external sounds, noise cancellation creates an immersive listening experience that allows you to focus on your audio content.

Transparency Mode

In contrast, transparency mode is designed to let some external sounds pass through while you’re listening to your audio content.

This mode uses the same external microphones to capture and mix ambient noise with your audio, allowing you to maintain situational awareness and stay connected to your environment.

Note! Switching between these two modes is simple; just press and hold the force sensor on AirPods Pro or the noise control button on AirPods Max until you hear a chime.

Which Mode Should I Use?

When deciding between Noise Cancellation vs Transparency mode on your AirPods, it comes down to personal preference and the current environment that you’re in.

If you’re still uncertain after reading this guide, try this:

  • Use Noise Cancellation: for situations where you want to block out distractions, such as when traveling on public transport, working in a noisy office, or studying in a crowded area.
  • Use Transparency mode: for situations where you need to be alert, like walking or jogging outdoors, having conversations with others, or participating in group activities.

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Ken Lynch

by Ken Lynch

Ken is a Technologist, Healthcare Data Analyst, and the owner and sole contributor to The Wearable Guy.

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