How to activate noise cancellation on the AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro laid out on a desk
(Image credit: Future)

If you've just got a set, you'll want to learn how to activate noise cancellation on the AirPods Pro. After all, excellent active noise cancellation is one of the primary selling points of the AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro 2, helping make the latter some of the best headphones around, and could well be one of the reasons you bought them. 

While activating noise cancellation on the AirPods Pro sounds like an easy thing to do (which it is), that doesn't mean it's obvious. There isn't a standout button on the earbuds themselves saying "Noise Cancellation." What's more, there are a few different controls you'll be grappling with as you get to know your AirPods Pro, and it can be a little confusing at first knowing which presses, holds and finger slides do what.

Don't worry though, we're here to show you how to activate noise cancellation on your AirPods Pro, both via the AirPods themselves and via your iOS and iPadOS device. All you need to do now is read on.

Here's how to activate noise cancellation on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro 2.

How to activate noise cancellation on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro 2

1. On either of your AirPods Pro earbuds, press and hold the force sensor until you hear a chime noise.

(Image credit: Future)

2. Alternatively, with your AirPods Pro in your ear, swipe down from the top right of an iOS or iPadOS display to open Control Center. Tap and hold the audio slider.

(Image credit: Future)

3. Tap the Noise Control icon, bottom left, then tap Noise Cancellation.

(Image credit: Future)

See, super easy! If you'd like more help with using your AirPods, why not read our guides on how to connect AirPods to an iPhone or iPad, how to connect AirPods to a PC and how to reset AirPods. We also have a tutorial on how to turn on Spatial Audio on iPhone for immersive surround sound using AirPods.

More: 10 hidden AirPods Pro 2 features you should be using.

Peter Wolinski
Editor, How To & Cameras

Peter is Editor of the How To and Camera sections at Tom's Guide. As a writer, he covers topics including tech, photography, gaming, hardware, motoring and food & drink. Outside of work, he can usually be found telling everyone about his greyhounds, obsessively detailing his car, squeezing as many FPS as possible out of PC games, and perfecting his espresso shots.