What do to when noise cancellation isn’t working properly on AirPods Pro

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AirPods-Pro-how-to
Don't settle for subpar noise cancellation.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Active noise cancellation is one of the big selling points of AirPods Pro, so you probably expect it to actually work after you’ve splashed out $249. But if you’re running into noise cancellation problems, there are ways to fix them.

Find out how right here.

When noise cancellation is working properly, AirPods Pro should block out much of the ambient noise around you so that you can enjoy your favorite tunes and podcasts without them being spoiled by screaming kids or street traffic.

When it doesn’t work, however, AirPods Pro sound a lot like regular AirPods, and the extra money you paid for them kind of goes down the drain. So when you run into noise cancellation issues, here’s what you can do to fix them.

Fix noise cancellation problems with AirPods Pro

Apple recommends that you first ensure all your devices — iPhone, iPad, and Mac — are updated to the latest firmware. If this doesn’t solve your problems, you should follow these steps:

  1. Put both AirPods Pro in your ears and check that noise cancellation is enabled. You can do this on Mac by clicking the speaker icon in your menu bar, highlighting AirPods Pro, then clicking Noise Cancellation. On an iOS device, tap and hold the volume slider in Control Center, then tap the Noise Cancellation button at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Clean the black mesh positioned on the inside of AirPods Pro, that goes into your ear. Apple says that a buildup of earwax or debris here can prevent noise cancellation from working as intended.
  3. Contact Apple Support. If you’ve tried all of the above and active noise cancellation still isn’t working properly, your AirPods Pro may be faulty. If that’s the case, only Apple can solve your problem.
AirPods-Pro-mesh
Be sure to keep this mesh clean.
Photo: Apple

Here’s to hoping you don’t need step three.

We also have a guide on how to fix cracking or static sounds on AirPods Pro, which may be useful if you’re experience other sound problems.