How to Use AirPods Pro Transparency Mode

This mode is available on the AirPods Pro and Pro Max models

What to Know

  • Control Center: Swipe open the Control Center > long press the volume slider > Noise Control > Transparency.
  • Settings: Go to Settings > Bluetooth > i icon next to AirPods Pro > Transparency.
  • On AirPods: Press and hold the AirPods stem until the mode switches.

This article explains what the AirPods Pro Transparency Mode is, what it does, and the three ways to turn it on and off. Transparency Mode is available on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro Max models, and your device must be running iOS 13.2 or iPadOS 13.2.

How to Use AirPods Pro Transparency Mode

Transparency Mode is maybe the coolest feature of the AirPods Pro since it reduces background noise but still lets you hear essential things. There are three ways to use it, and which one you choose will depend on your situation. Here are the step-by-step instructions for all three ways to turn on Transparency Mode.

Turn On AirPods Transparency Mode Using Control Center

The easiest method is to enable transparency mode via the Control Center.

  1. Connect the AirPods to your iPhone or iPad.

    Here's what to do if your AirPods won't connect to iPhone or iPad.

  2. Open Control Center (on some models do this by swiping down from the top right corner. On other models, swipe up from the bottom).

  3. Long press the volume slider (it will have an AirPods icon when they're connected).

  4. Tap the Noise Control.

  5. Tap Transparency.

    Steps to turn on Transparency mode on AirPods via Control Center on an iPhone.

Turn On AirPods Transparency Mode Using Settings

You can also turn your AirPods to Transparency Mode using the Settings app in iOS. It takes a few more clicks, but it will get the job done.

  1. Connect the AirPods Pro to your device.

  2. Tap the Settings app to open it.

  3. Tap Bluetooth.

  4. Tap the i icon next to the AirPods Pro.

  5. In the Noise Control section, tap Transparency.

    Steps to turn on Transparency mode on AirPods via the Bluetooth settings on an iPhone.

Turn On AirPods Transparency Mode Using the AirPods

You can also turn on Transparency Mode without ever touching your device. If you've configured AirPods settings properly, all you need to do is touch the AirPods themselves. Press and hold the stem of one AirPod (this is the same place you press to play/pause audio or answer and end phone calls). Keep pressing until a chime sounds. Each time the chime sounds, you've moved from one Noise Control setting—Noise Cancellation, Transparency, Off—to the next. Let go of the stem when Transparency Mode is activated.

You can also use Siri to turn on Transparency Mode. Just activate Siri and say, "Siri, turn on transparency."

How to Turn Off Transparency Mode

Don't want to use Transparency Mode anymore? Turn it off by following the instructions in the three sections above. In the final step, tap Off instead of Transparency.

What Is AirPods Pro Transparency Mode?

The AirPods Pro earphones have a feature called Noise Control designed to improve your listening experience when using them. Noise Control offers two modes: Noise Cancellation and Transparency. Both modes filter out background noise, making your listening experience clearer and more immersive, more enjoyable, and letting you listen at a lower volume (which helps protect your hearing).

Both modes use the microphones built into the AirPods to detect ambient sound around you and then use software to filter out that sound. Noise Cancellation blocks out as much sound as possible, giving the sense of being enveloped in what you're listening to and drastically lowering the noise level of everything around you.

Transparency Mode is a bit different. It works on the assumption that you may need to hear some sounds around you. For instance, if you're listening to AirPod while walking on a city street, you want great audio while keeping safe. Transparency Mode balances a reduction of background noise (car, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic) while still letting you hear essential sounds like podcasts, music, and voices.

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