Discover how to make the most of your second-gen AirPods Pro with our valuable tips, whether you’re aiming for enhanced noise cancellation or extended battery life.
Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro are renowned for their seamless performance right out of the box. However, beneath their user-friendly surface, there’s a wealth of features waiting to be explored.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through several tips and recommendations to maximize your AirPods Pro experience. Some of these tips are simple fixes, while others may require some trial and error within the settings.
Activate Adaptive Transparency Mode
Apple’s Adaptive Transparency mode is a handy feature for reducing the impact of loud external noises, whether you’re strolling through noisy city streets or hitting the gym. It automatically lowers the volume of sounds exceeding 85dB, such as sirens or jackhammers, without distorting their quality. This mode helps you stay aware of crucial sounds, such as sirens, without subjecting you to their full volume.
However, Adaptive Transparency mode offers a unique capability: it turns your AirPods Pro into effective, active earplugs at loud events like concerts. We conducted tests by playing loud music from nearby speakers, and the mode effectively reduced both transient and sustained sections without compromising the dynamic range. While it would be beneficial for Apple to display the real-time sounds reduced by this mode via an app or allow customization of the volume threshold, the current functionality of Adaptive Transparency mode is impressive.
Adjust Earpiece earpiece position for Optimal Noise Cancellation
The AirPods Pro are designed to fit securely in your ear canal, delivering a comfortable and secure fit at various angles. Surprisingly, their audio performance remains consistent regardless of the stem’s position.
However, where you place them in your ear significantly affects their noise cancellation performance. This is because each earpiece includes two microphones (one outside the ear canal and one inside) that work in tandem to cancel out external noises. Any changes in positioning significantly impact the sounds they detect.
The AirPods Pro employ an adaptive approach to active noise cancellation, quickly adapting to new sounds in the environment. Therefore, minor adjustments to their position can lead to improved noise cancellation. While Apple may not officially promote this tip, it can be highly effective. Be cautious not to make unnecessary adjustments, especially if the noise cancellation is already effective.
Customize Accessibility Settings
Within the Accessibility tab in the AirPods menu, you have the flexibility to customize how your on-ear controls operate and how responsive they are to your gestures. This feature proves especially useful if you find the AirPods’ surface a bit slippery to handle. Here’s a breakdown of some of the adjustments you can make:
- Press Speed: The Press Speed parameter allows you to choose between “Slower” and “Slowest” options. Opting for a slower press speed gives you more time to execute double or triple taps on the stems. This can be handy for those moments when you need precise control.
- Delay Adjustments: Further down the menu, you can increase the delay between swipes and volume adjustments. Doing so helps prevent accidental changes to the audio level. You’ll find options like “Long” and “Longest” beyond the default setting.
- Tone Volume: You can fine-tune the tone volume to your preference, ensuring that your AirPods deliver audio exactly as you like it.
- Follow iPhone Settings for Spatial Audio: This setting allows your AirPods to treat your iPhone as a directional audio source for Spatial Audio, providing an immersive listening experience.
- Noise Cancellation with One AirPod: You have the option to enable Noise Cancellation with only one AirPod in your ear. By default, Transparency mode is the setting for this scenario to maintain balanced audio.
In the broader Audio Accessibility Settings section, you’ll find even more customization options:
- Audio Balance: Adjust the audio balance between your left and right ears to cater to your personal hearing preferences.
- Mono Audio Mode: Enable mono audio mode if you prefer to listen through a single earbud, useful for individuals who have hearing differences between their ears.
- Calming Background Sounds: Choose from options like “Balanced Noise,” “Bright Noise,” “Dark Noise,” “Ocean,” “Rain,” and “Stream” to add soothing background sounds to your listening experience.
- Headphone Accommodations: Fine-tune settings like “Balanced Tone,” “Vocal Range,” and “Brightness” to enhance your audio experience.
- Soft Sounds: Control how much your AirPods amplify soft sounds, with options like “Slight” (default), “Moderate,” or “Strong.” Experiment with these settings and apply changes to phone audio, media audio, or both, based on your preferences.
In the Transparency mode section, you can further customize your experience:
- Amplification Level: Adjust the level of sound amplification according to your needs, finding the right balance between brightness and darkness.
- Stereo Balance: Customize the stereo balance to suit your hearing and comfort.
- Ambient Noise Reduction: Fine-tune the noise reduction settings to create an optimal listening environment.
- Conversation Boost: This feature highlights the human vocal range for enhanced clarity during conversations.
While many competing earbuds may have these features more prominently displayed, with AirPods, they are tucked away in the Accessibility menu. To configure the Transparency mode, navigate to Settings > AirPods Settings > Accessibility > Audio Accessibility Settings > Headphone Accommodations > Soft Sounds, and ensure that the AirPods are in your ears with the Automatic Ear Detection feature enabled. Once these conditions are met, you can tailor your Transparency mode settings to your liking.
Preserve Battery Life by Deactivating Unnecessary Settings
Apple does not explicitly detail which features consume the most battery life on the AirPods Pro. However, there are clues on its website, such as the battery life statistics being based on a 50% listening volume. You can conserve battery life by reducing the volume and making other adjustments:
- In the AirPods settings, turn off Noise Cancellation, Transparency, and Adaptive Transparency modes, as they all consume substantial battery life. Enable them only when necessary.
- Disable the head tracking component of Spatial Audio, which some apps default to when active. You can enable it selectively.
- These changes can extend the battery life from approximately 5.5 hours per charge to seven hours or more.
Prevent Losing Your AirPods
Set up your AirPods with the Find My app to ensure they’re easy to locate if misplaced. Enable the Find My Network setting in the AirPods menu and activate the Show In Find My option. Verify that your AirPods appear in the Find My app and have a location status of “With You.” Use the Play Sound option to emit rhythmic chirps from the earpieces and case to help you find them.