Which AirPods Have Noise Canceling | A Comprehensive Guide

White first-generation AirPods with their charging case, on a plain background.

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Learn which Airpods have noise-cancelling and have become a sanctuary for music lovers, travelers, and virtually anyone looking to escape the cacophony of daily life. 

Apple’s AirPods models have introduced noise-cancelling features in certain AirPods models, offering users a blend of convenience, technology, and a superior audio experience. 

Which AirPods Have Noise Cancelling?

As of now, Apple has introduced active noise cancellation in two specific AirPods models: AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd Generations) and AirPods Max.

AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd Generations)

The AirPods Pro models are Apple’s flagship earbuds that offer active noise cancellation (ANC). 

Therefore, they come equipped with an outward and inward-facing microphone that detect external noise and tunes out background noise.

Moreover, according to reviews, the 2nd Generation of AirPods Pro offers improved active noise cancelation over its predecessor, thanks to the new H2 chip, which provides advanced computational audio capabilities.

Features of AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd Generation)

  • Transparency Mode: Allows you to hear and interact with your surroundings while wearing the earbuds.
  • Adaptive EQ: Automatically tunes music to the shape of your ear for a personalized listening experience.
  • Customizable Fit: Comes with three sizes of soft silicone tips for a customizable fit.
  • Sweat and Water Resistance: Both the AirPods Pro and the charging case are sweat and water-resistant.
  • Personalized Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking: Provides a theater-like experience for music and videos.
  • H1 Chip (First Generation Airpods) / H2 Chip (Second Generation Airpods): The H1 chip ensures stable and fast wireless charging and connection to your devices. The 2nd Generation features the new H2 chip for improved audio processing.
  • Force Sensor: Allows you to easily control music and calls and switch between ANC and Transparency mode.
  • Battery Life: With ANC enabled, you can listen for up to 4.5 hours on one charge, and the Apple charging case can provide more than 24 hours ? of listening.

AirPods Max

A person is holding a pair of silver AirPods Max headphones with a mesh headband against a gray background.

The Max are Apple’s over-ear headphones that bring active noise cancelation to a larger form factor. 

They feature ANC technology similar to the Pro but benefit from an over-ear design that naturally isolates external sounds. 

Therefore, the regular AirPods Max offers up to 20 hours of listening with ANC enabled, which is significantly longer than the life of the battery for the Pro.

Features of AirPods Max

  • Transparency Mode: Lets outside sound in so that you can hear and interact with the world around you.
  • Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking: Creates a theater-like sound experience for movies and music.
  • Custom Acoustic Design: Features a custom-built driver and high dynamic range amplifier for superior audio quality.
  • Digital Crown: This device offers precise volume control, the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.
  • Comfortable Design: Features a breathable knit mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions for an exceptional fit.
  • Sweat and Water Resistance: The Max themselves are not marketed as sweat- or water-resistant, which is a consideration for users who lead active lifestyles.
  • Battery Life: Up to 20 hours of listening time with ANC or Transparency mode enabled, with a 5-minute charge yielding about 1.5 hours of listening time?.

Comparing Which AirPods Have Noise Cancelling Capabilities

Second-generation AirPods lying next to an iPhone with an open content app on a wooden table.

When it comes to choosing between the AirPods Pro and Max for their noise-cancelling capabilities, there are a few considerations:

Feature AirPods Pro (First Generation Airpods & Second Generation Aripods) AirPods Max
Form Factor Earbuds offer convenience and portability. Over-Ear provides better passive noise cancelation due to the design.
Noise Cancelling Performance Exceptionally well, with advanced computational algorithms for active noise cancellation. Slightly better active noise cancellation due to the over-ear design and more substantial passive noise isolation.
Price Point Lower than Max, reflecting its position as a premium in-ear option. Higher, reflecting its position as a premium over-ear headphone option.


Apple has integrated noise-cancelling technology into the Pro and Max, therefore, catering to different user preferences and needs for better noise cancellation. 

Whether you opt for the sleek and compact Pro or the immersive and luxurious Max, you’ll enjoy the benefits of cutting-edge active noise cancelation technology that Apple is known for. 

Consider your priorities, such as portability, budget, or active noise cancelation level, and you’ll find the right AirPods models to enhance your audio experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use AirPods Pro or AirPods Max in the rain or during workouts?

While the AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd Generations) are sweat—and water-resistant, suitable for workouts and light rain exposure, therefore, the Max does not have an official resistance of water rating. 

Therefore, it’s advisable to use the Max with caution in environments where they might get wet.

How do I switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode on AirPods Pro and AirPods Max?

For Pro, you can switch between Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode by pressing and holding the force sensor on the stem of an earbud. 

On Max, you can do this by pressing the noise control button on the headphones. You can also control these settings directly from your connected Apple device.

Do AirPods Pro and AirPods Max support Personalized Spatial Audio, and what is it?

Yes, both AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd Generations) and Max support Spatial Audio. 

Audio with dynamic head tracking creates a three-dimensional audio space, giving sound from movies and music a theater-like experience. 

It makes the sound feel like it’s coming from around you rather than just from your earbuds or headphones, something like the Apple Vision Pro.

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