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AirPods 3 Generation Noise Cancellation: A Complete Guide for You

Two individual AirPods 3rd Generation earbuds lying apart on a textured grey stone surface.

Table of Contents

Apple’s AirPods have set a benchmark for quality and innovation. The AirPods 3 Generation noise cancellation, with their enhanced features and capabilities, continues this tradition. 

Among these features, active noise cancellation stands out as a game-changer for users seeking immersive sound experiences. 

Advanced Noise Cancellation Technology in AirPods 3rd Generation Noise Cancellation

The AirPods 3rd Generation takes active noise cancellation to a new level for only $169, offering users an immersive audio experience that sets it apart from many of its predecessors and competitors. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of its features:

Outward-Facing Microphones for External Sound Analysis

The Apple AirPods 3 noise cancellation is designed with sophisticated outward-facing microphones.

These microphones are strategically placed to detect ambient noise from the surrounding environment. 

These microphones capture external sound waves with precision.

Inward-Facing Microphones for Inner Ear Sound Detection

In addition to the outward-facing microphones, the AirPods 3 generation noise cancellation incorporates inward-facing microphones.

This innovative feature allows the device to detect and analyze any internal noise that might disrupt your listening experience.

Real-Time Noise Cancellation

Once external and internal sounds are detected, the AirPods 3 generate sound waves using an advanced anti-noise algorithm.

This process, known as active noise cancellation (ANC), occurs in real-time, ensuring that the user hears only what they are meant to—be it in the music industry, a podcast, or a caller’s voice.

Exceptionally Effective ANC Experience

The combination of outward and inward-facing microphone ensures an exceptionally effective ANC experience. 

This dual-microphone approach allows the AirPods 3 or AirPods Max to deliver a noticeably superior level of noise cancellation.

Benefits of AirPods 3 Generation Noise Cancellation

AirPods 3rd Generation resting on top of an iPhone, both reflected on a glossy surface.
  Displayed in this image is a modern setup where the AirPods 3rd Generation lie atop a sleek iPhone.

The primary benefit of effective and active noise cancellation is an unparalleled listening experience. 

The AirPods 3 can significantly reduce outdoor noise, allowing you to focus on your music, podcasts, or calls without distraction.

Immersive Spatial Audio in Any Environment

The AirPods 3rd Gen noise cancellation capability transforms any noisy environment into a personal oasis of sound. 

This means being able to retreat into a podcast or favorite playlist without the intrusion of surrounding noises. 

The AirPods 3 or AirPods Max helps maintain focus by diminishing the distractions of office chatter and keyboard clatter.

Tailored for Diverse Listening Scenarios

The Apple AirPods 3’s adaptability with a force skin detect sensor and force sensor to various listening scenarios is a significant benefit. 

The Airpods Pro 3 generation noise cancellation dynamic head tracking feature ensures that background noise doesn’t detract from the experience. 

This adaptability makes the AirPods 3 a versatile tool suitable for professionals and students.

Crisp and Clear Sound

AirPods static noise cancellation does more than just block out background noise; it also enhances the quality of the audio that reaches your ears. 

By removing external sound quality interference, the Apple AirPods 3 delivers crisper and clearer Spatial audio, allowing for a more enjoyable listening experience. 

Enriched Music and Media Consumption

For music lovers and media consumers, the AirPods 3’s noise cancellation means they can appreciate the intricacies of soundtracks.

This not only protects hearing but also enriches the listening experience, allowing users to catch details they might otherwise miss in a noisy environment.

Customizable AirPods 3 Generation Noise Cancellation Levels

Apple has equipped the AirPods 3 with customizable noise reduction levels accessible through connected Apple devices. 

This feature allows users to tailor their listening experience to their current environment or activity.

Transparency Mode

For moments when being aware of your surroundings is necessary, the AirPods 3 offers a Transparency mode. 

This mode cleverly mixes ambient sounds with your Spatial audio content. This is particularly useful in situations where safety is a concern.

Maximizing the Noise Cancellation Efficiency of AirPods 3

 AirPods 3rd Generation earbuds in an open case with a matte finish, resting on a reflective black surface.
  The image captures a pair of AirPods 3rd Generation placed snugly in their open charging case

Getting the most out of your Apple AirPods 3 with a longer battery life involves more than just turning on the noise cancellation feature. 

By following a few tips and adjustments, you can enhance the efficiency of your AirPods 3’s noise reduction.

You can ensure an even more immersive and personalized listening experience without having to ask how to turn on noise cancelling on AirPods 3.

Ensuring a Proper Fit

Choosing the Right Size of Ear Tips

The first step towards maximizing noise cancellation efficiency is to ensure that your AirPods 3 fits perfectly in your ears. 

The AirPods 3, with a longer battery life, comes with ear tips in multiple sizes. 

A proper fit not only improves comfort but also significantly enhances the passive noise cancellation.

Try different sizes of ear canal tips and choose the ones that feel most comfortable while providing a snug fit.

Conducting the Ear Tip Fit Test

Apple has designed an Ear Tip Fit Test that can help you determine the best fit for your AirPods 3. 

This test plays a short piece of music and uses the internal microphones to assess the sound level in the ear and the seal quality. 

If the test suggests a different size, trying another ear tip size can lead to a better fit and improved noise reduction.

Fine-Tuning Settings Through the Apple Ecosystem

Adjusting ANC Levels

Through the settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iMac, you can adjust the levels of active noise cancellation to suit your current environment or preference. 

This adjustment can make a significant difference in how external sounds are perceived.

Using the Control Center for Quick Adjustments

The Control Center, an integral feature on iOS devices, stands out as a pivotal tool for users seeking to make swift and efficient adjustments to their Apple AirPods 3. 

Specifically designed to enhance user experience, it provides an easy pathway for toggling between the passive noise cancellation and Transparency modes. 

This capability is particularly beneficial for those looking to adapt their auditory settings to match their immediate environment without the hassle of diving deep into system settings. 

The Control Center simplifies the process of modifying audio preferences, saving time and enhancing the versatility of the AirPods 3. 

Keeping Firmware Updated

Regularly Updating Your AirPods 3

Apple periodically releases firmware updates for the AirPods 3, which can include improvements to the noise cancellation feature, bug fixes, or enhancements in overall performance. 

Ensuring that your AirPods 3’s long battery life is up to date is crucial for maintaining optimal noise cancellation efficiency. 

These updates often occur automatically when the AirPods are connected to an iOS device, but it’s a good idea to check periodically to make sure you’re using the latest firmware version.

How to Check for and Install Updates

Although firmware updates for the AirPods 3 typically occur automatically when they are connected to an iOS device and Apple wireless charging, it’s beneficial to know how to manually check your current firmware version and ensure your device is up to date:

  • Connect your AirPods 3 to your iOS device. This is usually done by simply placing the AirPods in your ear canal or opening the wireless charging case near your device.
  • Open the Settings app on your iOS device. Navigate to Bluetooth, and your AirPods will be listed among your connected devices.
  • Tap the “i” icon next to your AirPods. This will bring up information about your AirPods, including the current firmware version.
  • Compare your firmware version with the latest version available. Information on the latest firmware version can usually be found on Apple’s official website or tech forums.

If your AirPods 3 with adaptive EQ and with a long battery life is not up to date, the best way to initiate an update is to keep them connected to your iOS device, ensure they are in their wireless charging case, and connected to power. 

It’s also a good idea to ensure they’re within range of a connected Wi-Fi network while in their wireless charging case. 

They usually carry out firmware updates when they meet their conditions, often overnight.


The AirPods 3rd Generation has revolutionized the way we experience spatial audio playback on the go, thanks to its sophisticated noise cancellation feature. 

By effectively diminishing external noise, the AirPods 3 allows users to immerse themselves fully in their audio, whether for music, calls, or podcasts. 

Maximizing the efficiency of this noise cancellation involves ensuring a proper fit, customizing settings through the Apple ecosystem, and keeping the firmware up to date. 

By following these tips, users can enjoy a personalized Spatial audio experience that is both high-quality and deeply engaging without hours of listening time to wind noise. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the noise cancellation on AirPods 3 without playing audio?

Many people ask the question, “Are the AirPods 3rd generation noise cancelling?” and the answer is yes, the AirPods 3’s with adaptive EQ are noise cancelling, and the noise cancellation feature can be activated without playing audio. 

This can be particularly useful in situations where you want to reduce ambient noise to concentrate or relax without necessarily listening time to audio content.

How does the Transparency mode on AirPods 3 generation noise cancellation differ from just turning off noise cancellation?

The AirPods 3’s transparency mode deliberately lets in ambient sound quality alongside your audio content so you can be aware of your surroundings while still listening to your audio. 

This is different from merely turning off noise cancellation, where some ambient sound may seep through but not as intentionally or clearly as with the mode activated.

Is it possible to adjust the level of noise cancellation on AirPods 3 directly from the AirPods themselves?

No, you cannot adjust the level of noise cancellation on AirPods 3 with adaptive EQ directly from the AirPods. 

However, you can switch between noise cancellation and mode by squeezing the stem of the AirPods. 

For more granular control over the noise cancellation levels, you’ll need to use your connected iOS device.

Can I use AirPods 3 generation noise cancellation for calls in noisy environments and still experience clear audio?

Yes, the AirPods 3rd Generation are designed to enhance call clarity in noisy environments, thanks to their advanced noise cancellation technology. 

The outward-facing microphones detect and analyze ambient noise, while the inward-facing microphones assess internal noise. 

This information is used to adjust the sound in real-time, ensuring that your voice is transmitted clearly and that you can hear the caller without distraction.

This makes the AirPods 3 ideal for taking calls in a variety of settings, from bustling city streets to noisy office environments, providing a clearer and more focused conversation experience.

Dimitar Srbinoski

Dimitar Srbinoski

Dimitar Srbinoski is the founder of WeCon Digital and an Upwork Top Rated Plus freelancer specializing in content writing and SEO. A tech enthusiast with a particular passion for Apple products, Dimitar combines his expertise in digital marketing with cutting-edge technology to help businesses thrive online.

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