13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (2023)

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Apple's AirPods Pro have a ton of potential, and we here to show you how to use them to the fullest.

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (2)
13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (3)

Patrick Holland Managing Editor

Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.

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(Video) AIRPODS PRO Tips, Tricks, and Hidden Features most people don't know

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13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (4)

Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.

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Patrick Holland

Jason Cipriani

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(Video) AirPods Pro - First 11 Things To Do!

Whether you have a pair of the originalAirPods Proor Apple's second-generation ones, there's a lot to learn about your in-ear buds. In this guide, we'll show you everything you need to know about the AirPods Pro, from how to pair them correctly with your smartphone to taking advantage of spatial audio for a more immersive sonic experience.

Last September, Apple debuted a new version of its wireless earbuds called the AirPods Pro 2. They have a longer battery life, a new charging case with Find My support, updated microphones, new volume controls and a new H2 chip.

The second-gen AirPods Proare a follow-up to the original that came out in 2019 and include the same features, like active noise cancellation for an improved listening experience and interchangeable silicone tips for a more comfortable fit.

In his AirPods Pro 2 review, CNET's David Carnoy said that while they may not be perfect, "they feel like a much more fully evolved, refined product that packs not only an impressive set of features but top-notch performance in a very small design."

Read more: Best Apple AirPods for 2023

Pairing the AirPods Pro takes just a few seconds

After you unbox the AirPods Pro, unlock your iPhone or iPad and open the charging case to your earbuds. A second or two later, a prompt will appear asking if you want to pair the earbuds.

Tap Connect to initiate the pairing, and you're done. Not only will the AirPods Pro work with your iPhone, they'll also be paired with all Apple devices you've signed in to via your iCloud account.

Press, don't tap, on your AirPods Pro

Instead of tapping one of the AirPods, use the stems of the AirPods Pro as buttons. There isn't actually a button there; instead, it's a pressure-sensitive section that can replicate how you'd use a button. It's similar to how the trackpad on the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro don't physically move to click.

Using two fingers, squeeze the flat indention on each AirPod. You'll hear a click in your ear with each press. Here's what each button press does:

  • Single-press: Pause/Play
  • Double-press: Skip forward
  • Triple-press: Skip backward
  • Long-press: Switch between noise cancellation and transparency mode.

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Swipe to change AirPods Pro volume

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (8)

A nifty addition for the AirPods Pro 2 is the ability to change the volume using the stems. Swipe up to raise the volume and down to lower. Yes. It's that easy.

How to monitor battery life

One of the AirPods Pro's best features is the battery life. Between the battery in the case and those in each earbud, you can go hours without needing to charge. Apple has a few different ways to monitor the battery life of each AirPod Pro as well as the case.

Whenever you want to check the charge level of your AirPods Pro and the charging case, unlock your iPhone or iPad and open the case next to your device with the AirPods inside it. An animation will appear, showing the charge level of each AirPod and the case.

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (9)

You can also add the battery widget to your iPhone's home screen. When the AirPods are actively paired to your phone the remaining battery life for each earbud and the case will show in the widget.

How to use active noise cancellation

The headline feature for the AirPods Pro is its active noise cancellation, or ANC. When it's turned on, noise cancellation blocks nearly all background noise that you'd normally hear with regular earbuds or the standard AirPods. If you work in a noisy office, for example, or a home office shared with a partner and kids who are remote-learning, it can help block out the chatter and distractions.

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (10)

Turn off noise cancellation with a long press on one of the AirPods' buttons, or use the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad. Swipe down from the top right corner of your device's screen; then, when the Control Center appears, long-press on the volume slider. At the bottom of the screen, you'll have three options: Noise cancellation, Off and Transparency. Tap the setting you want to use.

Read more:AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Pro

When you switch to Transparency mode, you'll be able to hear some of the sounds in your environment, but also still hear the audio playing in your AirPods Pro, which is something you'd use when walking along busy streets so you can hear the traffic, or in an airport when you need to listen for gate changes, for example.

You can switch to Transparency mode with a long press on the AirPods' buttons or by using the toggle in Control Center.

Find My AirPods Pro 2 case

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (11)

One of the most welcome features to the second-generation AirPods Pro is the ability to use Find My and precisely locate a lost AirPods Pro case. Open the Find My app on your iPhone and tap on the Devices tab. Tap on your AirPods Pro in the list to see its location on a map. If you're within 30-feet or so of the case, press the Find Nearby button. Then follow the prompts onscreen to be guided to it.

Spatial Audio is an impressive experience

Spatial audio provides an immersive surround sound experience, delivering 360-degree soundscape that adjusts to your movement. The experience is relatively new, and is available on the AirPods Pro (along with the recent addition of Dolby Atmos for Apple Music) -- it's just a matter of enabling the feature in your settings.

Turn on Spatial Audio by going toSettings>Bluetooth> tap the "i" next to your AirPods Pro and then slide the switch next toSpatial Audioto the On position. You can then listen to a demo to see how the feature works by selectingSee & Hear How It Works.

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (12)
(Video) Apple Airpods Pro - All The Best New Tips, Tricks, Hidden MagCase Features & MORE!

Now, whenever you are watching a video in an app like Apple TV and using your AirPods Pro, you should hear the audio in surround sound, moving around you as things happen on screen or as you move your head.

If you have the AirPods Pro 2, you can personalize Spatial Audio using the TrueDepth camera on your iPhone. The first time you put your AirPods Pro in, you will be guided on setting up Personalized Spatial Audio, a custom profile based on your head's geometry. The profile syncs across your devices — thanks iCloud! You can also find the feature in the Settings app under Bluetooth. Choose your AirPods Pro and tap the Information button. Then scroll down to Personalized Spatial Audio.

Use your Apple Watch to control AirPods Pro

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (13)

If you have an Apple Watch, you can tap on the AirPlay icon in the Now Playing app to switch between noise cancellation and transparency modes whenever your AirPods Pro are in use.

AirPods Pro case attachments

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (14)

Yep, the AirPods Pro 2 case has a lanyard loop on the right side. You can attach the case to a backpack, handbag, keys, etc.

Use your Mac to control AirPods Pro

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (15)

When using your AirPods Pro with your Mac, you can switch between noise cancellation and transparency mode without having to squeeze your AirPods Pro. On your Mac, you'll see an AirPods icon when your earbuds are successfully connected to your computer. Click on it, then change the mode.

Get the right fit by switching tips

Included in the box with your AirPods Pro 2 are three additional sizes of ear tips; the medium size comes preinstalled. Try those out first, and if they feel uncomfortable, you can swap out for a different size. The original AirPods Pro lacked the XS tips. There's no trick to getting the tip off of each AirPod, just pull to slide it off and push to fit another pair on. It may feel like you're going to rip it, but from the few swaps I've done, they eventually come off.

13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know (16)

Do the Ear Tip Fit Test to find the best fit

If you dive into the AirPods Pro settings, you can do the Ear Tip Fit Test (try saying that out loud a few times). The test will play some sounds using the AirPods' microphones and then tell you if the ear tips you have installed are the right size for your ears.

To run the test, open the Settings app on your iPhone, select Bluetooth and tap on the "i" next to the name of your AirPods Pro. Select Ear Tip Fit Test, and then follow the prompts.

I've run the test with both medium and small ear tips, and both passed. So don't feel locked into the first ear tips you test with; there may be another size that works and feels more comfortable.

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See charge status when wirelessly charging the case

The case that comes with the AirPods Pro will wirelessly charge on the same wireless charging pads that work with the iPhone. It also works with MagSafe chargers, it just won't magnetically stick to the charger like an iPhone 12 or 13 does. Place the case on the pad with the small light facing up to start charging it. The case's light will light up when it's first placed on the pad, letting you know it's charging. However, it will eventually time out and turn off. Tap on the case to check the charge status of the case (green means it's fully charged).

(Video) AirPods Pro - Everything you NEED to know!

There's plenty more to the AirPods Pro; these othertips and tricks apply to all AirPods, and should help you completely master your new wireless earbuds. If you have a new iPhone, make sure to check out these settings.


13 AirPods Pro Features You Definitely Should Know? ›

AirPods (3rd generation) and AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are sweat and water resistant for non-water sports and exercise, and they are IPX4 rated. Sweat and water resistance are not permanent conditions. MagSafe charging requires a compatible MagSafe charger. Wireless charging requires a Qi-certified wireless charger.

What special features do AirPods have? ›

AirPods (3rd generation) and AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are sweat and water resistant for non-water sports and exercise, and they are IPX4 rated. Sweat and water resistance are not permanent conditions. MagSafe charging requires a compatible MagSafe charger. Wireless charging requires a Qi-certified wireless charger.

Are AirPods Pro waterproof? ›

Your AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation), AirPods (3rd generation), MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods (3rd generation), Lightning Charging Case for AirPods (3rd generation), and MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are water and sweat resistant, but they are not waterproof or sweatproof.

How do I turn on noise Cancelling on AirPods Pro? ›

Switch between noise-control modes on your AirPods Pro

Press and hold the force sensor on the stem of an AirPod until you hear a chime. When you're wearing both AirPods, press and hold the force sensor on either AirPod to switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode.

Can AirPods Pro track steps? ›

The ‌iPhone‌'s motion sensors can track steps, distance, flights climbed, and workouts from third-party apps, which can be converted into an estimation of active calories to contribute to users' daily Move goal.

How long do Airpod pros last? ›

Your AirPods Pro can get up to 4.5 hours of listening time15 or up to 3.5 hours of talk time on a single charge. If you charge your AirPods Pro for 5 minutes in their case, you get around 1 hour of listening time17 or around 1 hour of talk time.

Where do you tap on AirPods Pro? ›

To play and pause audio, press the Touch control on the stem of an AirPod. To resume playback, press again. To skip forward, double-press the Touch control. To skip back, triple-press the Touch control.

Can we charge AirPods Pro with iPhone 13 pro? ›

You can charge your case with or without your AirPods inside. Charging is fastest when you use an iPhone or iPad USB charger or plug into your Mac.

Can you use AirPods Pro without tips? ›

Yes, you can use the AirPods Pro without their eartips. You'll still hear your music, podcasts, or phone calls, and you'll still be able to talk to Siri. And if you really dislike the feeling of having silicone plugs pushed up against your ear canals, they might feel more comfortable if you wear them this way.

Are the AirPods Pro worth it? ›

Not only does it sound significantly better than the open-fit AirPods, but it offers more in the way of features and useful accessories too. Sure, the AirPods Pro is pricier than the latest AirPods with wireless charging, but you get a lot for that extra cash.

Can I wear my AirPod pros with wet hair? ›

You should still avoid getting water-resistant AirPods or AirPods Pro wet on purpose, but they should survive the odd splash. The original AirPods or AirPods (2nd generation) aren't waterproof or water-resistant at all, so don't ever let them get wet.

Can you wear AirPods in the shower with a shower cap? ›

No, there is no safe way to use the AirPods Max in the shower. These headphones are even less water resistant than AirPods earphones, and do not have an ingress protection rating.

What is a force sensor on AirPod pro? ›

With the force sensor on the stem of both AirPods Pro (1st generation), you can do any of the following: Play and pause audio: Press the stem. To resume playback, press it again. Play the next track: Double-press the stem. Play the previous track: Triple-press the stem.

What is the Spatialize stereo on AirPods Pro? ›

Touch and hold the volume control to turn on spatial audio while you're playing multichannel content or Spatialize Stereo while you're playing two-channel stereo content. This also shows you the status icons. When you turn on spatial audio with head tracking, audio adjusts based on your head movement.

What is the difference between transparency mode and off AirPods Pro? ›

AirPods Pro: What is the difference between Transparency and Off? Transparency uses the microphones in the AirPods to listen to outside sounds and let them in so you can hear them through the headphones. Off does nothing, so you would hear the sounds as you would with any headphones without transparency mode.

How do I make my AirPods soundproof? ›

If your device is connected to your AirPods, you can find noise control settings in the Control Center of your device. If you press and hold the volume slider in the Control Center, it will open up more settings. In the bottom left of the screen, you'll see a button for turning on noise cancelling or transparency mode.

Do AirPods block out background noise? ›

AirPods can be a great way to block out background noise on Zoom calls. While they won't completely cancel out noises from outside the call, AirPods are designed with active noise cancellation technology that blocks out ambient sounds in your environment and helps you focus on the conversation at hand.

What is the most updated AirPods? ›

Latest firmware versions
  • AirPods Pro (2nd generation): 5E135.
  • AirPods Pro (1st generation): 5E135.
  • AirPods (2nd and 3rd generation): 5E135.
  • AirPods Max: 5E135.
  • AirPods (1st generation): 6.8.8.
May 2, 2023

What are the two types of AirPod pros? ›

‌AirPods Pro‌ (First-Generation)‌AirPods Pro‌ (Second-Generation)
IPX4 sweat and water resistant earbudsIPX4 sweat and water resistant earbuds and charging case
Up to 4.5 hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation enabledUp to 6 hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation enabled
11 more rows
Feb 8, 2023

Can you track AirPods? ›

If you have AirPods Pro (2nd generation), you can find the precise location of each of your AirPods and the charging case. Open the Find My app on an iPhone or iPad that you previously paired with your AirPods. Tap Devices, tap the name of your AirPods, then tap Find.

Can stolen AirPods Pro be tracked? ›

Apple's Find My app can locate AirPods after they've been misplaced or stolen. Note that Apple doesn't endorse users tracking down known stolen items but instead asks that they report it to the police. Open the Find My app. Tap the Devices tab at the bottom of the screen.

What are the black sensors on AirPods Pro? ›

Those black dots in the picture below are proximity sensors, so they know when they're in an ear. You can test this by covering them with your fingers. My AirPod pros haven't had any problems with falling out of my ears until a few days ago.

Do AirPods Pro have head tracking? ›

When you watch a supported show or movie, make a FaceTime call, or listen to supported music on your device, AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro (all generations), and AirPods Max use Spatial Audio and head tracking to create an immersive theater-like environment with sound that surrounds you.

Do AirPods deteriorate over time? ›

Every time you charge your AirPods, the batteries lose a small amount of capacity. Unfortunately, this decline is irreversible, and the batteries break down completely over time.

How long do AirPod pros last without charging? ›

Apple's AirPods Pro have up to 5 hours of listening time. However, when you put your AirPods Pro in Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) mode, the listening time reduces slightly to 4.5 hours and the talk time is 3.5 hours.

What do Airpod pros do differently? ›

The AirPods Pro take the short-stem design and adds rubberized eartips to the earbuds, to create more of a seal that blocks out noise and improves sound quality. No matter which AirPods you choose, you can only get them in glossy white.

What is the difference between AirPods Pro and regular? ›

Both come in one color (white), offer similar battery life and charging speed times, and have the same Bluetooth range (20 to 50 feet). One of the biggest differences between the two sets of earbuds is that the first-generation AirPods Pro offer active noise cancellation (ANC), while the third-generation AirPods don't.

What does the spatial audio do? ›

Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking brings theater-like sound from the movie or video you're watching, so that sound seems like it's coming from all around you.

Is AirPods Pro worth buying? ›

Not only does it sound significantly better than the open-fit AirPods, but it offers more in the way of features and useful accessories too. Sure, the AirPods Pro is pricier than the latest AirPods with wireless charging, but you get a lot for that extra cash.

What is the difference between AirPods 3rd generation and pro? ›

The Apple AirPods Pro has vastly superior isolation performance. It has ANC, but even if it didn't, the passive isolation granted from the silicone ear tips is substantial. The Apple AirPods (3rd generation) doesn't block out much of anything—it doesn't seal to the ear canal, and it doesn't feature ANC.

What is the point of transparency mode? ›

Transparency mode lets outside sound in, so you can hear what's going on around you. Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode work best when your AirPods Pro fit well.

Can you turn off noise cancellation on AirPods Pro? ›

All iOS and iPadOS devices have access to the noise control settings for AirPods Pro and Max, so you can easily toggle noise cancelling on or off, or turn on transparency mode. From an iPhone or iPad, you can also turn noise cancelling on easily.

Should I turn spatial sound on or off? ›

Some games, movies, and shows can natively support spatial sound, which will provide the highest level of audio immersion and location accuracy. However, if you turn on spatial sound on Windows 10, all your movies and games will sound better.

Is Spatialized audio better? ›

Spatial audio makes listening more fun — whether you're enjoying a movie, a game or music. Being surrounded by sound is more engaging and helps you get deeper into the experience. You can get started with headphones or single speakers, but the more speakers you have, the better the effect.

What does head tracked mean on AirPods? ›

Head Tracked: Turns on both Spatial Audio and head tracking. The audio you're listening to will sound like it's coming from your iPhone or Mac.

What are the benefits of AirPods? ›

Powered by the Apple H1 headphone chip, AirPods deliver a faster and more stable wireless connection to your devices — up to 2x faster when switching between active devices, 3 and a 1.5x faster connection time for phone calls.


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