Does AirPods Pro Noise Cancellation Work Without Music?

The noise cancellation feature is excellent for those who cannot work with background sounds.

But here’s the thing: a chunk of people do not even like to add music to their work as they do not want any sound around them. And that’s where many people start contemplating whether the ANC will work without the music or not.

So if you are someone who is looking to find an answer to this question, then this guide is for you.

How Does Noise cancellation in Airpods Pro Work?

The noise cancellation feature of the Airpods Pro works a little differently from the normal ANC headphones.

If we talk about the standard headphones, these use microphones to cancel out the ambient noise. Usually, such headphones use two types of methods together to cancel the noise. That is the:

  • Passive noise cancellation
  • Active noise cancellation

However, when it comes to the AirPods Pro, these work slightly differently from the other ANC headphones.

Instead of using microphones to pick up the outside noise, Airpods Pro uses an accelerometer and a magnet to cancel out the ambient noise.

The working of Airpod Pro noise cancellation feature is very simple. The accelerometer senses and detects any outside noise whenever you plug Airpods in your ears. The magnet in the pods detects the ambient noise and creates a canceling field that cancels out any outside noise.

How well the noise cancellation feature is going to work depends upon whether you are listening to music or not. As it’s a fact that with music, ANC works more powerfully.

Does Noise Cancellation in Airpods Pro Works Without Music

The remarkable thing is that ANC does work without the music. With the help of the anti-noise field, the pods effectively cancel out the outside noise.

However, here’s the thing. Noise cancellation cannot cancel out the very high pitched sound like loud knocking, children screaming, or any other very high pitched sound from your environment. So that might be a bit of a bummer for some people.

How to turn on noise cancellation on Airpods pro?

If you want to switch on the noise cancellation feature, go to your iPhone settings on the phone. Find the noise cancellation feature and select the setting. From there, you can switch on the noise cancellation. And it even gives you the option to choose if you want to switch on ANC for one or both Airpods.

How to use noise cancellation on Airpods pro without playing music?

The noise cancellation feature immediately switches on when you turn on the noise cancellation feature and start using the Airpods. But to further test whether your ANC feature is on without playing music, follow this method.

Feel for the groove at the stem of the pods. Tap and hold the groove. Don’t just tap it, as it will just pause or play the current track. Hold it for a few seconds. If you hear a low-pitched sound, that means your noise cancellation feature is switched on.

But if it is a high-pitched chime, the cancellation feature is switched off.

Does the ANC drain battery in the Airpods pro if you listen to music?

Yes, turning the ANC on drains the battery of the Airpods or any other headphones you are using. That is because the circuit used for noise cancellation needs more power to perform its job actively.

Airpods battery drain way quick with the noise cancellation compared to when the function is off.

So whether you are using an Airpods or any other ANC headphones, you will need to keep a charger or batteries to keep charging the Airpods.

Limitations of using ANC on Airpods pro without music

Although using the noise cancellation feature without music sounds incredible. But there are also some limitations to it. Here are some of the things that you should know:

Put a lot of pressure over your ears

Using noise cancellation without music can cause a lot of pressure over your ears that, for some people, might be uncomfortable. The reason for such a thing is that due to the canceling of low-frequency noise, the brain starts to work differently.

The brain takes the canceling of low-frequency noise as the change in the air pressure. This change is the same as when you are at high altitudes. That’s why you start to feel a lot of stress over the ears.

Now, this might be uncomfortable for some people, especially those with sensitive ears. So if you are from that group of people, the ANC without music might not work for you.

May cause headaches

Another reason people think that ANC without music is unsafe is the headaches. Headaches are caused due to the same reason we mentioned above. The canceling of low-frequency noise causes pressure over the ear, which may manifest as a headache for some people.

The only cure to that is not to use the ANC without sound.

Do not completely cancel the noise:

ANC without music does a pretty good job canceling the ambient sound, but it is certainly not the best at it. ANC without music is good for canceling the low-frequency noise, but if you are working in an environment of high-pitched sound. Then sorry, this will not work very effectively.

ANC features cannot block high-pitched sounds like construction noise, phone ringing, etc. And that is not just with the Airpods. Any noise-canceling headphones will do the same.

Drains the battery of Airpods quickly:

When using the Airpods with the noise cancellation active, keep your charger with you. That is because the noise cancellation is going to drain your pods fast. The noise cancellation circuit takes up a lot of energy whether you are using it with or without music.

That’s why the battery is one of the crucial factors in choosing the perfect earbuds.

Final Verdict

The Airpod pro noise cancellation feature does work without music. This is pretty convenient for users who want absolute silence while working on their tasks. But as we mentioned, you must consider the environmental factor.

How effectively the ANC feature without music works depends upon your background and how noisy the background is. So now you are aware of how to use the ANC feature effectively to complete all the tasks.


Does AirPods pro cancel all background noise?

Well, it mostly depends upon the environment you are working in. Technically speaking, then yes, Airpods do block the outside noise. With the help of their noise-canceling technology and the microphone, they cancel the outside noise.

But talking about all background noises, then-No they do not. The Airpods ANC feature cancels all the low-pitched noises.

But they cannot cancel the very high-frequency sounds.

Why do I still hear even with the noise-canceling Airpods?

A loud environment is the main reason why you can still hear outside noises despite using the noise cancellation feature. As we mentioned before, the Airpod is quite efficient in its noise-canceling feature. But this feature is not very efficient when it comes to blocking loud sounds.

And that is why you can still hear the background noises even after activating the noise cancellation.

How can you enable noise cancellation with a single AirPod?

Activating the noise cancellation for a single Airpod is no rocket science. Go to the iPhone settings. Search for noise cancellation. Switch on the noise cancellation, and from there, you can select if you want to activate the feature for both pods or one.

How do you know if the noise-canceling feature is working on AirPods Pro?

To test whether your noise cancellation is on or not, here is what you need to do.

Take out your Airpods and wear them. After all, the pairing feels for the groove that is present at the stem of the pods. Tap and hold the groove for a few seconds. If you hear a high-pitched sound, you have switched off the noise cancellation. After that, again, hold the groove you will hear a low-pitched sound which means the noise cancellation is on.

How many decibels do Airpods pro block?

Airpods pro can block sound frequencies of mid to high range. Talking in numbers, then Airpods pro can block up to 15-30 decibels of sound, which is pretty good. But it is not capable of reducing sound to around 20-800Hz.

Is the noise cancellation in Airpods pro dangerous?

Generally speaking, it’s not dangerous as it helps the users to focus more on work and reduces the number of sound users is exposed to. But if you are performing a task that requires movement, then it could be dangerous.

Especially when using the ANC feature with music while driving, walking, or riding a bicycle. As ANC with music completely blocks the outside noises, using them while doing the task, as mentioned above, can cause an accident or other damage.

Can noise-canceling Airpods block baby cry?

The baby crying ranges from a frequency between 400-600 Hz. The noise cancellation feature can block out this much noise. But frequencies that are more than this noise cancellation will not work. Also, the noise cancellation becomes ineffective against a screaming child.

Can you sleep with noise-canceling headphones?

Although there is no problem with using noise cancellation headphones while sleeping, in the long run, they can have some side effects on your ear because the earbuds seal the ear, which can irritate and feel bulky. Noise cancellation headphones cancel not only the noise but also the comfort factor.

Headphone Savvy