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Home / Tips and Tricks / AirPods Pro: 11 Tips to Get the hang of your wireless earbuds now

AirPods Pro: 11 Tips to Get the hang of your wireless earbuds now


The AirPods Pro are small, but powerful.

Angela Lang / CNET

Apples AirPods Pro are small yet powerful wireless earbuds that work with any Apple device you own. Apple has continued to improve the AirPods Pro through software updates, more than a year after they were releasedFor example with the release of iOS 14 Spatial audio has been added, giving them a surround sound-like effect on the tiny earbuds when you watch a video on you iPhone or iPad

The AirPods Pro look and work differently from Apple’s standard AirPodsalthough there are some similarities. From quick pairing and checking battery levels to active noise cancellation and spatial audio, there is a lot to learn about these true wireless earbuds.

Below we’ll show you how to master your AirPods Pro.

Pairing only takes a few seconds.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Pairing only takes a few seconds

Unlock your iPhone or iPad after unpacking your AirPods Pro ($ 385 on eBay)and open the charging case for your earbuds. A few seconds later, a prompt will appear on your device asking if you want to pair the earbuds.

Crane Connecting to start pairing, and you’re done. Not only will the AirPods Pro work with your iPhone, but they will also be linked to any Apple devices that you have signed into your iCloud account with.

Both AirPods Pro earbuds have a button that isn’t really a button.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Don’t tap your AirPods Pro, just press it

Instead of tapping one of the AirPods, use the AirPods Pro’s stems as buttons. There is actually no button there, it is a pressure sensitive area that can replicate how you would use a button. You might find it weird and confusing, and yet you’d expect Apple to do it.

Squeeze the flat indentation on each AirPod with two fingers. You will hear a click in your ear with each press. This is what each button press does:

  • Some pressure: Pause / play
  • Double click on: Jump forward
  • Press three times: Jump backward
  • Long press: Switch between noise canceling and transparency mode.
airpods-pro battery life

The battery life is officially 5 hours.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Check the battery life

When 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. An animation will appear showing the charge level of each AirPod and the case.


The control center makes it easy to switch between modes.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use active noise cancellation

Perhaps the AirPods Pro’s most important function is active noise cancellation. When enabled, noise cancellation blocks out almost all background noise that you would normally hear with regular earbuds or the standard AirPods. For example, if you work in a noisy office, or, say, a home office that is shared with a partner and children who are learning remotely, this should help block the chatter and distractions.

You can turn off noise canceling by long pressing any of the AirPods buttons, or you can use the control center on your iPhone or iPad. Swipe down from the top right corner of your device screen; Then long press the volume slider when the control center appears. At the bottom of the screen you have three options: Noise Reduction, Off and Transparency. Tap the setting you want to use.

Using transparency mode on the AirPods Pro

When you switch to Transparency mode, you can hear some of the sounds in your environment, as well as the audio playing in your AirPods Pro.

Transparency mode is something you would use when walking through busy streets so you can hear traffic, or in an airport when you need to listen for port changes, for example.

You can switch to transparency mode by long pressing the AirPods buttons or by using the switch in the Control Center.


You can switch Spatial Audio in the same place where you control ANC.

David Carnoy / CNET

Spatial Audio is a crazy experience

To use this relatively new feature, make sure your iPhone is updated to iOS 14With your iPhone running iOS 14, your AirPods Pro should automatically update to the latest firmware, which is also necessary for the feature to work. (Learn how to force an update in a minute.)

Enable spatial audio by going to Settings Bluetooth > tap the “i” next to your AirPods Pro, then slide the switch next to Spatial audio in the On position. You can then listen to a demo to see how the feature works by selecting See and hear how it works

Now when you’re 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 while things are happening on the screen or moving your head.

If you’re not lucky with Spatial Audio, you may also need to update the firmware on your AirPods Pro, but that’s something your iPhone handles on its own. My advice? If you don’t see the spatial audio function in the settings, put your earbuds in the charging case, but leave it open and place it next to your iPhone. I had to do this for exactly about an hour before my AirPods Pro got updated.


Even your Apple Watch can help you switch modes.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use your Apple Watch to switch modes

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


MacOS Big Sur has added a special AirPods control that appears when your wireless earbuds are connected to your Mac.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Change modes on your Mac

When using your AirPods Pro with your Mac, you can switch between noise cancellation and transparency without squeezing one of your AirPods Pro. If you have already updated to MacOS Big Sur, you’ll see an AirPods icon when your earbuds are connected to your Mac. Click on it and change the mode. If you haven’t quite taken the leap to Big Sur yet, you can click the speaker icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen, hover your mouse over your AirPods Pro and select the mode you want to switch to. .

Find the right fit by swapping tips

Included in the box with your AirPods Pro are two additional sizes of earbuds – the medium one is already installed. Try those out first, and if they feel uncomfortable, you can swap them for a different size. There is no trick to take the tip off each AirPod, just pull it off to slide it off and push it to place another pair. It might feel like you’re going to rip it, but from the few swaps I’ve done, they eventually come out.

eartip fit test

The Ear Tip Fit Test will tell you if you are using the correct size earplugs.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Take the Fit test for the earbud

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 earbuds 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 the “i” next to the name of your AirPods Pro. Select Oortip Fit Test and follow the instructions.

I ran the test with both medium and small earbuds, and both passed. So don’t feel trapped in the first earplugs you test with; there may be another size that works and feels more comfortable.

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Check the charging status while charging the case wirelessly

The case that comes with the AirPods Pro charges wirelessly on the same wireless charging pads that work with the iPhone. Place the case on the pad with the small light facing up to charge it. The light on the case will illuminate when it is first placed on the pad, letting you know it is charging. However, it will eventually time out and turn off. Tap the case to check the case’s charging status (green means it is fully charged).

There is a lot more to the AirPods Pro; this other one tips and tricks apply to all AirPods, and should help you fully master your new wireless earbuds. If you have a new iPhone, Make sure to check out these settingsThen get to know all the new features of iOS 14

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