Apple’s AirPods Pro are a significant upgrade over the regular AirPods. The base model allows you to listen to your favorite music and podcasts, talk to Siri, trigger features with a tap, check the battery charge, and find them if they’re missing. But with the Pro, you can get a better fit, enhance the audio quality, optimize battery charging, and take advantage of some cool features unveiled in iOS 14. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your AirPods Pro.
Ear Tip Fit Test
One of the drawbacks with the regular AirPods is that they use a one-size-fits-all approach with an in-ear design that doesn’t necessarily fit all ears properly. If the fit isn’t snug, the AirPods can easily and quickly slip out of your ears. The AirPods Pro corrects that flaw by switching to an in-canal design with three sets of replaceable tips for small, medium, and large ear canal sizes.
By default, the AirPods Pro are packaged with the medium tips, but you can easily change to one of the other two sizes. To switch out the current tips, pull firmly on them until they detach from the base. Position the new tips so that the center white circle meets with the center black circle on the base. Then push until they click into place.
To help you determine which of the three size tips will provide the best seal and sound, take an Ear Tip Fit test. To do this, attach one pair of the tips to the base of both AirPods Pro. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth > [Your AirPods info icon] > Ear Tip Fit Test.
At the screen to test the fit of your ear tips, tap Continue, then tap the Play button. A short music clip plays. Afterwards, the app will tell you if your current tips offer a good fit. If not, it will tell you to either adjust your tips or try a different size. Go through all three sizes until the app tells you that both AirPods have the Good Seal of approval.
Control Music With a Press
You can control the flow of music by pressing the stem of either your left or right AirPods Pro. To do this, you’ll need to press the stem with your thumb and forefinger until you hear a low click. Press once to pause/play, double-press to skip forward to the next track, and triple-press to skip backward to the previous track.
Change the Name of Your AirPods Pro
The name of your AirPods Pro appears in a few different places, but you’re not stuck with it. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth. Tap the info icon for your AirPods Pro. Tap the current name. At the next screen, you can now revise the existing name or delete it and create an entirely new name.
The AirPods Pro offers two different listening modes that can help clamp down on background noise. The Noise Cancellation feature blocks out virtually all background sounds, so this feature can come in handy in a noisy environment where you want to be able to clearly hear your audio.
Transparency mode muffles the background noise so you can still hear it without it interfering with your audio. This would be a good option for public places where you still need to hear announcements or otherwise remain aware of your surroundings.
You can switch between Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode with just a long-press on the stem of either AirPod Pro until you hear a chime. If you prefer to go through your iPhone, there are two options available.
Open Control Center, then press down on the audio control. Tap the icon for Noise Control, then choose Noise Cancellation or Transparency, or just tap Off to turn off Noise Control altogether. You can also go to Settings > Bluetooth > [Your AirPods info icon], then tap Noise Cancellation, Off, or Transparency in the Noise Control section.
Customize the Presses
By default, pressing the stem of either AirPod Pro switches between Noise Cancellation and Transparency, but you can change that for one or both of them. Go to Settings > Bluetooth > [Your AirPods info icon], then in the section for Press and Hold AirPods, tap the entry for Left.
Here, you can keep Noise Control as the activated action when you long-press but add the Off setting to the mix by tapping its entry. Alternatively, you can change the action from Noise Control to Siri by tapping the entry at the top for Siri.
Go back to the previous screen and tap the entry for Right. Again, you can add the Off setting or just change the action to Siri. As one example, you might want to keep Noise Control enabled for one of the AirPod Pros but switch to Siri for the other one.
Improve Sound Quality
Introduced in iOS 14, a feature known as Headphone Accommodations enhances the audio from your AirPods by boosting softer sounds and certain frequencies. You’ll need AirPods Pro or second-generation AirPods for this to work.
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accommodations and turn on the switch. Tap Play Sample to hear a sample, then tune the audio for a balanced tone across a range of frequencies, a vocal range for middle frequencies, or brightness for higher frequencies.
You can also boost softer sounds slightly, moderately, or strongly. You may want to try playing music, podcasts, audiobooks, or other audio from your own library to discover which settings work best for your own tastes.
Alternatively, you can control the audio output by customizing the setup. At the Headphone Audio screen, tap the link for Custom Audio Setup. At the screen for Headphone Audio Customization, tap Continue. Read the “Before Getting Started” screen and tap Continue. Respond to each screen. The app will determine the best audio settings based on your responses.
Turn on Spatial Audio
A feature new with iOS 14 and unique to AirPods Pro is Spatial Audio. This setting brings head tracking and a surround-sound effect to supported videos. To enable this, make sure you’re running iOS 14 or higher on your iPhone and that the firmware for your AirPods Pro has been updated to version 3A283 or higher (to check this at the AirPods Pro screen under Bluetooth, go to the About section and look at the version number).
Go to Settings > Bluetooth > [Your AirPods info icon] and tap the link for See & Hear How It Works under Spatial Audio. At the Spatial Audio screen, switch between Stereo Audio and Spatial Audio to hear the difference. To give this a shot, tap Turn On for Supported Videos.
Next, fire up a supported video to hear Spatial Audio in action. So far, iTunes, Apple TV+, Disney+, and HBO Max all support Spatial Audio, so play a movie or TV show from one of those services. If you picked a compatible video, you should now hear the audio shift in surround sound as you move your head, body, or iPhone.
Turn Your AirPods Into a Hearing Aid
You can use your AirPods Pro as a hearing aid through a feature called Live Listen introduced with iOS 12. First, you’ll need to add the feature to Control Center on your iPhone. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Tap the plus sign next to Hearing to add it to Control Center.
Put the AirPods Pro in your ears. Open Control Center and tap the icon for Hearing. At the Hearing window, tap the entry for Live Listen to turn it on. Now place your phone next to the person or audio source that you want to hear more clearly or loudly, and the sound will be amplified. To stop Live Listen, tap the entry in Control Center to turn it off.
Check the Battery Charge
You can check the current charge on your AirPods Pro and the charging case. Keep both AirPods Pro in the case and then open the lid. A card appears on your iPhone’s screen to indicate the charge levels of both the case and the AirPods.
Take one AirPod out of the case, and the card changes to show the charging level for each AirPod separately. Take them both out of the case, and the card changes again to show the charging level just for the AirPods and not the case.
Finally, you can help extend the overall life of the battery for your AirPods Pro by telling them to wait to finish charging past 80% until you need to use them. To try this out, go to Settings > Bluetooth > [Your AirPods info icon] and turn on the switch for Optimized Battery Charging. If you decide you don’t want this setting, turn the switch off. You’ll be asked whether you want to turn it off until tomorrow or turn if off permanently.
More AirPods Tips and Tricks
If you’re looking for more tricks, all of the tips we have for the original AirPods also work for your AirPods Pro, so take a look and see what works best for you.