How to Customize the Force Sensor Gesture Functions on AirPods Pro

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Apr 12, 2001
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This article explains how to customize the functions assigned to AirPods Pro gestures. Bear in mind that iOS devices need to be running iOS 13.2 in order to support AirPods Pro. You can check that your device is updated by launching the Settings app and going to General -> Software Update.


Apple's AirPods Pro wireless earbuds feature a new, innovative force sensor on each stem that responds to gestures which you can use to play/pause and skip tracks, answer and hang up phone calls, and switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes.

By default, you can press and hold either AirPod Pro stem to cycle between the Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes (you'll hear a tone when switching between the two functions). You can also customize the press-and-hold gestures by accessing onscreen menus on your connected iOS device. Here's how it works.

  1. Allow your AirPods to connect to your iPhone or iPad in the usual way, by opening the case next to your device and inserting the buds in your ears.
  2. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device.
  3. Tap Bluetooth.

    Under "My Devices," tap the information icon (the circled "i") next to AirPods Pro in the list.
  4. Under "Press and Hold AirPods," tap Left or Right, depending on which AirPod you want customize.

    To activate Siri with a press-and-hold gesture, tap Siri.
  5. To change the Noise Control features that are activated via a press-and-hold gesture, tap Noise Control so that it's ticked, then tap the functions below that you want to assign to it: The options are Noise Cancellation, Transparency, and Off (which disables noise cancellation and transparency mode).
Note that you can assign more than one noise control feature to the press-and-hold gesture on either earbud - pressing and holding the stem will cycle between the selected modes.

Article Link: How to Customize the Force Sensor Gesture Functions on AirPods Pro
 
Last edited:

Tilli85

macrumors newbie
Oct 5, 2014
28
6
I cannot really change the settings. First, I set the left one to cycle through TRANSPARENCY and OFF and the right one to cycle through NC and OFF. Then I wanted to change the setting the other way around (left: NC/OFF and right: TRANSPARENCY/OFF), which does not work. When I set it on either one, the other one copies the setting.

I think this is a bug. Can anyone replicate this behavior?
 

Force332

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2011
52
12
No volume control still ?
If you have an Apple Watch you can enable the option to have music controls display when you turn your wrist to wake. You can then just turn the digital crown to adjust the volume. I actually find this quicker and easier than touching the earbuds to adjust.

However I can totally understand the desire for direct volume controls on the earbuds if the Apple Watch thing isn't an option for someone. The button presses added to the AirPods Pro resolved my main complaint about the AirPods. I've been missing the ability to quickly adjust things with the old buttons that used to be on the wired earpods. The tapping on the original AirPods to attempt this was more limited.
 
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techfreak23

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2013
168
202
Hmm, seems like they shouldn’t have shortened the stem if they were going to implement this feature. Looks awkward to try to grab the shorter stem. They also could have shoved a little more battery in with that as well. They didn’t even beat the listen time from the previous AirPods. It actually got half an hour worse...
 

foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
516
446
My wish would've be:

press left: lower volume
press right: higher volume
(repeated presses increase/decrease further)

long press left: play/pause
long press right: skip

Oh well … I'll keep using my watch, but it's actually inconvenient, because then I have to press the crown to see my complications. I wish I could just hard code the crown to volume control everywhere. That's the only thing I use it for.
 

techfreak23

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2013
168
202
My wish would've be:

press left: lower volume
press right: higher volume
(repeated presses increase/decrease further)

long press left: play/pause
long press right: skip

Oh well … I'll keep using my watch, but it's actually inconvenient, because then I have to press the crown to see my complications. I wish I could just hard code the crown to volume control everywhere. That's the only thing I use it for.
You can have it automatically display the music controls when you raise your wrist if you’re listening to something. Most audio apps are supported with that Now Playing Glance (are they still called Glances?) in the Dock (side button click). Spotify specifically has a Watch Companion app along with a Glance. You can have theirs come up instead, if you use Spotify. Theirs is nice because you can change playlists and pick specific songs too.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,353
8,964
California
I cannot really change the settings. First, I set the left one to cycle through TRANSPARENCY and OFF and the right one to cycle through NC and OFF. Then I wanted to change the setting the other way around (left: NC/OFF and right: TRANSPARENCY/OFF), which does not work. When I set it on either one, the other one copies the setting.

I think this is a bug. Can anyone replicate this behavior?
Just got home and tested a little and mine is the same and I think that is intended. The Noice Control setting allows you to pick which of the three settings you want it to cycle through, and that is set to both sides if you have both set to Noise Control. Or you can set one side to Noise Control and the other to Siri.

So you cannot have one side cycle through Noise Cancellation/Transparency/Off and the other to cycle through Noise Cancellation/Off.
 
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Freshhy

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2019
1
0
So are you able to go through all 3 modes nc/transparency and none? Without your phone, and would this work on android?