Noise-cancelling technology in Apple AirPods (or any other noise-canceling headphones) uses a method called active noise cancellation. Active noise cancellation works by using tiny microphones inside the earbuds to pick up external noise, such as the sound of airplane engines or traffic. These microphones then send the external noise signal to a tiny chip inside the earbuds, which analyzes the signal in real-time.
The chip then generates a sound wave that is the exact opposite, or “negative,” of the external noise. This sound wave, known as an “anti-noise” wave, is played through the earbuds’ speakers, effectively canceling out the external noise. This is known as destructive interference, and the result is a quieter listening experience.
The Apple AirPods Pro and AirPods Max uses advanced algorithms to analyze and adapt the anti-noise wave in real-time, continually adjusting the wave to match the external noise for more precise noise cancellation. This process is done in milliseconds, so the noise cancellation is happening in real-time as you hear the sounds around you.
Apple also includes a feature called Transparency mode, which allows users to hear their surroundings while the noise-cancellation feature is still active. This can be useful in certain situations where you need to hear ambient sounds, such as when crossing the street or having a conversation with someone.
In order to achieve the best noise cancelling performance, the Apple AirPods Pro and AirPods Max uses multiple internal and external microphones to continuously sample sound and fine-tune the anti-noise. Additionally, the AirPods Pro features in-ear design that creates a seal between the speaker and the ear canal, allowing them to provide passive noise isolation, which helps to block external sounds.
Overall, the noise-cancellation technology in the Apple AirPods uses advanced algorithms and multiple microphones to analyze and cancel out external noise in real-time, resulting in a quieter listening experience for the user.