Apple has introduced a feature called “Transparency Mode” in its tight-fitting AirPods Pro Airbeds. The feature was later added to Apple’s valuable over-the-ear headphones. So what exactly does Transparency Mode do, and how do you use it?
Transparency mode on AirPods Pro and Max.
The AirPods Pro is Apple’s first pair of noise-canceling airbuds. Active noise cancellation (or ANC for short) uses a microphone to monitor the noise of your surroundings. Airbuds then try their best to mask these frequencies or “cancel” the noise.
Noise-canceling airbuds are usually different in the ear because a better seal to your ear means less noise will be inactivated. When you turn off the ANC, you hear a lot of noise entering your ears, especially low frequencies that travel further, such as traffic noise or engine hum.
Silicon ear signals are good enough to block passive noise, which means it can be difficult to hear the world around you, even when you turn off the ANC. This is where the mood for transparency comes in.
Using the microphone already on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, Apple’s solution pipes the outside world into a comfortable volume in your ears. It does so with an unacceptable delay, which was a problem for the original AirPods with the first implementation of this technology called Live Listen.
How to use Transparency mode on AirPods.
You can switch between Apple’s AirPods Pro by pressing Airbud (default configuration) between ANC and Transparency mode, or by pressing the Noise Control button on the AirPods Max. You can always leave Transparency mode, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
To be able to listen to people, for example, when you pay for something in a store, you need to pause the music until you can hear what’s going on. If you’re listening to spoken audio like a podcast or a YouTube video, it’s easy to get people to listen without first interrupting the content.
Some owners of air pods swear by the transparency mechanism as a safety feature, as it allows them to enjoy music and other content in a low volume, without being aware of the dangers around them. Such as walking at night or using public transport alone.
Best of all, you don’t need an iPhone to take advantage of the feature, as both ANC and Transparency Mode work with Android (or any other Bluetooth audio device you connect to them).
Other earphones also include transparency mode.
While the AirPods Pro has introduced a number of users to Transparency mode, many other wireless Airbuds now support this feature, including the Jabra Elite 75t and Sony WF-1000XM4, iPhone and iPad users. Our two best choices for the best wireless airbeds.