AirPods Pro have great features like noise cancellation and a Transparency mode with an in-ear design. And to switch between those and other features, Force Sensors in the AirPods Pro (and AirPods 3) stems offer easy control. Read on for how to change AirPods controls including press speed, press duration, and what your left and right Force Sensors do, and more.

AirPods gen 1 and 2 use double-taps on the earbuds for controls. But AirPods Pro and AirPods 3 use a squeeze of the Force Sensor built into the stem of each earbud.

We’ll look at three ways to switch between noise cancellation, Transparency, and off, how to customize your Force Sensors including press speed and press duration, and how to enable noise cancellation when using just one AirPod Pro.

We’ll also cover how to customize the force sensors on AirPods 3.

How to change AirPods controls

Changing left and right AirPods Pro/AirPods 3 Force Sensors:

  1. On your iPhone, head to Settings > Bluetooth
  2. Tap the “i” next to your AirPods (make sure they’re connected)
  3. Under “Press and Hold AirPods” choose Left or Right
  4. Customize what your AirPod Force Sensor activates
  5. You can also choose to include “Off” in the Noise Control controls
How to customize AirPods Pro controls Force Sensor

Another option at the bottom of this screen is to customize how the microphones in your AirPods Pro work.

How to customize AirPods Pro controls Force Sensor 2

How to change AirPods controls – press speed and duration:

  1. Open Settings then head to Accessibility
  2. Swipe down and tap AirPods
  3. Adjust your Press Speed and Press and Hold Duration by choosing something other than default
  4. You can also enable Noise Cancellation with One AirPod by toggling it on at the bottom of this settings screen
How to customize AirPods Pro controls Force Sensor 3

If you’re not already familiar, here are all of the controls possible with AirPods Pro:

AirPods Pro compare AirPods controls

And here are the default AirPods 3 controls:

  • Play and pause audio: Press the Force Sensor once. To resume playback, press it again.
  • Play the next track: Double-press the Force Sensor.
  • Play the previous track: Triple-press the Force Sensor.
  • Answer a call: When you receive a call, press the Force Sensor.
  • Activate Siri: Press and hold the Force Sensor, then ask questions, control apps, and more.

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.