Guide: Troubleshooting AirPods Max Noise Cancelling Issues

When you invest in a premium product like the AirPods Max, encountering issues with a key feature like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) can be frustrating. This guide provides an overview of common ANC issues faced by AirPods Max users and offers practical solutions to address them.

AirPods Max users have reported various ANC-related issues, including:

  1. ANC Being Stuck or Inconsistent: Some users find their AirPods Max stuck in one mode (either Noise Cancellation or Transparency) and unresponsive to attempts to switch modes​.
  2. Weak Noise Cancelling: Complaints of weaker than expected noise cancellation, where external noises like typing or street sounds are still audible​.
  3. Deterioration Post-Firmware Update: Notably, a firmware update (version 4E71) has been linked to a decrease in ANC effectiveness for some users​.

Potential Solutions

Full Reboot of AirPods Max:

  • Hold both the noise control button and the Digital Crown until the light flashes amber, then white (approximately 15 seconds).

Cleaning the Mesh:

  • Debris or earwax buildup on the mesh of the AirPods Max can impact ANC performance.
  • Clean the mesh gently to remove any obstructions that might hinder noise cancellation​.

Software Updates:


  • Ensure that both the AirPods Max and connected devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac) are updated to the latest software versions.
  • Firmware updates often contain fixes and improvements for features like ANC​

Checking ANC Settings:


  • Verify that ANC is enabled in your device's settings.
  • Sometimes, settings might inadvertently change or reset, affecting ANC performance.

Contacting Apple Support:


  • If issues persist, contacting Apple Support for professional advice or visiting an Apple Store might be necessary.
  • In some cases, a replacement or repair may be the only solution, especially if the issue is hardware-related.

What to Expect

  • Varied Experiences: User experiences with the ANC feature can vary, with some noticing a significant decrease in performance while others may not observe major changes.
  • Firmware Updates Impact: Be aware that firmware updates can alter the performance of ANC, both positively and negatively. Monitor user forums and reviews for updates on these changes.


The AirPods Max offer a high-quality listening experience, but like any technology, they can encounter issues. If you're experiencing problems with the ANC feature, following the above steps can help in resolving them. Regular maintenance, software updates, and a proper reset can often restore the ANC to its optimal performance. If all else fails, Apple Support is your go-to resource for further assistance.

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